British Columbia

School's still out in Saanich as negotiations fail in support staff strike

Talks have broken down between school support workers in Saanich and their employers at the Vancouver Island school district.

School board 'extremely disappointed' that no deal has been reached with union

CUPE Local 441 members began striking in the Saanich School District last week. (Kathryn Marlow/CBC)

Talks have broken down between school support workers in Saanich and their employers at the Vancouver Island school district.

In a press release Wednesday, school board vice chair Elsie McMurphy said job action will continue after the most recent round of negotiations with CUPE Local 441 failed to yield a settlement.

"As a board, we are extremely disappointed that we could not come to an agreement," McMurphy said.

"It is unfortunate that the union chose to walk away from the table as we were making progress and finding common ground in a number of areas."  

Educational assistants, custodians, bus drivers and other support staff represented by the union started picketing at Saanich schools last week.

Teachers have refused to cross the picket lines, which means classes have been cancelled for more than 7,000 students.

The main issue is wages — support staff in the district are paid less than their colleagues in Greater Victoria and Sooke.

The school board says it tabled increases in the range of 7.07 to 12.8 per cent in the recent, failed round of negotiations.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.