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Negotiations Committee

Jackie's June 21, 2012 Letter to Julie MacRae

June 21, 2012

Ms. Julie MacRae
Director of Education
Regina Public School Division

Dear Ms. MacRae:

I am once again writing on behalf of the members of CUPE local 3766 who as you know represent Educational Assistants, Developmental Classroom Assistants, Structured Learning Classroom Assistants and Teacher Associates as well as others in the Regina Public School Division. While I did not specifically ask for a response to my letter to you of May 14, 2012, I would have expected that you would have at least acknowledged receiving it.

Our members have recently ratified their collective agreement by a percentage of only 62%. The fact that it was actually rectified in favour was a result of almost two years of being without a collective agreement, and in support of their bargaining committee who put in front of them the Board's best offer. It was not in fact an overwhelming show of support for the way they feel they have been treated as employees and this was reflected in the mood and discussion at the ratification meeting.

We believe that the Regina Public school division needs to show its commitment to its Shared Values by working to repair the fractured relationship it has created with its employees. To that end, I would ask that you meet with a small delegation of Educational Assistants from our local to discuss our concerns and to explore ways that we can improve our working relationship for the benefit of your employees (our members) and most importantly for the benefit of the children we all serve.

You can contact me at jackiechristianson@myaccess.ca


Jackie Christianson, President, CUPE local 3766

C:Katherine Gagne, Chairperson Regina Public School Board
Angela Fraser, Vice Chairperson Regina Public School Board
Dale West, Trustee Regina Public School Board
Dr. Barbara Young, Trustee Regina Public School Board
Carla Beck, Trustee Regina Public School Board
Cindy Anderson, Trustee Regina Public School Board
Tim Stobbs, Trustee Regina Public School BoardEducation Support Workers Reach Agreement With Regina Public School Board


REGINA: CUPE 650, 3766, and 4643 members have reached a 32-month contract agreement with the Regina Public School Board. The last ratification vote was held on June 14 with members in all three locals voting to ratify the agreement. Regina Public School Board members ratified the agreement June 19.

We're pleased to have reached an agreement, but hope that next time, the Board will treat education support workers with the same respect they give to other workers in the School Division, says Pete Prosofsky, president of CUPE 650.

Prosofsky is referring to the lower percentage increase the Board offered education support workers compared to other Regina education workers.

Although the three locals were able to achieve the 8.63 per cent increase, some of the increase was gained through non-economic means, like reduced hours of work.

The contract includes a 6 per cent increase over three years, reduced hours of work, and a signing bonus. All three locals saw some improvements to language. The contract will be in effect until August 31, 2013.

Our members were not treated with the same respect as other workers, says Jackie Christianson, president of CUPE 3766. We provide valuable services and care about the children in Regina's public school system. We're an important part of the education system and I hope the Board recognizes that.

Education support workers represented by CUPE Locals 4643, 3766 and 650 include education and resource and administrative assistants, maintenance and trades, payroll and accounting officers.


As promised at our ratification vote today, the results are.....62% in favour of accepting the tentative agreement.


President Jackie's May 15, 2012 Letter to Julie MacRae

May 15, 2012

Ms Julie MacRae
Director of Education
Regina Public School Division

Dear Ms MacRae:

I am writing on behalf of the members of CUPE local 3766 who as you know represent Educational Assistants, Developmental Classroom Assistants and Structured Learning Classroom Assistants as well as others in the Regina Public School Division. I, along with many of my members, attended the Annual General Meeting of the Regina Public Board on May 8th and was in attendance at the meeting when you were questioned by a member of the public about the reduction of educational assistants in RBE. I have to say how shocked and disappointed I was to hear you defend the reduction of EAs in the classroom by stating that the school division had been putting our most challenged children with our least prepared staff
You justified the reduction of educational assistants in favour of increased professional staff yet it is the educational assistants who are still in the classroom every day. To suggest that they are the least prepared does an injustice not only to your employees, but also and more importantly, to the children who rely on the educational assistants for support on a daily basis.

At the bargaining table with local 3766, the employer's representatives proposed that the number of working days be revised by converting three working days per school year to unassigned, unpaid days, while maintaining the same annual salary. When questioned by the union where these days would come from, it was explained that they would be taken from the existing twelve professional development days and that the remaining nine days would be more than sufficient. If you believe that the educational assistants in the division are the least prepared then certainly the Board bears a responsibility to see that this is rectified not by proposing that the number of professional development days available to them be further reduced.

Many of our members hold certificates from SIAST, other diplomas and even university degrees in the education and human science fields. Our members, your employees, take pride in their work and ensure that the students with whom they work get the best support possible each and every day.

The fact remains that our EAs feel that they have been targeted as a classification that is expendable and with an employer who sees no value in their work. In closing, I would like to remind the Board of their mission statement, specifically, I belong, I respect. I would hope that in future the board strives to ensure that all their employees feel included and valued for the work they do.


