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Mission school support workers reach tentative deal

School support workers in Mission will be voting on a new contract this week.

CUPE local 593's bargaining committee reached a tentative agreement with the Mission Public Schools  after three days of talks. The framework for the new contract, including length and wages, had already been dealt with on the provincial level in June, but most non-monetary items, such as hours of work, still had to be negotiated locally.

The Presidents' Council, which bargained for CUPE at the provincial table, and the BC Public School Employers' Association (BCPSEA) reached a tentative framework agreement totalling a 5.5 per cent wage increase over five years.

Details of the local contract will not be released until members have ratified the agreement on July 17, said CUPE local 593 president George Forsythe.

"We just ratified our last two-year contract November 2013," said Forsythe. "A lot had already been dealt with when we went back to bargaining this time."

"We're very pleased with the way bargaining went," said Mission Public Schools board of trustees chair Edie Heinrichs. "Both sides worked hard to reach an agreement."

The local contract also has to be approved by BCPSEA.

There are more than 440 CUPE members in the Mission school district. Members include bus drivers, custodians, secretaries, education assistants, youth care workers, and noon hour supervision assistance.

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