I would like to start by welcoming those that are returning to work after summer break. Starting a new school year can be a challenging but often exciting time. I hope that everyone enjoyed the warm weather, took time to spend with family and friends and had some moments of rest and relaxation. In all three school districts custodians, maintenance workers and clerical staff have been working incredibly hard to get our schools ready for the new year. We are thankful for what they do and the impact it has on all our lives.
Our brothers and sisters at NOYFSS and TPCS have settled into their new Collective Agreements. Recently I was given a location tour by TPCS Unit Chair Bob Crozier, of all sites in Vernon recently and I was inspired by all the services that are offered to some of the most vulnerable members of our society. As a newly appointed Acting President I hope to visit more sites throughout our Local and connect with members.
Your Bargaining Committee has been very busy this summer and early September. We met with each of the districts for a total of 13 times. A tentative agreement has been reached in SD 53 and a ratification meeting took place on September 18 with a 97% vote in favour of accepting the proposed agreement. An official announcement will be made once the School Board ratifies early next week. We hope to come to tentative agreements in Sd 67 and 83 shortly.
Our Occupational Health &S committee will be meeting in early October. The committee meets a few times a year and consists of two members from each unit. Our goal this year is to provide assistance to each of our site Joint Occupational Health and Safety (JOHSC) representatives feel confident in their roles through education and resources that we will create. I have been accepted on the CUPE BC Provincial OH&S Committee and am looking forward to meeting in Vancouver in October.
October is soon upon us, as is the Federal Election. We are very privileged to live in a country that affords us the right to vote and I hope each of you take the time to research the candidate that you feel will represent you and your loved ones. Mark your calendars for Oct 21st and encourage others to join you at the polls.
CUPE Local 523