Human Resource Services Framework

Management of human resources in the K-12 sector is a shared effort, between the employers’ association and school districts.

BCPSEA focuses on human resource solutions in practice. Strategic labour relations advice/resources, collective bargaining, and dispute resolution support are the largest components of BCPSEA’s “core business.” Our mandate and service areas also include:

  • exempt staff human resource management with emphasis on terms and conditions of employment and sectoral compensation administration
  • strategies to address emerging labour market trends and demands through a focus on leading and participating in initiatives designed to support the maintenance of a sustainable, qualified workforce
  • pension and benefits administration
  • coordination of a variety of shared services initiatives in partnership with the provincial government and school districts.

In response to the growing and ever-changing complexity of public sector human resource management and the need for timely and accurate information for decision making, our service areas are supported by research and technology infrastructure.

BCPSEA also leads a number of joint ventures and partnerships with a view to continuously improving the practice and delivery of human resource management/leadership in the K-12 public education sector.

Collective Bargaining


The Public Education Labour Relations Act (PELRA) establishes the BC Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) as the certified bargaining agent for the province’s public school teachers and the BC Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) as the accredited bargaining agent for the province’s 60 public boards of education. While some matters are designated for negotiation at the local level, most matters — including all cost items — are bargained by the BCTF and BCPSEA at the provincial level.

Support Staff

The BCPSEA constitution and bylaws establish a “delegated authority” model for support staff collective bargaining. BCPSEA, the bargaining agent for the province’s 60 public boards of education, delegates its bargaining authority through its bylaws to individual boards of education or groups of boards. Boards bargain directly with their respective union locals. The reference to “groups of boards” was designed to permit regional groupings of boards for bargaining purposes, such as the Okanagan Labour Relations Council. The role of BCPSEA under this model is to provide assistance to boards in concluding collective agreements. This includes providing research, legal advice, coordination and, where requested, becoming involved directly in negotiations or dispute resolution.

A process of provincial discussions with representatives of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and representatives of the other support staff unions in the K-12 public education sector (the K-12 Presidents Council), put in place in 2006, has proved to be a productive model, resulting in a series of Provincial Framework Agreements. The purpose of these discussions is to develop an agreement in principle on key matters, including compensation, that can then form part of any memorandum of settlement at the local school district–local union level.

It should also be noted that following school district ratification, all school district collective agreements require ratification by the BCPSEA Board of Directors.

Labour Relations

BCPSEA provides advice and assistance to school district staff on collective agreement administration and interpretation, dispute management and resolution, and labour relations strategies. BCPSEA also manages and funds arbitrations considered to have provincial implications.

Exempt Staff

BCPSEA provides advice and assistance on a wide range of exempt staff employment matters, including compensation administration under the statutory system in place in the K-12 public education sector, employment contracts, termination of employment, performance management, interpretation and application of government compensation guidelines/mandates, and public sector reporting requirements including the executive compensation disclosure reports under the Public Sector Employers Act. We assist school districts in developing, implementing and maintaining credible and defensible terms and conditions of employment, including compensation plans for exempt staff — superintendents, secretary-treasurers, principals, vice-principals, and other exempt staff.

Benefits Administration

Sectoral Benefits Buying Group

The Sectoral Benefits Buying Group is a BCPSEA initiative with the objective of optimizing benefit (dental, extended health, life insurance, and accidental death and dismemberment) costs by combining the purchasing power of school districts and local accountability for benefits usage.

The Benefits Buying Group realizes annual savings to the sector of approximately $1.5 billion.

Public Education Benefits Trust (PEBT)

The Public Education Benefits Trust is a jointly trusteed plan between BCPSEA and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). The PEBT is charged with three key functions:

  1. Implement and administer a long term disability (LTD) plan
  2. Implement and administer an early return to work program
  3. Implement and administer a program for districts to purchase their dental, extended health, life insurance and accidental death and dismemberment insurance.

The PEBT implemented the Core LTD plan on March 1, 2003. The PEBT also implemented the “Other LTD” plan at the same time, which allows districts and unions to top up the Core LTD benefit to replicate provisions in previously existing local LTD plans.

Specialized Services


Make a Future is a recruitment initiative created by the BC Public School Employers’ Association as a joint venture among BC’s 60 public boards of education, the First Nations Education Steering Committee, and the Ministry of Education. The Makeafuture.ca website launched on April 28, 2008 as the official job board for BC public schools, independent schools, First Nations schools, and BC-certified offshore schools.

Make a Future – Careers in BC Education is the education recruitment, selection, and retention practice leader, providing and promoting high quality, innovative, cost-effective, and timely support to the education sector to facilitate the creation, maintenance, and development of a qualified sustainable workforce.

oncore logo

Solutions at work through learning: Our goal is to foster human resource excellence by developing and delivering innovative, accessible, high quality learning opportunities that build the capabilities and organizational impact of practitioners. Focused on continuous improvement, each ONCORE program is developed with subject matter experts and adult education specialists. Tested through a focus group representing a variety of positions throughout the province, program curriculum, content, and delivery methods are refined to optimize learning.

edas logo

The Employment Data Analysis System (EDAS) is a common data collection system between BCPSEA, the Ministry of Education, and school districts to collect, share, and use employment data from districts’ HRIS and payroll systems.

EDAS enables a data-driven approach to developing and managing labour relations and human resource initiatives in the public education sector, including collective bargaining, workforce planning, and the reconciliation and streamlining of school district data collection requirements.

better health logo

The Attendance Support & Wellness Initiative established a model attendance support and wellness program to assist school districts with development and adaptation of a program to meet their individual needs. The objective is to foster a workplace culture where wellness supports are structurally established, employee engagement at work is maximized, and employee attendance is a regular and expected part of school district operations.