The School District 27 trustees have signed a memorandum of agreement with bargaining representatives for the school district’s support staff.
Trustee Will Van Osh announced the memorandum of agreement had been reached during the board’s regular meeting, Tuesday, Nov. 26.
The agreement will amount to almost a half million dollars in additional costs to the local school district and will not be covered by any additional funding from the Ministry of Education.
The funds are expected to be found within the board’s current operating budget, said Superintendent Mark Thiessen.
During Tuesday’s meeting the trustees agreed to send a letter to the Minister of Education expressing their “displeasure” with a ministry directive that school boards submit a plan on how they will recover the cost of the proposed new agreement with support staff within their existing budgets.
Thiessen and outgoing Chair Joyce Cooper said that at this time the district can’t release details of the plan to recover the cost of the new contract.
Cooper noted budget discussions for the next fiscal year have not begun yet.
A tentative provincial K-12 support staff Framework Agreement was reached between the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association and the IUOE and Canadian Union of Public Employees in September, but local unions and school boards were left to conclude the bargaining in their respective districts.
The term of the agreement is retroactive to July 1, 2012 and going forward to June 30, 2014 providing a total wage increase of 3.5 per cent.
The proposed agreement provides a one percent wage increase retroactive to July 1, 2013; two percent increase on Feb. 1, 2014 and a half a per cent increase May 1, 2014.
There are no concessions and the contract introduces the pay direct card for up-front drug expenses for virtually all locals.
Support staff in SD27 are members of the International Union of Operating Engineers, Loal 959.
Local IUOE representative Alice Tresierra said a general meeting of the membership has been scheduled for Dec. 7 and the memorandum of agreement will be part of the agenda discussion.
A vote on the agreement is expected to follow at some follow.