Welcome to CUPE Local 523


Join our Local 523 Email List, click here


Click Here for more Information on the latest Updates about COVID-19 and what it means for our Members.

 

Links to the latest K-12 updated information on COVID-19

Information about health region protocols and the current COVID-19 school exposures by district:


Click Below to view the:

Summary_Sheet_Part-III_COVID-19_Day_of_Mourning_2021_04_28.pdf


Join the conversation and share your priorities about your work and public education

CUPE members in British Columbia’s K-12 (including early years) public education system are invited to participate in a series of consultation and planning calls set to begin in early April. These Zoom calls — hosted by the CUPE K-12 Presidents Council and CUPE National staff — are an important and exciting opportunity for members to hear from others who do the same or similar work, and to share information
and priorities.
We know that each district might have different job titles/positions, so please choose the one that relates closest to yours. We have set up these calls to be inclusive of everyone in a focussed and informative conversation.

 

How to register

Each call has a unique Zoom link which will take you to a separate Zoom registration form. You must register for each call you wish to attend.

If you happen to click on the wrong link do not complete the information, instead go back to the call listings and click on the correct link. Making your selection will take you to a simple form. When you click “Submit”, a unique Zoom link to register for the meeting you have selected will open in a new window. You will receive an email with your call information after you register. If you have any problem, please email: closito@cupe.ca

 

Register here

 

Bulletin-61-Register-4-Classification-Calls-.pdf (cupe.ca)


Click Here to view the: EA_Position_Paper_March_30_2021


Bulletin 60 – Making progress on standardized EA credentials

CUPE is making exciting progress on standardizing EA credentials across the province. As negotiated in the Provincial Framework Agreement (PFA), CUPE will continue to work toward standardization of education assistant credentials and qualifications to prevent school districts from creating in-house EA qualification programs as short as two weeks in length.

Benefits of standardization

Credential standardization will increase EA hours to full-time where possible and desired. As well, it will increase classification and compensation of EAs in the public education system, ensuring that EAs are appropriately educated and equipped to provide high level assistance that will ensure the safety of students and EAs.

Key objectives of working with the Ministry

In addition to the negotiated terms and the continued work of the provincial committees, CUPE has been advocating to standardize EA credentials with the Ministry of Education. On behalf of CUPE EAs, we will continue this dialogue in the months to come.

One of our key objectives is to have standardized provincial education requirements for EAs established, with credentials offered exclusively through public post-secondary institutions.

Experienced EAs who are already working should have the opportunity to participate in additional education if desired, but this should not be mandatory for EAs with experience. We understand that the Ministry of Education recognizes the need for these improvements to the education system and will partner with CUPE on implementing these goals. This process will require time to ensure that a system for standardizing EA credentials is well-structured and robust.

Position paper makes our case

CUPE Research and National Staff have compiled a position paper titled “Standard Credentials for Education Assistants.” This paper outlines CUPE’s goals for credential standardization, asserts jurisdiction on the topic, and makes recommendations.

This position has been informed and developed over the past number of years with input from CUPE K-12 members throughout B.C., committees struck through the PFA, and CUPE National Research.

A FEW HIGHLIGHTS

  • Supporting diverse learners with complex challenges and needs requires adequate staffing levels and appropriate education
  • More EAs supporting students with diverse needs and behavioural challenges are needed
  • Education programs for EAs and EA qualification requirements established by school districts vary widely
  • Offering standardized education programs and qualifications through public post-secondary institutions is the best way to ensure comprehensive, accessible, transferable education based on best practices and current research
  • Compensation for EAs needs to be increased
  • Better wages will increase EA retention and recruitment

SAVE THE DATES:

Upcoming classification calls for Education Assistants, SSWs, CEAs and similar classifications will be an opportunity to consult on priorities for standardizing EA credentials and to discuss the position paper.

Okanagan & Kootenays
April 20th  5:30-7:30 pm

Northern B.C.
April 22nd  5:30-7:30 p

Vancouver Island &
in island communities

April 27th  5:30 – 7:30 pm

Metro Vancouver & Fraser Valley
April 29th  5:30 – 7:30 pm

View PDF.


Community Social Services Awareness Month: Honouring our members’ commitment

BURNABY—March is Community Social Services (CSS) Awareness Month. As the world marks the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, CUPE BC honours and appreciates the more than 3,500 CUPE members who work in community social services. These include community support workers for the developmentally challenged, employment counsellors, addiction counsellors, legal advocates, early childhood educators and more.

B.C.’s frontline community social service workers and agencies help build safe and caring communities that support everyone when they need it—especially our most vulnerable citizens.  Community social services are critical to B.C.’s safety net because they help make sure that people in need don’t fall through the cracks.

The work CUPE CSS members do has become all the more critical during this global pandemic. In these times of crisis, already vulnerable clients experience increased mental and emotional stress around loss of income, access to housing, social distancing, and other challenges. This increases the burden for the community social service workers who are there to help them.

