K-to-12 support staff agreements ratified

VICTORIA – The BC Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) board of directors has ratified two-year collective agreements for support staff in 11 school districts under the government’s 2010 net-zero mandate.

The collective agreements were reached through collaborative discussions between the BCPSEA, the accredited bargaining agent for the Province’s 60 public boards of education, and union bargaining teams representing K-to-12 support staff in December 2011. Agreements are ratified by the local school board and union with a final ratification by the board of BCPSEA.

These settlements under the provincial Framework Agreement cover approximately 2,800 employees working in following school districts in British Columbia.

While there are outstanding agreements still being negotiated with some unions under the 2010 mandate, virtually all of B.C.’s public sector has now settled for two years of net-zero.

Those agreements expiring in 2012 will be negotiated under the Cooperative Gains Mandate. Government has been clear that there is no new money to fund wage increases and will not download those costs onto families or future generations. Cooperative Gains gives public sector employers the ability to look for operational savings that may be applied to wage increases as long as services are maintained and costs are held to existing budgets.

There are about 300,000 unionized workers employed in the public service, at Crown corporations and agencies, and in the K-12, post-secondary, health and community social services sectors. An increase of one per cent in total compensation for all unionized public-sector employees would cost the Province approximately $196 million each year. If applied to non-union and management groups, this increases to about $237 million annually.