Support Staff Collective Bargaining

2022 Provincial Framework Agreement Collective Bargaining

For support staff collective bargaining, boards of education bargain directly with their union locals at the school district level. To support local negotiations, the K-12 Presidents' Council and Support Staff Unions bargains with BCPSEA at the provincial level to develop a Provincial Framework Agreement. This agreement in principle deals with key province-wide matters, including compensation. The Provincial Framework Agreement traditionally forms part of the memoranda of settlement negotiated at the school district level.

September 23, 2022

The full Provincial Framework Agreement July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2025 is available on our Support Staff Collective Agreements webpage.

The Provincial Framework Agreement (PFA) for support staff collective bargaining in BC’s public education system has been approved by both parties. This now means that local school district bargaining can begin. Following 12 days of collaborative negotiations, a tentative agreement was reached on September 15, 2022. Both the BC Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) Board of Directors and the CUPE K-12 Presidents’ Council have now approved the tentative agreement.

“We recognize the important work that unionized support staff perform for students and our communities not only every day, but also their effort and dedication to their roles throughout the pandemic response. We are pleased to have negotiated a Provincial Framework Agreement that will continue supporting students and employees in the public education sector,” said Leanne Bowes, Executive Director, Labour Relations (Collective Bargaining), with BCPSEA.

In Kindergarten to Grade 12 public education in BC there are approximately 40,000 unionized support staff working in 60 school districts. These employees work in roles such as education assistants, Indigenous support workers, administrative assistants, information technology, custodial and facilities, maintenance, trades, and transportation staff. Throughout the province, unionized support staff are represented by 69 collective agreements (57 CUPE and 12 other support staff unions).

For support staff collective bargaining, once a PFA is approved, boards of education then bargain directly with their union locals at the school district level. To support local negotiations, the CUPE K-12 Presidents' Council and Support Staff Unions (consisting of support staff union representatives) bargains with BCPSEA at the provincial level to develop the PFA. This agreement in principle deals with key province-wide matters (including compensation). The PFA traditionally forms part of the memoranda of settlement negotiated at the school district level.

“The Provincial Framework Agreement model has been a highly successful model that enables consistency and equity in areas such as wage increases and other compensation or cost matters. During the 2019-2022 round of bargaining, 68 of the 69 collective agreements incorporated the Provincial Framework. So – while voluntary – almost all the local unions and school districts typically adopt the Framework,” said Bowes.

With the renewed provincial agreement now in place, each of the 69 local agreements can now include the PFA as part of their local table negotiations and ratifications. Local negotiations are now underway. It is anticipated that local negotiations will be completed by early January 2023, with ratifications following shortly after.

Provincial Framework Agreement highlights:

For the 2022 bargaining cycle, bargaining to create the PFA took place over 12 days. Agreement was reached on September 15, 2022.

Highlights of the agreement include:

  • Three-year term from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2025.
  • General wage increases as follows:
    • July 1, 2022: $0.25 per hour wage increase plus an additional 3.24%
    • July 1, 2023: 5.5% and up to 1.25% COLA adjustment
    • July 1, 2024: 2.0% and up to 1.0% COLA adjustment
  • A total of $43.1 million of funding has been allocated to the local bargaining tables, which can be used to address district/local bargaining priorities.
  • A total of $1,050,000 of ongoing annual funding commencing July 1, 2024 allocated for professional learning opportunities for support staff through the Support Staff Education Committee, including educational opportunities to enhance Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples and educational opportunities to support equity, diversity, inclusion and cultural safety.
  • Maintaining the Provincial Labour Management Committee, which discusses and problem solves issues of mutual provincial interest, including workplace health and safety.
  • An acknowledgement of the importance of violence prevention in the workplace.
  • Establishment of a Provincial Joint Health and Safety Taskforce.
  • Continuation of the Provincial Joint Job Evaluation Steering Committee, whose purpose is to implement and maintain a standardized method of measuring and classifying support staff jobs in BC school districts.
  • Maintenance of annual funding provided by the Ministry of Education and Child Care for the Public Education Benefits Trust, which provides benefits for support staff. In addition, one-time funding of $1 million for addiction treatment support programs.
  • $3 million in annual funding and the creation of a committee to determine enhancements to the Standardized Extended Health Plan, including dental coverage and counselling.
  • Commitment to participate in any Ministry of Education and Child Care discussions regarding standardized credentials for Education Assistants.