“Since the pandemic was declared we’ve seen a big increase in overtime, with some of our members putting in 60-to-80-hour weeks,” says CUPE BC CSS Committee member Bob Crozier, a CUPE 523 member who works at the Turning Points emergency centre in Vernon.  “They’re putting in these extra hours while facing a number of challenges imposed by COVID-19.”

Challenges include training clients in various COVID protocols, and stress caused by fatigue, general safety concerns, and increased isolation—for both clients and staff—as a result of staff shortages and social distancing. Home visits for outreach programs have been severely curtailed by provincial health orders. And staff working in residential treatment programs for children face uncertainty over parental decisions on whether to keep kids at home or in the program full-time.

CUPE CSS members are expected to work, and they keep on working—some despite having yet to receive pandemic pay and despite uncertainty around safety issues. Community social service workers keep on providing these vital public services because they are committed to helping people. That’s why they’re the heart and soul of our communities.

Community Social Services Awareness Month_ Honouring our members’ commitment – CUPE BC


Joint statement recognizing the role of B.C.’s community social services workers

Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, and Mitzi Dean, Minister of Children and Family Development, have issued the following statement in recognition of Community Social Services Awareness Month, March 1 to 31, 2021:

“Community Social Services Awareness Month is a perfect time to take a moment to thank one of the over 42,000 people who work in the community social services sector for their resilience and dedication to their role. They make a huge difference in our communities.

“Over the past year, as we’ve grappled with COVID-19, community social services agencies have been there to provide support and assistance. They’ve stepped up by adapting their services and coming up with innovative solutions to deliver the programs and services British Columbians need, in often trying circumstances.

“Community social services agencies help people with physical and developmental disabilities, families of children with support needs, new Canadians and refugees, Indigenous individuals, people dealing with mental health and/or substance use issues, and so many more to meet a huge variety of needs within the community.

“Most of us know an individual or family who has turned to the sector for help. Whether it’s a newcomer looking for language skills training or work experience before starting a job search, a woman looking for shelter and support to exit an abusive relationship, a youth in need of safe counselling services or a senior looking for help to access a local food bank, community social services workers are there to provide help and support.

“Community social services workers set the foundation of supports and services that people often turn to when they need help. Their dedication and hard work are a mainstay of government’s family and community support systems.

“As we look forward to building back a strong and stable economy and a better future for all British Columbians, community social services agencies will continue to be there to play a vital role.

“We thank them for all they do.”

Learn More: For the Community Social Services Awareness Month Proclamation, visit: https://www.bclaws.gov.bc.ca/civix/document/id/proclamations/proclamations/CommSocSerAwarenessMonth2021


To standardize EA credentials

One of our key objectives is to have standardized provincial education requirements for EAs established, with credentials offered exclusively through public post-secondary institutions. Experienced EAs who are already working should have the opportunity to participate in additional education, if desired, but this should not be mandatory for those EAs. This objective will provide the provincial JE Committee with greater ability to apply a standardized and increased classification and compensation structure for CUPE EAs across the province.

K-12 Bulletin#53_EA_Standardization_Feb_16


Presidents Message re: Isolation General Pay

Dear Members,

Following a lengthy period of lobbying, CUPE & BCTF secured agreement from the Ministry of Education that they will direct the BC Public School Employers’ Association and the School Districts to assure all employees who need to quarantine by a direction of a public health official are provided alternative duties or paid regular wages during the period of the quarantine.

Click to view the Letter from BCPSEA Outlining the Agreement  and below are answers to some of the most common questions. If you have any other questions please contact your Shop Stewards or Unit Chair for clarification. All contact information can be found on our website www.523.cupe.ca

In Solidarity,

Tammie Koroluk
President CUPE Local 523

Who is covered by the changes?
The change affects CUPE support staff and BCTF teachers.

What is covered?
Situations where an employee is directed by a public health official to self-isolate due to potential exposure to COVID-19 and is asymptomatic.

What are the obligations of the Employer

  1. Explore work from home options in the employee’s current position for the duration of the required self-isolation;
  2. Where work from home in the employee’s current position is not possible, consider options for re-deployment to work which can be completed remotely;
  3. Where work from home and re-deployment are not possible, provide the employee with general paid leave, provided the direction of a public health official to self-isolate is directed at the employee, and not a family member or person residing with the employee.

Should a member of an employee’s household, but not the employee, be directed to self-isolate, per current practice, the employee may request vacation, other applicable leaves of the collective agreement or employment contract, or an unpaid leave of absence. Employers are encouraged to exercise flexibility in considering options for such requests.

What is the start date for this agreement?
February 1, 2021 and is not to be applied retroactively. For employees currently in a self-isolation period, it applies from the effective date (February 1, 2021).  CUPE and BCTF are still fighting this part.

