Saanich schools remain empty on Wednesday as workers across SD63 continue to strike for pay parity. (Sophie Heizer/News Staff)

Back to the bargaining table for SD63, CUPE Local 441 as strike continues

Saanich school district and support workers union will negotiate again Monday afternoon

Saanich School District 63 (SD63) and support staff union CUPE Local 441 are back at the bargaining table on Monday Nov. 4 as a district-wide strike for pay parity with other local school districts continues into a second week. The school district and the union will meet for a second time Monday afternoon, following an informal meeting in the morning.

There is a media blackout in place for the negotiations, meaning neither side is allowed to give media details about what’s happening during negotiations. Representatives from both the union and the school district said they would honor the media blackout to minimize distractions and reach a resolution faster.

READ MORE: Saanich School District strike continues into second week

President of CUPE Local 441 Dean Coates said on Monday that the union was feeling positive about the support they have received from parents. He said parents are planning a rally in support of the union for Friday Nov. 8.

Vexed parents are putting the heat on the provincial government to get kids back in school with the help of a Change.org petition. The petition gained more than 1,000 signatures in 72 hours, Coates said.

Coates also said he hopes union members can get back to work soon. “The cause is righteous and we carry forward, we hope for a speedy end to negotiations,” Coates said.

READ MORE: Sidney mother says ongoing school strike threatens budget

Superintendent of the Saanich school district, Dave Eberwein, said he acknowledges how “frustrating and exasperating” this strike is for parents, students, teachers, support staff. “The important thing to remember is that as as school district, we need to stay focused on what we can do. We can’t control what the provincial government can do, we have to focus on what we can do at the local bargaining table,” Eberwein said.

The province is evaluating the discrepancies in pay, job description and responsibilities for all workers under the provincial framework. For each of the school districts in the province, there are different job descriptions, job requirements, qualifications and responsibilities for each role covered by the provincial framework. This includes clerical staff, janitors, and the Saanich support staff who are currently striking.

Eberwein said because there are many jobs to evaluate, this process is lengthy and complex. Saanich became one of the first school districts to sign on to the Job Evaluation project about a year ago. “We want to get an agreement ratified, then let this provincial process play out,” said Eberwein.

sophie.heizer@saanichnews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow @yrlocaljourno

Just Posted

Sooke Mounties still searching for suspect weeks after sexual assault

RCMP have been unable to identify any suspects

Ongoing Saanich Schools strike forces production of ‘Matilda the Musical’ to Esquimalt High

Four Seasons Musical Theatre had to find alternative venue for production

Saanich ranked third for participation in FortisBC energy-efficient upgrades program

800 older apartment buildings in B.C. have received upgrades since 2015

Provincial funding allows Greater Victoria immigrants, refugees better access to counselling services

The Vancouver Island Counselling Centre for Immigrants and Refugees was a recipient of new funds

Jagmeet Singh says he’ll vote against throne speech if NDP requests not met

Singh is to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday

Community uses loophole to paint 16 rainbow crosswalks after B.C. council says no

So far 11 rainbows are painted and five planned, all since council denied the first proposal in September

Workers’ camp at LNG facility in Kitimat takes shape

Extensive worker camp now being assembled

Former B.C. youth pastor guilty on one of five sexual assault allegations

Judge cites reasonable doubt in finding Cloverdale couple not guilty of majority of charges

238 and counting: Vancouver gelato shop sets Guinness World record for most flavours

Vince Misceo has come up with 588 different flavours over the decades

Killer who fled to Taiwan day after shooting B.C. man over $80 sentenced 13 years later

The sentence comes 13 years after Shaoxin Zhang, 19, was killed in a Burnaby parking lot

B.C. forest industry trade mission finding new markets in China

Diplomatic tensions eased, minister Doug Donaldson says

Most Read