Parents, students and teachers from School District 63 joined CUPE members on the picket line outside Sidney Elementary on Friday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

SD63 schools to remain closed as strike continues Tuesday

CUPE Local 441 and SD63 have yet to reach an agreement at the bargaining table

An update on the School District 63 (SD63) website heralds the third consecutive week of cancelled classes, as all Saanich School District schools remain closed for instruction on Tuesday, Nov. 12.

The Saanich School District, the Board of Education and CUPE Local 441 resumed negotiations on Friday, Nov. 1, but talks broke down five days later on Tuesday and no agreement has been reached as of yet.

Parents, students and teachers joined CUPE picketers on Friday Nov. 8 to show their support for the union and it’s membership of Educational Assistants.

READ MORE: Saanich parents, students, and teachers joined CUPE members on the picket line on Friday

Pay disparities between school support staff in SD63 and support staff from other local school districts remain at the heart of this strike. The union has said the provincial government needs to step in to level the playing field. The provincial government has said that isn’t possible under the provincial bargaining agreement signed by the union, school districts and the province.

CUPE 441 members said recruitment and retention of school support staff is difficult because support staff can earn more in neighboring school districts. They say the consequences are passed on to the students in these schools with support staff shortages.

READ MORE: Saanich teachers honour CUPE picket line while BCTF negotiates for new teacher contract

For the latest updates, keep an eye on School District 63’s website at sd63.bc.ca.

sophie.heizer@saanichnews.com


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