What about on call workers?
Where an on-call employee had accepted an assignment and is then directed by a public health official to self-isolate, districts should follow the steps outlined above. Where an employee is scheduled to work only a portion of the self-isolation days, the general paid leave would only extend to the already accepted scheduled assignment

Do we have to use sick days?
No.  For unionized employees, this general paid leave is gratuitous to the collective agreements and is not a deduction of existing collective agreement leave banks. In the same way, this general paid leave is gratuitous to the employment contract for non-unionized staff.

What if it turns out I am sick with COVID -19?
Where an employee is directed by a public health official to self-isolate and is symptomatic, employees are not to be placed onto general paid leave, but rather, should be placed on sick leave. Sick leave is to be administered per the collective agreement or the employment contract.

Sick Leave Provisions 
All sick leave Provisions are under Article 21 Short Term Disability program and Article 22 Long term Disability Program.


BACKGROUND FROM PROVINCIAL FRAMEWORK AGREEMENTS:
BCPSEA and the K-12 Support Staff Unions first agreed to establish a Provincial Job
Evaluation Plan, possibly including a regional or local approach, as part of the 2014-2019
Provincial Framework Agreement (PFA). The job evaluation tool used is based upon the
CUPE gender neutral job evaluation plan with modifications to fit the needs of the K-12
sector. The Provincial Job Evaluation Steering Committee was established in 2015 and
seven (7) districts with CUPE locals piloted the plan throughout 2018 and 2019. Ten (10)
additional districts, including two (2) with locals other than CUPE, have been identified
for a second pilot of the plan.

JE_Committee_Bulletin_January_27_2021


January 18, 2021

Dear Members,

The following information is from CUPE BC K-12 Presidents Council

SSEAC Training Survey
CUPE, other support staff Unions and BCPSEA are jointly launching a survey with a view to soliciting input to help define priorities for, and interest in, support staff training and upgrading. This survey will help inform the work of the Support Staff Education Committee (SSEC) which was struck as per item 6 of the Provincial Framework Agreement. The survey should take about 20 minutes to complete and is open until February 8, 2021. If you have any questions regarding this survey please contact President Tammie Koroluk at president@cupe523.com
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SGLYD3F

Free Online Presentation
A light-hearted approach to the serious subject of Mental Health
Please join us on January 19 at 5:30–7:00 PM (Pacific Time) for an online presentation with counsellor and stand-up comedian David Granirer and his Stand-up for Mental Health comics. Q&A to follow. The presentation is open to CUPE K-12 members. Find detailed information at bcschools.cupe.ca
REGISTER NOW
Click below to Register for this presentation:
https://zoom.us/j/99922521194?pwd=Zm9hdTYwS0hXUjJnbG5uUUgzNmo0dz09
You will receive an email with your own unique link:
Your K-12 sector coordinators appreciate the assistance of CUPE BC to bring this important topic to members.

K-12 Presidents Council Website
For detailed information regarding the above event and survey please click on the following website https://bcschools.cupe.ca/

CUPE Local 523
For detailed information and contact numbers for each Unit, please click on the following website https://523.cupe.ca/


January 14, 2021

K-12 Bulletin #48 Stop Contracting Out


January 12, 2021

K-12 Bulletin #47

K-12 Members get the Message Out!

 

As we continue to face COVID-19 together and begin to prepare for collective bargaining next year, we will have many opportunities to reach our members, employers, K-12 partners and the public. We need to let everybody know who we are and that our work is crucial to education. It benefits our families and communities


January 6, 2021

K-12 Bulletin #45-Jan-6

Federal grant money being released to districts. 

Local surveys coming soon!

On behalf of your K-12 Presidents Council executive, I want to wish everyone a healthy and happy New Year!
With vaccines now being rolled out in B.C., hopefully 2021 will be a brighter and safer year for all.

We hope everyone had a re-energizing winter break.


K-12 #41_Bulletin CUPE K-12 Goes Social

New coordinators assigned to K-12 sector.


K-12 – 39 Bulletin CUPE Roles and EAs

This bulletin explains the roles that CUPE fulfills for members in K-12, and specifically what that means for EAs. CUPE National Reps, Specialist Reps and Sector Co-ordinators support locals in bargaining and enforcing collective agreements.


BK-12 -40 Bulletin_Minister_Whiteside

A warm welcome to Minister of Education Jennifer Whiteside.





Mental Health Resources & Social Support
  • Crisis Centre: 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)
  • 310-Mental Health Support: 310 6789
  • B.C. 211 hotline for seniors: Call 2-1-1
  • Nurse’s Hotline: 8-1-1
  • Kid’s Help Phone 1-800-668-6868
  • Alcohol & Drug Information & Referral Service: 1-800-663-1441

 


As a CUPE member, you are part of the largest Union in Canada. CUPE represents workers in health care, public schools, municipalities, libraries, universities, social services, public utilities, transportation, emergency services, and airlines.

CUPE Local 523 Structure

CUPE 523 has two community social services Units and three school district Units

Our Community Social Service Units are:

Our School District Units are: