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Cowichan needs to find money for CUPE raises
Getting down to the dollars and cents is the next step in the agreement reached between the Canadian Union of Public Employees and the B.C. Public Schools Employers' Association on a new contract.
"We're actually going to be negotiating in the beginning of November.'' said president Rob Zver of CUPE Local 606 that represents workers in the Nanaimo and Cowichan districts.
"That will give us an understanding how it will look from the local perspective.''
Zver said bargaining with local boards will take place at the end of October in Nanaimo and Nov. 5 and 6 in Cowichan.
With the provincial government declining to increase budgets to cover wage worker raises, it's up to the local boards to find the necessary funding.
The CUPE agreement calls for wage increases of 3.5% over two years, with 1% retroactive to July 1, another 2% due on Feb. 1, 2014 and 0.5% on May 1, 2014. The agreement expires next June when it'll be back to square one.
Zver said he expects the first year won't be a problem for Cowichan School District 79 with a small surplus realized at the end of last year.
"There seems to be just enough to cover for this year. Next year will be a different story depending on how the government funds. The full impact goes in for next year.''
The United Steelworkers are part of the same package as the other support union in the district.
CUPE positions in the district number around 298 plus 171 casual employees within SD 79. The USW has 120 positions plus 30 casuals.
Bargaining must conclude by Dec. 20 for the agreement to take effect.