After three weeks of job action, the Saanich School District and CUPE Local 441 have reached a tentative settlement to end the support worker strike.
According to a statement from School District 63, schools will re-open on Monday.
“The Board is extremely pleased that we have reached a tentative settlement with CUPE 441, the union representing our valued support staff,” said Elsie McMurphy, Board of Education vice-chair in the statement. “CUPE has informed the Board that pickets will come down immediately so that schools can re-open on Monday, Nov. 18.”
CUPE Local 441 chose to take the unusual step to take down the picket lines before the deal is ratified in an effort to support the affected families, union president Dean Coates said.
The signed agreement will be presented to Saanich School District CUPE members on Sunday afternoon at the ratification meeting and they’ll have the opportunity to vote on it.
The bargaining committee is “proud to present this package to members” and are recommending a “yes vote,” Coates said.
According to the school district, the agreement includes a wage increase of up to 12.8 per cent over the three-year term for educational assistants. The statement said the agreement also includes wage increases for all support staff members in excess of the 6 per cent outlined in the Provincial Framework Agreement.
Parents and staff have been notified that the schools will reopen on Monday, superintendent of schools Dave Eberwein said.
“We are very pleased and excited,” Eberwein said.
Coates said the support from the Saanich Teachers’ Association, parents, students and other unions has meant a lot to the CUPE members and that everyone is looking forward to heading back to school.