Our Community Social Service Units are:
- Turning Points Collaborative Society – Vernon
- North Okanagan Youth and Family Services Society – Vernon
- Summerland Community Support – Summerland
Our School District Units are:
Since the pandemic, education workers have seen a dramatic increase of violence and harassment in schools. To understand this development, CUPE National’s Research Branch is collaborating with scholars at the University of Ottawa on a new nationwide study that examines education workers’ experiences of physical violence and harassment. In particular, the study explores how intersecting factors such as gender, ethnicity and dis/ability influence those experiences.
This will be the largest study of its kind ever conducted in Canada and one of the few studies to examine the effect of the pandemic on rates and impacts of violence and harassment in schools. We are asking CUPE locals to share information about this research with their membership and to encourage as many education workers as possible to get involved.
Participation entails a 40-minute, online survey that is entirely anonymous and confidential. The survey will ask respondents about their experiences of explicit forms of physical violence as well as other manifestations of harassment, including slurs, insults, put-downs, being ‘ganged up’ on, and damaging accusations. No personal information about who members are or the school(s) in which they work will be collected. The survey can be completed in French or English, and a report on findings will be available in the summer of 2024.
Click here to launch the survey, or copy and paste the link below into your internet browser.
View PDF here.
Reminder of Tomorrows General Meeting,
in Penticton or via TEAMS,
we look forward to seeing you there!
October 25, 2023
Employers ordered to pay missing wages by Dec 31, 2023
Earlier this month, CUPE surveyed you and your coworkers about unpaid retroactive wages owed to members under the Community Social Services Bargaining Association (CSSBA), in which CUPE represents many members. While CSSBA’s policy grievance – filed back in June 2023 – successfully pressured most of your employers to pay up, some were still unfairly not implementing wage increases. These were increases that you had negotiated into your collective agreement for 2022 and April 2023.
Thanks to your vigilance and reporting, we were able to narrow down that list of offending employers – all of whom are members of the Community Social Services Employers’ Association (CSSEA) – and advance our policy grievance against CSSEA to arbitration.
Today, we have good news!
On Oct. 24, the arbitrator ruled in the Union’s favour! This is a summary of his decision regarding your wage top-ups for 2022 and April 2023:
- CSSEA member employers that have not paid wage increases and/or retroactive payments by Oct. 31, 2023, will, by Dec. 31, 2023:
- pay the wage increases and retroactive payments, and
- pay interest, calculated in accordance with the Court Order Interest Act, in relation to wages earned (including retroactive payment owing) from September 11, 2023, to the date the monies are paid.
- If an employer does not pay workers the wage increases owed by Oct. 31, 2023, they must disclose this information to CSSEA and update the association when they do pay up. They must also provide calculations and confirmation of payment of interest owed.
This decision not only enforces a deadline but also financially incentivises those employers who still owe you money to pay sooner. CSSEA has also notified your employers.
These wage increases are six months overdue; you should not have been forced to wait this long. The frustration and stress that these delays caused are unnecessary and unfair. However, the ordeal has proven that speaking up works, and by using all the tools that your union membership provides, you get results!
Carmen Sullivan, CUPE Community Social Services Coordinator
Job Evaluation Committee UPDATE
End of Phase 3 update
Over the summer, the vast majority of the matching assignment was completed. Thank you to school districts and local support staff unions for your ongoing hard work. Since the school year started, final reviews of job matches are taking place. The goal is to complete this work by the
end of the year.
Stay tuned for our next bulletin about the history of job evaluation
We are working on a detailed backgrounder to share with you about the history of the joint job evaluation program and the importance of this work. We are excited to share it with you.
Click here for more information regarding:
Unit’s: SD53, SD67, SD83, SCS, TPCS, and NOYFSS
Dear Local 523 Members
Please take a moment to fill out
to help us better serve you!
CALL FOR NOMINATIONS:
CUPE BC COMMITTEES | 2023-2025 TERM
April 14, 2023
Dear Members of CUPE 523;
Exciting news: after a long pandemic hiatus, we are once again able to offer in-person retirement seminars. This spring, two seminars will be held within our unit. One will be held in Penticton to serve the members of SD67 and SD53, and the other will be held in Salmon Arm to serve the members of SD83.
Penticton: Monday, May 15th and Tuesday, May 16th at the IMC (soon to be the Siya Center!)
Salmon Arm: Wednesday May 17th and Thursday, May 18th (location to be determined.)
At the bottom of this letter, you will find a link for a registration form. Please follow the link and register if you are interested. Please be aware that the initial response to this seminar has been quite large, and there are only so many spaces available, as per the instructor. As a result of this, please trust that another seminar will be held in the fall, most likely in early October.
If either seminar has more interest than spaces, spots will be given according to seniority. Further to that, if the seminar in the south fills up, but there is a space in the north, you will have the option to travel to Salmon Arm and attend that one if you choose or vice versa. (Mileage, meals, and hotel are paid for in this case.) The seminars will be 2 full days, and the exact hours will be shared when they are confirmed.
Lunch and coffee / snacks will be provided at the seminars.
Retirement is a big deal! For that reason, the seminars will be open if you want to bring your spouse with you so you can learn and plan together. Please, only register a spouse if they can attend both full days with you.
The deadline to register for the May seminars will be April 28th so please don’t delay.
PS – EVEN IF YOU THINK/KNOW YOU’RE ALREADY ON A LIST,
Charlene Turnbull, Unit Chair SD 53
Terri Phillips, Unit Chair SD 67
Courtney Thomson, Unit Chair SD 83
Unit SD83 Members, click here to see how to book off work to attend.
MEET THE CANDIDATES!
For this weeks Executive Election Meetings (see poster below for more details)
INDIGENOUS WORKERS’ REPRESENTATIVE
SHERRI HAVIG, Unit SD53
My name is Sherri Havig,
I am an indigenous education advocate for school district 53 and I have been with the district since 2016.I am a member of the Onion Lake Cree Nation, Treaty 6. I have lived here in the Okanagan almost my entire life. I am honored to have this opportunity for a vote with our union for the position as a representative for our indigenous support workers. I have a passion for my culture and teaching the ways of it to our youth and my own children,
I feel that this position will help our indigenous workers have a voice where it matters.I hope to have your vote and thank you for your time!Sherri Havig
Indigenous Education Advocate
Oliver Elementary School
School District #53
KIM OUELLETTE, Unit NOYFSS
my name is Kim Ouellette, I am seeking your support for the Indigenous Workers’ Representative. I am employed with NOYFSS Sage House since 2017. I am proud our Local 523 recognized the importance of Indigenous Workers’ Representative on our executive boards. I believe this is a good step to ensure Indigenous members are included in the decision-making, connecting Indigenous Peoples to share expertise and experiences related to job sectors and occupations, this will enable us to be more Inclusive at the bargaining table.
I will bring with me to the executive board the understanding of ongoing impacts of what colonization on Indigenous Peoples and the importance of reconciliation.
Create a space that is welcoming and accommodating to Indigenous members.
Communicate with Indigenous members to take active participation in attending on-line or in person meetings.
I will take additional steps to educate myself through workshops.
To be respectful, socially, emotionally and spiritually, supportive and safe.
That Indigenous members have education on the work of the union, to direct the process and feedback from Indigenous members to the executive board.
I would look into building relationships within the community with other allies.
Put in place a plan to move forward and address Truth and Reconciliation Calls to action and bring it forward in bargaining.
To consider what plan is needed for education and finding recourses to support Indigenous members.
I will ask as a Indigenous Workers’ Representative my input on all aspects of the union
I will seek out other members who are not on the executive who can help support
Conversations with members.
I will create a portal to communicate and connect with Indigenous members for our locals.
I believe in the importance of an Indigenous workers’ representative position, I would be honoured to represent Our Indigenous Peoples to the best of my abilities.
My name is Cheri Calvert.
I am honored to announce my candidacy for Indigenous Workers’ Representative. I am an Indigenous Education Worker with SD83 since September 2021. Shortly after being hired for SD83, I became Shop Steward for our union. I have been a CUPE member since September 2018, where I held the role as Child and Youth Care Worker with the Delta School District. Previously, I worked for a non-profit society with the BCGEU union as a Youth Outreach Support Worker. I have my Diploma in Youth Justice. Training in Trauma informed practices and schools, and my Applied Behavior Analysis.
I am Metis on my mother’s side and grew up in the foster care system. Growing up, I quickly learned I had to advocate for my rights and the rights of others. I have faced and overcome my significant share of Trauma and have learned the history and affect of Intergenerational Trauma. My experience has driven me to learn more about Trauma informed practice and how to implement these practices in every day work that I do. Whether that be working with my students, colleagues, and/or advocating for the rights of others. Over the years, I have learned to navigate the many systems in place to be a strong voice and advocate. My passion lies in being a strong advocate to promote positive change and resiliency for our children, work, and future.
I believe the new role of Indigenous Workers’ Representative offers great opportunities to build valuable relationships with our Indigenous Leaders, Knowledge keepers, Workers, and members of our communities. I am excited to learn what this new role has to offer us and what I can give back to you. I am hoping to learn more about our Traditional ways of knowing and being and incorporate them into our everyday practice for our workers, students, and communities.
With my personal and educational background, I assure you I am the right candidate for this position. I appreciate and value your vote. Together, we can be the change this union needs!
Indigenous Education Worker SD83
1st VICE PRESIDENT (2 candidates):
SHAWN MELNYK, Unit SD67
I am thrilled to announce my candidacy for 1st Vice-President of CUPE 523. With my appointment to this role three months ago, I have already gained extensive experience in handling ongoing grievances and addressing the challenges faced by our members. Before my appointment, I served as a Shop Steward for Unit 67 for a year, giving me first-hand experience in representing members and advocating for their rights in the workplace.With the election taking place on March 4th, I am excited to have the opportunity to earn your trust and support. With my experience as a Shop Steward and my appointment as 1st Vice-President, I am fully prepared to execute my role in advocating for the rights of all members. I have completed numerous union education courses, equipping me with the skills and knowledge necessary to better serve our members.
One of my top priorities as 1st Vice-President will be to continue improving the organization and accessibility of our grievance files. I will ensure that these files are more organized and user-friendly for our Executives, enabling them to address members’ concerns more efficiently and effectively. With my experience and knowledge, I am confident that I can help streamline the process and provide better support to our members.
My passion for this role stems from my unwavering dedication to the wellbeing and rights of our members. As 1st Vice-President, I will be a fierce advocate for all members, ensuring that their voices are heard, and their rights are protected. I am committed to being a positive force within our union and to promoting a culture of inclusivity and empowerment.
With my experience as a Shop Steward, extensive Union education, and passion, I am the right choice for 1st Vice-President of CUPE 523. I hope to continue to earn your trust and support in this election and look forward to working with all members to achieve our shared goals.
I thank you for your vote.
VALERIE DEAN, Unit SD83
I feel very privileged to introduce myself. My name is Valerie Dean. I am a CEA working at AL Fortune. I have been in the SD#83 school district for just over 2 years. I love what I do! I have extensive training outside of the school environment in mental health, domestic abuse, children and youth in challenged home and living conditions, Indigenous courses with experience in knowledge keepers and elders, children/youth in the indigenous community, and those experiencing generational abuse and trauma.
Since joining SD #83, I have tried to educate myself further on what our union does for us, the members. The bylaws are a hard read. It has been a tough go. I continue to read, ask questions, and go to meetings. I am learning and want to have more knowledge to be able to educate myself and others, like you. I want to have that transparency we all desperately want and need from our Union.
I have put my name in the hat for First Vice President for these reasons:
I want to ensure the transparency of our union. To keep our members in the know of what is out there for us. To know and teach our union’s bylaws. I do not want any person to be afraid of the Union. I would love for anyone to feel alright about saying there is a need for further explanation or to be able to point out where you are not sure or don’t quite understand. I want the executive to be held accountable. I would like more representation from our school district (we do have over 600 plus members, and we are the largest part of CUPE 523). Our member’s voices need to be heard without discrimination or guilt. I would love to be given the chance to represent you as your 1st VP.
Please on March 3rd and 4th consider change and put your hand up for voting for me,
or if you are in Kelowna on Saturday, swing by the
CUPE Kelowna Area Office
and attend the meeting in person:
Suite 303 – 1912 Enterprise Way
Kelowna, BC V1Y 9S9
(original copy, some sections have already been voted on)
Memo from CUPE National:
CSS Tentative Agreement and Info Sessions
Attached is a detailed Comprehensive Report from the CSSBA regarding changes to the Collective Agreement that were agreed to during bargaining.
Locals will receive information about voting later this week.
The CUPE members on the Provincial Bargaining Committee have decided to offer online info sessions that all members may attend.
Please click on the Memo from CUPE National to see the schedule and registration links.
Members, staff and elected officials MUST register in order to attend a zoom session, as there is a limit of 300 participants per session.
Tentative deal reached for Community Social Services
Executive Elections took place this past Saturday during our General Meeting.
Tammy Carter who was acclaimed as President for a second term.
Erica McDowell who was acclaimed as Recording Secretary for another term.
Melanie Harriman who was acclaimed as 2VP.
Devon Brindley who was acclaimed as 3VP.