Jackie Christianson, President, CUPE local 3766

C: Paula Hesselink, Superintendent of Human Resources and Workplace Diversity
Regina Public School Board Trustees


April 16, 2012

To: All Local 650, 3766, and 4643 Members
RE: Strike Q & A Fact Sheet

Our contract agreements expired on December 31, 2010 and your bargaining teams have been at the bargaining table since the spring of 2011.

We have been talking with our members about the next steps for us to get a fair and equitable collective agreement. In doing so, there have been questions and concerns raised about what a strike is and what it means to our members.

Attached is a brief Q & A Fact Sheet about what a strike is, how we go about holding a strike vote, how a strike may affect members, etc.

Please read the attached Fact Sheet to answer any questions you may have about a strike and don't hesitate to contact your local's bargaining committee if you have any further questions or concerns.

This is not to say that we are taking a strike vote or going on strike... it is just information for the members about the process to answer any questions that may be out there.
In Solidarity,

Jackie Christianson Paula Branscombe Pete Prosofsky
President, CUPE 3766 President, CUPE 4643 President, CUPE 650
(cell: 550-7227) (cell: 537-4431) (cell: 536-2555)


In the Event of a Strike or Lock-out

What is a strike?

A strike is any form of job action that is taken following a strike mandate. It includes, but is not limited to, full scale walkouts, rotating strikes, refusal of overtime, information pickets, study sessions, work to rule campaigns, or any ``concerted activity`` that is intended to disrupt the employer`s operations.

How is a strike mandate achieved?

A strike mandate is obtained when a majority of members voting by secret ballot approve such action after proper notice of the vote has been given. The ballot question will ask members if they support giving their bargaining committee the authority to initiate job action, up to and including a full strike.

When can union members go on strike?

If the membership endorses job action, the union is required by The Trade Union Act to provide 48 hours written notice to the employer and the Minster of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety prior to commencing strike action. The union is also prohibited from commencing job action if it has any issues pending before the Labour Relations Board.

Would written notice of strike action occur immediately after a successful strike vote?

Not necessarily. The union would likely try to resume negotiations with the employer or request the assistance of a conciliator. In addition, a local that receives a strike mandate from its membership can receive financial assistance for a strike averting campaign, whereby CUPE National provides 100 percent of the funding for a public campaign to help the local achieve its bargaining objectives without a strike.

What do I receive for pay if we go on strike?

Beginning on the 10th calendar day of the strike, CUPE National provides strike pay of $40.00 per day to a maximum of $200.00 per week for at least 20 hours of picketing or other assigned duties per calendar week. In addition, a member who has been on strike for ten days or more shall receive an additional $80.00, to be paid upon termination of the strike. There may be an option for additional assistance from your local's Defence Fund.

Can the employer lock us out?

If a CUPE Local receives a strike mandate from its membership, the employer can lock out employees after issuing 48 hours notice, provided there are no issues pending at the Labour Relations Board.

What happens if the Employer locks us out?

Strike pay is the same in a lock-out situation as it is in a strike.

What happens to my benefits?

Insurance premiums (group life, extended health, etc.) for members entitled to strike pay will be covered by the CUPE National Strike Fund for the whole period of the strike. If the employer refuses to continue to pay its share of the premiums then the Strike Fund will pay the full premiums.

What happens if I am on maternity leave?

You will continue to receive your benefits from Employment Insurance. If you prefer, you may cancel your EI benefits, sign up for picket duty and collect strike pay. But you cannot collect both EI and strike pay.

What if I am on WCB, EI or LTD?

If a member is on a leave when the strike commences (sick leave, vacation leave, workers’ compensation leave, long-term disability leave or other approved leave), the leave continues for its duration. Although the collective agreement is no longer in effect, the employer cannot unilaterally make changes and must negotiate any changes with the union.

What happens to my holidays?

All vacation is cancelled during the strike. When the strike is over, your remaining vacation will be credited to you and rescheduled. Individual situations where vacations were pre-scheduled can be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

If we were to go on strike just prior to the normal pay period can the employer withhold my pay cheque?

No, employees must be paid their earnings up to the date the strike commences on their next normal pay day in accordance with the Labour Standards Act.

What about my mortgage, rent, credit cards, loans, etc.?

Most financial institutions will help striking employees put together a plan to deal with their individual situation should strike action occur. Many financial institutions will allow you to reduce payments or pay only interest charges during a strike.

How long could a strike last?

As long as it takes to obtain a fair and equitable collective agreement.

CUPE Local 3766
updated: May 28, 2012

Your negotiating team members are: Jackie Christianson jackiechristianson@myaccess.ca , Cody Swan, Peter Husli, and Tamara Bailey .


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