These minutes can't be posted on the CUPE board at the schools or left out where anyone can see them.
This is posted to the EA section of the website.
The EA Unit meeting started at 3:45pm at McCloskey Elementary in room 146. 15 EAs attended the meeting and Patti Price, CUPE President also attended.
The first item on the agenda that we talked about was jobs. We discussed the layoff, bumping and staff cuts. 28 FTE EA positions are affected by the cuts. 1.0 FTE is equal to one 30 hour position. Not all EAs work 30 hours in a week. Most EAs work anywhere between 20 hours to 26 hours in an elementary school with a few working 30 hours. Most high school EAs work 30 hours a week. It works out to be approximately 62 layoffs. 23 FTE in cuts are due to the low enrollment, the number of students graduating and not staying for the extra year, and the number of students going from elementary to secondary schools. 5 FTE in cuts are due to changes in EA ratios per school as determined by Inclusive Learning. These changes cost approximately $1 million dollars in lost funding.
The trustees approved the budget that was put before them on the May 2nd. They also approved giving the Inclusive Learning Dept a one time infusion of $234,136 (only this year). This is to be used by the Inclusive Learning Dept to assist with the transition year ahead due to BCTF class size and composition changes. The amount is equivalent to the cost the 5 FTE that was cut due to ratio changes.
When the postings come out, there will probably be approx 20 postings available that we are aware of. Not many at all. There might be close to 40 people without a job after the bumping and posting process is completed. The bumping process should be completed and results known by May 26. There will be options given to those who may not have a position at the end of June. There could be Recall and Severance options given to EAs. This will be determined by their amount of seniority at the time of layoff. Employees with seniority who choose to be placed on Recall can have their name placed on the call out list with their seniority date intact. These employees can opt to maintain their benefit coverage by paying the full cost of premiums for up to one year from the date of layoff. Those who do not obtain a continuing position by the end of their Recall period will lose their regular status and have their seniority converted back to service credits. They will then become a casual employee again. More information can be found in the CA under Articles 12:04; 12:05; 12:06: 12:07 & 12:08 – Recall. If an employee chooses Severance this means that they resign or “sever” their employment with the District.
We discussed a rumour that is going around about the District trying to move toward a system where all EAs are on one pay scale. The way we are paid is part of our collective agreement so nothing can be done until our next collective agreement bargaining occurs in 2019. The District would like to have EA's apply to a position at a school and have the Principal have the option to move them around where they are needed within the school. Currently this can't happen since our CA language says you post into a school with a certain amount of hours AND you post into a particular program. The district determines what the qualifications are on the job postings. For a rate of pay amalgamation to occur that would also have to be done through bargaining. The union would, of course, like to have all EAs paid at the highest rate of pay and this may differ to what the employer would want. Again, nothing happening with this until 2019 bargaining.
We next discussed the 80% rule. I had tried to get an answer on where the 80% rule came from but I didn't get one. The only thing that I got on this is what a Mainstream teacher told me. Which is that the 80% rule is a measuring tool to get a student to be classified in a different classification usually from instructional to behaviour. The student needs to show behaviour more than 80% of the time. In order to get a student to be reclassified an EA will need to fill out a 'Reclassification form'. These forms are on First class (all staff, human resources, support staff, an email from Cori Robertson). The mainstream teacher should also have a copy of these forms. You will also need to make sure that whenever you are working as a backup with a student that is behavioural that you put in for behavioural pay. This isn't done automatically, you need to fill out an 'Acting in Higher Capacity form'. You will find this form in First class (all staff, human resources, support staff, an email from Mary Maxwell). It shows that you have experience doing a behavioural job. The 80% rule also applies in this circumstance. If you are covering lunch or working with a student that has a behaviour designation less than an hour you will not be paid behaviour pay. You should not be asked as Instructional EA to work with a student with a behavioural or medical designation. There shouldn't be movement from one program to another program within a school. If either of these things occur then contact CUPE 1091.
We discussed Health and Safety next. All incidents or near misses need to be reported. We aren't on the job to get hurt! We are to fill out a district form and/or a WCB form. They should be easily accessible for everyone. If you don't know where they are then contact your school’s Health and Safety committee or your school site rep. Or you will find a copy on First Class (all staff, district forms, forms directory, general administration, employee incident report). There is also language in the Worksafe regulations around “unsafe work”. You can read about this on the Worksafe website or in the K-12 brochure that was distributed by the union a few months back.
We need to remember that we can only do the best job that we can do and to not overdo it. To not do more work than is possible within our work day or the work times that we are being paid for. We are being asked to over stretch ourselves and we are making ourselves sick by trying to do this. We know that our students suffer when we aren't there but we suffer when we let ourselves be stretched and thinned out. EAs are becoming stressed, and sick from this. No one cares how this affects us but us. They aren't being inconvenienced by us doing more work with less. So we need to stop. Things will only change when things start to slip. Then parents will start to speak up and they will start to take notice. That is when change will begin!
It was suggest that anything anyone wants to be included in the next round of bargaining to send them to Patti Price. She currently has a folder started at the CUPE office.
We currently have three shop stewards for EAs. We can have up to five for each unit so we have two more open spots. We asked if anyone was interested to step forward. One EA in attendance showed some interest. We still have three EA shop stewards at this point. Please contact the union office or myself if interested.
Conversations with the Employer or Admin was discussed next. Conversations that you may have where you are given direction to do something - make sure that you follow up with an email to your Admin asking them to confirm the outcome of your meeting. You can say something like." As per our conversation today...... This is what I understand I am to be doing going forward, if it is incorrect can you please email me back with clarification." This is to protect ourselves by giving us proof of what was discussed and the meaning from it.
We also discussed Facebook. Make sure that under the profile on your Facebook page that you don't put Delta School District as your employer. There have been cases where people have been disciplined over what they put on Facebook and having it connected back to the employer. Please remember that what you say and do away from work can get back to the employer. You may be disciplined if what you say or do reflects badly on District staff or the District itself.
We discussed having a possible way for EA's to communicate with each other that isn't on First Class. The main concern is what it will be used for. We want a way for EA's to ask questions, get information, and for positive feedback and comments. We don't want a place that is filled with a lot of negative comments etc. The other concern is who will manage it? Who will make sure that it is used as it is intended? How to keep it secure so only those who are EAs will be able to use it? I will need to discuss this more with Patti and Alexis to see how it can be done in the most positive way possible.
Almost all District sites has a CUPE site rep. These volunteers have information that may answer questions or concerns at your school. If you don’t know who your school site rep is please see your school Admin Assistant to find out. Many Admin Assistants are the site rep contacts.
The EA unit meeting was over at 6:00.