CUPE education workers, Peterborough area Catholic school board reach new 4-year deal

The Peterborough Victoria Northumberland Clarington Catholic District School Board and CUPE Local 1453 representing support staff have reached a new four-year collective agreement. PVNCCDSB/Facebook

A new collective agreement has been reached between the Peterborough area Catholic school board and union representing nearly 800 support staff.

On Tuesday during a special board meeting for the  Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington Catholic District School Board, trustees approved the agreement which was tentatively reached on Jan. 24 and was ratified on Jan. 28 by members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 1453.

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The local represents about 800 employees, including custodians, maintenance staff, secretaries, social workers, educational assistants, early childhood educators, learning commons specialists, paraprofessionals and central information technologists.

The board, headquartered in Peterborough, has 36 schools throughout Peterborough, Peterborough County, the City of Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland County, and Durham Region.

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“We are so pleased to have reached this agreement with our dedicated support workers. It’s an indication of the strong working relationship we enjoy with our CUPE partners,” stated PVNC Director of Education Joan Carragher.

“I thank all the hard-working members of the bargaining teams on both sides for their dedication to the process and their spirit of collaboration and cooperation.”

Nora Shaughnessy, president of CUPE Local 1453, praised the new four-year agreement.

“This agreement is a reflection of a commitment to working together to negotiate in good faith and reach a deal that benefits the board and CUPE Local 1453 members,” she said.

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“I am pleased that a deal was reached, and I couldn’t be happier for the members of CUPE Local 1453. I look forward to working together over the next four years.”

In November 2022, CUPE and the Ontario government reached a tentative central agreement, which was ratified province-wide by the union in December with 73 per cent voting in favour of the deal.

The board notes the collective bargaining framework for the education sector features a two-tier bargaining process involving both central and local bargaining. Central bargaining typically includes significant monetary and policy issues (e.g. compensation, benefits and paid leaves), while local negotiations typically involve non-monetary issues or matters specific to the local board.

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