Langley School District has budgeted to pay for negotiated wage increases for its support staff, says board of education chair Wendy Johnson.
“We had directed our secretary-treasurer to create a savings plan to find the money within our budget,” said Johnson. “We paid off our deficit in June so we don’t have a lot of money but we have enough.”
She stressed that the money used to pay for the wage increases will not impact classrooms.
“But our savings plan we are proposing still needs to be approved by the Ministry of Education,” said Johnson.
“Ideally government should pay for wage increases but we are given this framework,” she added.
A tentative two-year contract has been reached between the BC Public School Employers’ Association and CUPE BC, effectively halting a strike of 33,000 unionized public school staff in the province.
On Tuesday, teachers had been told (by CUPE members) to expect a strike as early as Monday.
CUPE BC represents 27,000 of the set-to-strike workers. The new deal provides union members a 3.5 per cent wage increase over the two years of the contract —one per cent on July 1, 2013 (retroactive), two per cent on Feb. 1, 2014, and 0.5 per cent on May 1, 2014.
The deal, which would begin on July 1, 2012, is set to expire on June 30, 2014. Both sides have yet to ratify the deal.