Nancy Boisvenue who was acclaimed as Trustee (3yrs) for another term.
Sylvia Lindgren who was acclaimed as Trustee (2yrs).
Jean Frolek who was acclaimed as Entertainment Rep.
ELECTIONS for the following positions will take place next month.
More information about the candidates and elections meetings will be coming out in the next few weeks.
1VP – Candidates; Shawn Melnyk and Valerie Dean
Indigenous Workers’ Representative – Candidates; Cheri Calvert, Kim Ouellette, and Sherri Havig.
Trustee (1yr) – Candidates; Kim Row and Morgan Wilson
All 3 School Districts in Local 523 CA’s (June 2022-2025) have been ratified and have passed. Congratulation’s!
Click Here – to view more information on each Unit SD53, SD67, SD83
SD83 Ratification vote took place yesterday, Jan.6, 2022
There were three time slots to come listen to the presentation and vote.
The vote on the tentative agreement has passed.
Thank you everyone who came.
Courtney Thomson, SD83 Unit Chair, will work on a correspondence to members and send that out to your personal emails soon.
Congratulations SD83 members on your new collective agreement.
A tentative agreement has been reached
between the SD83 bargaining team
(Employer and the Union team)
What does this mean?
– SD83 Members will be invited to a unit ratification meeting to vote on the tentative agreement. (details below).
– This meeting is for ALL School District 83 support staff.
– Just a heads up that the new contract cannot and will not be printed before the ratification. The ratification vote needs to pass before the new contract can be done. This process will be explained to all at the ratification meeting.
Saturday January 7th, 2023
in Salmon Arm at the DESC
Board office, 341 Shuswap St. S.
Times for the meeting:
(You only need to attend one of the following meeting times)
10:00am – 12:00 noon Time Slot One
1:00pm to 3:00pm Time Slot Two
6:00pm – 8:00pm Time Slot Three
Each of these meetings will be the same. Come listen to the changes, questions and answer period, and then vote on the changes. The vote will be done at the end of the presentation.
This is an in person meeting only and you need to be at the meeting to vote. This vote will be a secret ballot vote. The tentative agreement will not be shared electronically before the ratification day. You need to be at the in person meeting to see the tentative agreement and to vote. Results of the vote will be advertised after all the meetings are done.
Thank you to the SD83 Bargaining/Negotiations team for all your hard work. A reminder the team for SD83 are as follows: Unit Chair – Courtney Thomson, Shop Steward – Devon Brindley, Local 523 Secretary Treasurer – Kyle Clark, Local 523 President – Tammy Carter as well as the National Rep Logan Lamerton.
We look forward to seeing you at the meeting and please bring your colleagues and friends to vote on this tentative agreement.
SD53 Members – Ratification vote took place on Friday Dec.9th
The vote on the tentative agreement has passed.
SD53 members on your new collective agreement.
Click here to view proposed Bylaw changes: Notice of Bylaw CHANGES – September 2022
CUPE welcomes new members at
Summerland Community Support
Workers at Summerland Community Support are the latest members to join B.C.’s largest union following a four-week education campaign. The newest CUPE members will become a new unit of CUPE 523, a regional local representing education and community social service workers across the Okanagan.
“We are excited to welcome these new members in Summerland, and we are looking forward to working together to improve the wages, benefits and working conditions of these critical community workers,” said Tammy Carter, CUPE 523 president.
Summerland Community Support is a community organization offering programs and supporting local residents living with developmental disabilities. The organization’s workers provide a diverse range of services, including recreation programs, arts and crafts classes, nutrition and fitness programs, and life skills.
“We love what we do, and love working for Summerland Community Support,” said Sunnie Waters, spokesperson for the newly unionized CUPE 523 members. “Joining the union was about making our jobs more sustainable, addressing affordability for our families and helping us better serve our community.”
We are also pleased to announce that our website won: “Best website award for over 500 members” at the CUPE BC Convention, 2022!!
CUPE 523 Structure
CUPE 523 has two Community Social Services Units and three School District Units
Our Community Social Service Units are:
- Turning Points Collaborative Society, Vernon
- North Okanagan Youth and Family Services Vernon
- Summerland Community Support – Summerland
Our School District Units are:
- Okanagan Similkameen (School District #53)
- Okanagan Skaha (School District #67)
- North Okanagan Shuswap (School District #83)
Union Mailing Address:
CUPE Local523: #101 – 416 Westminster Ave. W. Penticton, BC, V2A 1K5