Staff and students of School District 8 will not have to face picket lines now that a new collective agreement has been ratified between the district and its support staff.
The district and CUPE 748 ratified the agreement, ending a month of mediation. Vote totals were not disclosed.
Superintendent Trish Smillie said in a media release she is grateful this process is behind them and now they can get back to business as usual.
“This agreement allows us to get back to creating, and supporting the best learning opportunities we can for every student,” she says.
Smillie says the process took time but they were able to reach an agreement on the key issues brought forward.
“Both parties reached a mutual agreement on targeted wage increases, improved union membership benefits, and some advantageous cultural leave for indigenous employees,” she says. “The agreement has also been updated to be more inclusive in its use of language to be more gender inclusive.”
CUPE local 748 president Michelle Bennett agreed with Smillie’s statement and says ratifying this agreement is a breath of fresh air.
“The bargaining committee worked hard to advocate for improvements to the rights, and benefits of our members,” she says. “There were challenges, but in the end we were able to come together and build the best learning environment for students.”
The renewed agreement is effective until June 30, 2025.
The union’s deadline to finalize ratification was March 15.
Mediation for a new collective agreement took place after union workers voted 98 percent in favor of a strike earlier this year.