Evergreen School Division School Support Staff ratify new agreement

GIMLI, MANITOBA – School support staff represented by CUPE Local 3164 and the Evergreen School Division have ratified a new collective agreement.

“School support staff have been on the front lines throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, helping keep our kids and schools safe, and providing critical support in the classroom,” says Lee McLeod, CUPE Regional Director.

“The agreement between CUPE 3164 and Evergreen School Division ensures school support staff receive raises that are consistent with those recently negotiated by the Manitoba Teachers’ Society. We want to thank the Evergreen School Division for their leadership in reaching this agreement, despite the provincial government’s attempts to prevent wage increases for school support staff in Manitoba.”

Wage increases are in line with recently negotiated teacher’s agreements, and are retroactive:

1.6% in 2019, 1.4% in 2020, and 0.5% in 2021.

The agreement between CUPE 3164 and Evergreen School Division is the first freely negotiated (settled without arbitration) school support staff settlement in Manitoba to break the 0%, 0%, 0.75%, 1.0% wage mandate of the Pallister government. This wage mandate was originally part of The Public Services Sustainability Act–legislation that was ruled unconstitutional by the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench in 2020.

The Pallister government is also holding school divisions hostage with Bill 64, threatening their very existence and ability to negotiate directly with their own staff.

“The Pallister government has done everything they can to stop school support staff from negotiating a new contract, so we are proud that the CUPE support staff at Evergreen School Division and the School Division leadership reached a fair agreement”, says McLeod. “We expect other school divisions will follow Evergreen’s lead and agree to fair settlements with other CUPE locals.”

CUPE Local 3164 represents approximately 150 school support staff at the Evergreen School Division, including education assistants, bus drivers, school secretaries, maintenance and trades, library staff, and ECEs.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees represent approximately 6,000 education workers, including education assistants, custodians, bus drivers, clerical, library techs, intercultural liaisons and more in 25 school boards across Manitoba.