Chilliwack School District and support workers reach tentative agreement

Mediator had been called in for talks between district and CUPE Local 411

Parents of students in Chilliwack schools concerned about a possible job action can breathe a sigh of relief as the Board of Education has reached a tentative agreement with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 411.

Local 411 represents 924 unionized school district employees, including education assistants, custodians, clerical staff, maintenance and trades.

Contract negotiations broke down between the two sides and a mediator was appointed by the Labour Relations Board on Oct. 28.

• READ MORE: Chilliwack school district contract talks going to mediation

The mediator was scheduled to meet with both sides on Nov. 5 and 6, and on Nov. 7, the school district announced the tentative agreement.

“We’re pleased that we were able to engage in meaningful discussions leading to this tentative agreement,” Board Chair Dan Coulter said in a press release. “We’re confident that the agreement meets the needs of both the district and the union, and that all parties will proceed to ratify the agreement as soon as possible.”

The agreement now needs to be ratified by the union, the Board of Education and the Board of the BC Public School Employers’ Association.

The news of the mediator in Chilliwack being appointed came as more than 8,000 students in Saanich were out of school due to a strike by support workers in that school district. As of Nov. 6, the union in Saanich rejected the latest offer and students there were still out of classes.

On Nov. 4, the Fraser Cascade School District ratified a three-year agreement with its support workers.

• READ MORE: Fraser Cascade support staff ratify three-year agreement


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

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