Abbotsford – The Abbotsford School District made a social media announcement late Friday afternoon with an update on Collective Bargaining. On Thursday, some 800 support staff voted 95 per cent in favour of a strike. The last officer from the Abby School District was overwhelming rejected in September (93% in favour of job action).
Wages are an issue. Staff claim they are well being other districts (up to $5 a hour) and sick days are also a sticking point.
The employees have been without a contract since June 30, when the previous five-year collective agreement expired.
Obviously negotiations have made parents nervous:
The Abbotsford School District and Teamsters Local 31 are scheduled to meet with a mediator on October 31. The district remains optimistic that with the mediator’s assistance we can conclude a collective agreement that is satisfactory for both parties. We remain optimistic about a negotiated solution. All Abbotsford schools will be open unless formal notification comes from the district.
What does job action mean?
Job action is a refusal of work, a slow-down or other concerted activity on the part of union employees designed to restrict or limit what they do. Job action is any action or activity by workers that is designed or expected to have the effect of curtailing, limiting, or interfering with: the normal activities of the board or its employees; the operation or functioning of schools or programs; and the performance of education workers.
How might this affect my child?
If notice of job action is served, Abbotsford School District staff will review the job action from the employee bargaining committee to determine the impact on learning, as well as school and work site operations.
If we determine that school operations will be dramatically affected, and that student safety will be compromised, regular school instruction and/or extracurricular programs may need to be postponed.
How will we know schools are closed due to job action?
Employee bargaining units must give written 72-hour notice of job action (such as a strike), indicating the date that the job action is set to begin. If such notice is provided, parents and students will be alerted immediately after we assess our ability to continue instruction safely. We will alert parents through SchoolMessenger, district/school websites, and social media (@AbbotsfordSD) channels.
Visit the BCPSEA website for the latest updates on teacher collective bargaining and support staff bargaining.