(SD 63 Saanich/Twitter)

After three weeks of closure, nearly 7,000 students in the Saanich School District will be back in their classrooms come Monday, November 18th.

CUPE 441, the union representing support staff workers in SD63, and the school board have signed a tentative agreement on the morning of Saturday November 16th.

A ratification meeting will be held by the union on Sunday to vote on this agreement. Picket lines will be taken down to allow students to go back to school in a show of good faith.

See also: Families of Saanich school district students rally in support of striking CUPE 441 staff

According to a statement from SD63, the agreement includes an offer of up to 12.8% wage increase over a three-year term for Educational Assistants.

However CUPE 441 will not be commenting on any further details pertaining to the agreement until after the ratification meeting has been held.

The 19 schools that have been closed for three weeks will soon be providing parents and guardians with pertinent information about date changes necessary as a result of the near month-long gap.

The school district has also issued an assurance that Grade 12 students will not lose their graduation year or any necessary credits towards post-secondary applications.

“This strike has been difficult and we are pleased to have an agreement that the bargaining committee is recommending to our membership for acceptance,” said CUPE 441 President Dean Coates.

“I’d like to thank our members, parents, teachers and the community for their support throughout, and the District for their commitment to Saanich schools and students.”

Support staff workers in the Saanich school district commenced striking on October 28th over wage disparity with their counterparts in Victoria and Saanich.

The tentative agreement will need to be ratified at the union vote on Sunday to be secured.