Feature Story                                                                                              Saturday, September 21, 2013


Support Staff Reach Deal

Schools will have to cover costs of wage increases

Staff/Voice file photo


Superintendent Evelyn Novak and a shy student at Bernard Elementary School's Christmas dinner last year.


modest 3.5 per cent raise for Chilliwack School District 33 (SD33) support staff means the district is going to have to dig deep in order to cover the wage increase after the provincial government announced Wednesday that a two-year contract was agreed upon with the BC Public School Employers' Association. 


The deal still needs to be ratified by the 69 Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) bargaining units throughout BC.

Money to pay for the wage hikes will come from savings that schools have and from within their existing budgets.

Evelyn Novak, Superintendent of Schools for SD33, told the Voice in an e-mail Friday, there are 580 CUPE employees in her district and that their share of the cost will likely be almost three-quarters of a million dollars per year.

"Preliminary information would suggest Chilliwack SD will require approximately $700,0000 for the 3.5% wage increase." said Novak.

Although schools won't lose any key services, Novak indicated they will have to look at some kind of cost-cutting measures.

"Administration will attempt to bring forward some potential cost saving suggestions for the Board's consideration that will not directly impact Core Services to students," she said.

According to the government release, there are 33,000 support staff in BC.

The Chilliwack Teacher's Association was unavailable for comment.

Details on the agreement are available at: www.bcpsea.bc.ca


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