Marcel Marsolais, president of CUPE Local 409, said the school district and the union reached an agreement in June, ratified by union members and approved by the school board. However, the agreement had to be approved by the provincial government`s certified bargaining agent, the B.C. Public School Employers` Association (BCPSEA). The 4-year agreement applies to all employees of City CUPE 387 and covers the period from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2019. It forecasts a wage increase of 7.0% over the 4-year period (1.5% in 2016, 1.5% in 2017, 2% in 2018 and 2% in 2019). CUPE 387 ratified the new agreement with 95% support. The agreement was approved by the New Westminster City Council, the New Westminster Police Board and the New Westminster Public Library Board. With this latest round of collective bargaining, both the city and the union have committed to reaching a fair, reasonable and sustainable collective agreement. New Westminster – The City of New Westminster and the Union of Canadian Public Employees, Local 387 (CUPE 387) have entered into a new four-year collective agreement effective January 1, 2016. The parties began negotiations in June 2016 and reached a provisional agreement at the end of December. “BCPSEA and the school district are optimistic about how the Mediator can reach a collective agreement that is satisfactory to both parties.” In an email statement, BCPSEA`s Deborah Stewart said the agreement between the school district and CUPE 409 “was not consistent with the public sector`s bargaining mandate.” The union representing support staff in the New Westminster School District is planning a strike vote next week, after provincial authorities veto a locally negotiated deal.
“Local parties also have the option to include the provincial framework agreement recommended by CUPE and BCPSEA as part of their local collective agreement if they enter into their local agreement before November 30, 2019.” Stewart added that 70 per cent of unionized public sector employees are now covered by new collective agreements that meet the bargaining mandate, “including many UCES Indigenous people in school districts.” “Unacceptable, they can veto anyone`s deal, and that`s exactly what they did,” Marsolais said. “We are horrified by the fact that these two levels of bureaucracy have had the right to interfere in what has been negotiated freely and in good faith, and that this must stop.” After June 18 and until September, Marsolais said he had no news from BCPSEA and, when he heard about the organization of the negotiations, it was done indirectly and only to indicate his position. “We argue that in fact, everything we do for the people who support the students, work with the students and clean up according to the students is beneficial to the students` performance,” said Marsolais. BCPSEA and the union also disagreed on how a fund focused on local needs – of the $7 million $US offered by the province, CUPE 409 receives about $93,000. .