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Support workers in School District 53 reach tentative agreement: CUPE

The union says the new agreement, which still needs ratification, covers members who provide a variety of services for students in School District 53.
The union says the new agreement, which still needs ratification, covers members who provide a variety of services for students in School District 53. Google Maps

Support workers in the South Okanagan and Similkameen have reached a tentative agreement with School District 53, according to the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

The union says the new agreement covers members who provide a variety of services, including education assistants, grounds workers, bus drivers, custodians, clerical workers, youth care workers and Indigenous support workers.

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The services they provide are for students from kindergarten to Grade 12 in Okanagan Falls, Oliver, Osoyoos, Cawston and Keremeos.

CUPE added the agreement was reached following five sessions of bargaining that began in early June and ended with a 14-hour bargaining session on Tuesday.

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Two Okanagan teachers are being called heroes for saving a student’s life.
Two Okanagan teachers are being called heroes for saving a student’s life.

CUPE noted that the tentative agreement still has to be ratified, though ratification is expected to be completed this month.

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CUPE 523 also represents workers in Okanagan-Shuswap (School District 83) and Okanagan-Skaha (School District 67). CUPE said in the past, all three school districts bargained together but this year they are bargaining separately.