CUPE Members Ready for New School Year
Prince George, B.C. – From custodians and settlement workers to clerical staff and education assistants, CUPE members are busy preparing for the new school year starting next week.
CUPE Local 3742 president Karen Wong says some of them, including custodians, went back on Monday.
“They had a one-month layoff so they worked July and not August. They were at work to prepare, clean, and get the floors ready to have everything ready for people to step into buildings next week.”
She says CUPE’s clerical staff also returned early.
“They were there preparing for new registrations and returning students. They also were preparing for teachers because of the scheduling and classroom assignments all go through the clerical staff.”
Wong acknowledges clerical staff will once again have to contend with MyEducation BC – the $95 million student information system brought in by the provincial government last year which created headaches and long hours for her members.
“Well it’s definitely not a user-friendly system and I guess the kinks have been learnt to work around to allow for extra time to get the processing done,” she says. “But the program is what it is and there’s really not been too much of an improvement in the program so things just work a little bit slower.”
Wong says the education assistants, youth care workers and the aboriginal education workers will start work next week.
“They start with the pro-d day on September 6th and they’ll be using that time to prepare for new students and the returning students,” she says. “We have strong-start facilitators who work with the Parent Participation Pre-School Program.”
Wong adds a new category of staff – settlement workers – are also at the ready.
“They work with newcomer students – our new arrival families in Prince George. They can be new arrivals from any country. So they settle both the families and the students into the education system in B.C.”
She says there are 850-900 CUPE members in the Prince George School District. Including staff in Prince George, Mackenzie, Valemount and McBride.
How refreshing! A union president with positive comments and members eager to work!
Just curious, but was the one month layoff a true layoff or was it just vacation?
It is a “true” layoff. Several years ago Custodial staff was cut from 12 month employment to 11 as a cost saving measure. Custodial staff’s remaining vacation time gets paid out at the end of July. If they don’t have 4 weeks remaining, they get no pay. This is especially hard on newer employees who are only entitled to 2 weeks vacation per year. With EI’s guidelines, it would be highly unlikely they would be eligible.
Custodial staff at 11 months, school clerical, Education Assistant’s, YCW, etc. are at 10 month employment. Some Clerical staff (if deemed necessary) are at 12 month employment. All Administrator’s, Business Managers and Maintenance staff are at 12 months.
nope, layoff unpaid for most, unless you can save your vacation time for the layoff, which means no vacation time the rest of the year.
I like the way the Lower Nicola school is addressing their hard costs and teaching their kids the route to the future . The story is at castanet .
Settlement workers have been in the school system and union for the last 10+ years..
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