CUPE deal means $700K hit to SD23
Sep 19, 2013 / 10:20 am
School District 23 will have to find a further $700,000 from its already tight budget to satisfy the terms of a contract agreement reached late Wednesday between the province and CUPE support workers.
The tentative agreement calls for a 3.5 per cent increase over the life of the contract.
CUPE workers, including education assistants, clerical staff, trades workers, bus drivers and others will receive a one per cent increase retroactive to July 1, a further 2.5 per cent Feb 1, 2014 and a final .5 per cent bump in May of next year.
The contract expires June 30, 2014.
The province has already alerted school districts across the province that they will be responsible for picking up the tab for the latest CUPE contract.
SD23 Board of Education chair, Moira Baxter, says the initial hit to the district is about $700,000.
She says the board doesn't yet know where those funds will come from.
"We did come into the year with just under a $1M surplus and we could use that in the short term," says Baxter.
"But we do have to say where we are going to find this money for the long term because next year it will be even more."
Baxter says the deal must be ratified by local boards by mid-December which includes settling local issues which are bargained separately from the actual monetary issues agreed to Wednesday.
"We do negotiate some thing locally with our CUPE members. That has been going on for some time," says Baxter.
"Each school district has slightly different agreements with their local workers. For example the Pharmacy Cards that were mentioned in the news release that is part of the agreement - we already have that in our school district."
Despite the cost, Baxter says the agreement is good news for schools all across the district and the province.
"This is a very positive step. It takes away the imminent threat of job action which of course we are very pleased about."
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