A tentative settlement between School District 8 (Kootenay Lake) and CUPE Local 748 has been reached after a long mediation process.
“It was a very collaborative, positive process,” superintendent Trish Smillie said. “The school district is looking forward to working with CUPE to focus on excellence for all learners in a nurturing environment.”
The board has approved the deal, but union members need to have their say through a ratification vote.
According to the union’s website, both parties have agreed to recommend ratification to their respective members, and the tentative agreement would only become valid if a majority vote (50 per cent plus one) of the members elect to approve the memorandum of agreement.
According to the website, steps to achieve ratification may be complex, but the vote is fairly easy. Several meetings have been set up around the district so members can hear about the contract and review any documents which may accompany the tentative agreement.
Once a majority vote has been established in favor of revisions the collective agreement is adjusted accordingly.
Ratification vote meetings are scheduled from today through March 9, across the district
Mediation took place last month after union workers voted 98 per cent in favor of a strike.
CUPE president Michelle Bennett previously said they were looking at taking job action in order to ensure workers get the support they need.
“CUPE 748 members are proud of the work they do. Over 4,700 students, and their families, depend on the services we provide every day in our schools and communities,” Bennett said in a news release. “The school district is threatening these services by demanding concessions at the bargaining table. Members deserve better.”
According to the district, the deadline to finalize ratification is March 15.
The previous three-year contract expired at the end of June 2022.
Neither side has disclosed what key issues were being brought to the table.