Members of CUPE Local 748, education workers of School District 8 (Kootenay Lake) voted to reaffirm their strike mandate over the weekend.
One hundred per cent of members voting decided that job action is necessary if an agreement with the school district is not achieved. Two rallies are planned for this week, in Creston today (Wednesday November 27) and in Nelson on Thursday November 28.
“The major stumbling block has been the school board’s decision to reject a savings plan impacting jobs, in order to fund the long overdue wage adjustment education workers deserve,” said Michelle Bennett, president of CUPE Local 748.
“We hope job action is not required, but we owe it to our students, parents and our communities to be honest and transparent by informing them that there is a real possibility if a settlement with the employer cannot be reached.”
On September 18, the CUPE BC K-12 Presidents’ Council Bargaining Subcommittee signed a Provincial Framework Agreement with the BC Government providing a 3.5 per cent wage increase for BC education workers. BC Minister of Education Peter Fassbender required local boards of education to submit a cost savings plan to fund the agreement. School District 8 stands alone as the only board to not submit a plan to pay for the wage adjustment.
“I am proud of the trustees of the Kootenay Lake School Board for rejecting the presented savings plan because they understand it would affect core services for students. However, our school district does need to approve a plan – one that does not have an adverse affect on students,” said Bennett.
The Creston rally takes place today from 3-4 p.m. at Prince Charles Secondary School (223 18th Ave. South Creston).
The Nelson rally takes place Thursday, November 28, from 3-4 p.m. at Hume Elementary School (310 Nelson Avenue).