September 16, 2022

The BC Public School Employers’ Association and the CUPE K-12 Presidents’ Council and Support Staff Unions have reached a tentative Provincial Framework Agreement under the Shared Recovery Mandate.

The parties have been bargaining since February 2022 and tentative agreement was reached on September 15, 2022. Details will be made available once both parties have reviewed the tentative agreement with their members.

This tentative agreement sets the stage for local school district bargaining to begin. For support staff collective bargaining, boards of education bargain directly with their union locals at the school district level. To support local negotiations, the CUPE K-12 Presidents' Council and Support Staff Unions bargains with BCPSEA at the provincial level to develop the Provincial Framework Agreement. This agreement in principle deals with key province-wide matters, including compensation, and traditionally forms part of the memoranda of settlement negotiated at the school district level.

In Kindergarten to Grade 12 public education in BC there are approximately 40,000 unionized support staff. These employees work in roles such as education assistants, Indigenous support workers, administrative assistants, information technology, custodial and facilities, maintenance, trades, and transportation staff.

June 30, 2022

BCPSEA and the K-12 Presidents’ Council and Support Staff Unions held nine bargaining sessions this spring. While the collective agreement expires today, June 30, 2022, the parties are committed to continue bargaining. Bargaining for a Provincial Framework Agreement (PFA) is scheduled to resume on September 13, 14 and 15.

Throughout the negotiations this spring, productive discussions were had on many important topics. We look forward to continuing the discussions in the new school year.

April 22, 2022

Bargaining for a Provincial Framework Agreement (PFA) resumed in early April after a few weeks pause over spring break. The most recent bargaining session was held on Monday, April 4, 2022. This was the ninth (9th) bargaining session and respectful dialogue continued. However, the parties have yet to reach agreement and, thus, provincial level bargaining is on hold for now.

While provincial bargaining for the voluntary PFA is stalled for now, school districts are beginning with their preparations for local collective bargaining, including finalizing bargaining plans and setting bargaining dates. In K-12 public education, support staff unions are certified locally at the school district level for the formal negotiation of their collective bargaining agreements; thus, there is always local support staff bargaining. This is regular process.

BCPSEA would like to share our appreciation to all those involved in PFA discussions – both the K-12 Presidents’ Council and Support Staff Unions team and the BCPSEA team. The parties have negotiated collegially on a variety of important topics. We will continue to work at the provincial level over the coming weeks regarding continuation of PFA negotiations.

March 10, 2022

Following eight days of bargaining for a renewed Provincial Framework Agreement for support staff in K-12 public education, the parties have determined that it would be beneficial to pause bargaining for the time being.

The parties negotiated respectfully on a variety of important topics.

BCPSEA recognizes the important work that unionized support staff perform for students and our communities not only every day, but also their effort and dedication to their roles throughout the pandemic response. We appreciate the good working relationship we have with the K-12 Presidents’ Council and Support Staff Unions.

February 23, 2022

BCPSEA and the K-12 Presidents’ Council and Support Staff Unions met three times last week on February 15, 16 and 17, 2022. Productive conversations continued on many topics. Tentative agreements were reached on several issues.

There are three more days scheduled for bargaining of the Provincial Framework Agreement: March 1, 2 and 3, 2022. At these sessions we will continue the cooperative negotiations of the first six bargaining sessions.

For further information about 2022 collective bargaining in the K-12 sector please see Collective Bargaining 2022 - Backgrounder - Process and Timeline.

February 15, 2022

Last week marked the first three days of Provincial Framework Agreement (PFA) discussions. BCPSEA and the K-12 Presidents’ Council and Support Staff Unions met on February 8, 9 and 10, 2022. We had productive and cooperative conversations on a variety of issues.

Three days of bargaining are scheduled for this week – February 15, 16, and 17, 2022. We look forward to the continued collaborative negotiations.

January 26, 2022

BCPSEA and the K-12 Presidents’ Council and Support Staff Unions have set nine (9) days to conduct the Provincial Framework Agreement (PFA) discussions. The PFA sets the General Wage Increases and other compensation issues, and addresses provincial initiatives, such as the Support Staff Education Committee, the Job Evaluation Committee, and a standardized Extended Health Benefits plan.

Bargaining dates are: February 8-10, February 15-17, and March 1-3.

Once a PFA is successfully concluded, the PFA will then need to be adopted at each local support staff table as part of local bargaining.