Over a hundred parents and families in the Saanich school district community are walking the picket lines in support of striking school staff this morning.
The goal of the rally, which started at 9 a.m. on Friday November 8th, is to ensure fair wages for support staff in keeping with CUPE 441’s demands for comparable pay to their counterparts in Victoria and Sooke.
Their other goal is to get students back in school as soon as possible, after a whole two weeks of strikes keeping them out of class.
“We feel that we must take a stand and have no choice but to rally together to put pressure on, to try and help in coming to settlement and end this strike,” said the organizers.
The rally consists of two parts: from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., families will be walking the picket lines at Brentwood Bay Elementary School. After that, they will relocate to Sidney Elementary School from 12:15 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.
Organizers of the rally have also created a petition to the government of BC, the Ministry of Education, and School District 63 to work outside the wage mandate, and provide wage parity for workers in Saanich schools.
As of the time of publication, the petition has garnered over 1,300 signatures and has a goal of reaching 1,500.
Bargaining talks between the employer and CUPE 441 broke down late Tuesday night after three days of the latest round of negotiations.
“I am disappointed that we did not reach an agreement that the bargaining committee felt they could recommend to members,” said CUPE 441 President Dean Coates in a statement at the time.
“Our efforts to be creative and move toward the employer’s position were not reciprocated and the employer would not add any additional funding.”
CUPE 441 commenced strike action on Monday, October 28th, to demand comparable pay to their counterparts in Victoria and Sooke, who have received higher wages for decades.
Picket lines have remained active for two consecutive weeks with no end in sight. Parents are encouraged to check the school district website regularly for updates.
- When: Friday, November 8th
9:00 a.m. -11:30 a.m.
12:15 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
- Where: Brentwood Bay Elementary School, 7085 Wallace Drive
Sidney Elementary School, 2281 Henry Ave