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Strike vote looming as Central Okanagan School District, union failing on agreement

The contract between the two sides expired in June 2022
A strike vote could happen this weekend as CUPE and the Central Okanagan School District are failing to come to an agreement. (Black Press File photo)

All support (non-teaching) staff from the Central Okanagan School District are expecting to execute a strike vote this weekend for their demands of a new contract.

CUPE, the union that represents school support staff, education assistants, administrative staff, custodians and bus drivers met on Wednesday, Jan. 11 to discuss the strike action, Capital News has learned.

Back on Sept. 23, 2022, CUPE announced a new Provincial Framework Agreement (PFA) that would last for three years, until June 30, 2025 and increase general wages every year.

In the agreement, provincial government funding is also included to address local bargaining issues from district to district, based on full-time student enrollment. During the local bargaining, the districts and K-12 locals negotiate how to use those funds, but it cannot go towards the general wage increase.

For 2022/23, the money allocated to all school districts is $11.5 million, with minimum $40,000 to each district.

In the PFA, it states all local bargaining for 2023 needs to be completed and ratified by Jan. 25, 2023.

The three-year contract between CUPE and the school district expired in June 2022 and the two sides haven’t agreed on one item while discussing a new deal.

CUPE and the school district are scheduled to meet again on Thursday. If there’s no agreement, CUPE will hold their strike vote on Saturday.

READ MORE: Central Okanagan trustees preserve public input at board meetings