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Mission school support workers ratify new contract

Support workers in the Mission school district have a new five-year contract.

CUPE local 593 members voted 91 per cent in favour of the new agreement last Thursday.

"Our members are pleased that we have an agreement in place … and it's government funded," said CUPE local 593 president George Forsythe, explaining the wage increases will not be taken out of the local school board budget, like the previous one.

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, were negotiated locally.

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

"There was very little change," said Forsythe, noting the wage increase was in line with other public sector unions.

About 25 per cent of members participated in the vote, which Forsythe said was a good turnout. There are 440 CUPE employees 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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