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Wage increase shouldn't affect school programs

School programming is not expected to suffer as a result of increased wages for school support workers.
September 23, 2013 - 8:24 PM

KAMLOOPS – The final costs are still to be seen as both School District 73 and the CUPE Local 3500 arrange a time to talk collective agreement.

School district superintendent Terry Sullivan says they have always been supportive of school support staff getting a wage increase and he's glad they can finally sit down and hammer out the details.

“Support staff deserve a wage increase and we want to see they will get it,” he says, noting they haven't received an increase for a few years already.

Peter Cameron, the lead negotiator for the province, and the CUPE Local Presidents Council came to an agreement last Thursday on the framework for which all CUPE Locals and school districts must use for bargaining. The framework sets a 3.5 per cent wage increase over two years and outlines several other areas that need to be addressed such as sick leave.

The school district and the local union, which represents about 700 school support workers, had a good relationship prior to the framework being in place and now members from both sides need to sit down and negotiate within that framework, Sullivan says.

Any bargaining must be completed by Dec. 20 and cannot be to the detriment of any core services, Sullivan points out, though he doesn't expect there to be any chance of that occurring based on the strong financial position the district is in.

“We can't fund this wage increase through affecting core services in a negative way,” he says. “We've always been confident we could meet the cooperative gains mainframe this year.”

To contact a reporter for this story, email jstahn@infotelnews.ca, call (250)819-3723 or tweet @JennStahn.

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