PRESIDENT REPORT – MARCH 2018
Spring has almost sprung. I'm hoping that everyone is doing well. With the resignation of our current director, we are yet again grappling with an unpredictable future. The district has announced more in-house portable buildings to be made. The union is hoping that we are building these for our increasing enrollment, instead of building them for private enterprise gains, "Day Cares." I think it's great that we are getting new work and that the district is hiring temporary trades people - hopefully we can turn these temporary workers into permanent workers, not through attrition but through true hiring. We know our workloads have dramatically increased. Now we are not only maintaining our schools but we are also building new buildings! Our permanent membership is now below 200 people. With such a heavy workload, and so few workers, I am constantly amazed at how much we are able to accomplish. Despite the lack of appreciation from the employer, they are lucky to have our support, experience, and expertise.
On top of the additional work we are doing, we are now being asked to input data for the employer. This input of information does not directly help us do our work. There also seems to be issues arising from not only the SR system but also the time sheet input system. It has been brought to my attention that this software was not designed for our work specifically. As such, it appears that the board is trying to manipulate our workloads to fit into the software, instead of fitting software to fit our workloads. This is the likely reason so many people are having problems with it.
It has been brought to my attention that some schools are having functions on the weekends without the proper custodial time. If anyone finds out about school functions that went on without custodial time, please make your supervisor aware. It is our top priority to keep the district buildings safe, clean, and secure. This is in our job descriptions, its in our collective agreement, and we are hoping the employer understands how important it is to keep cleaning and maintenance in house.
If anyone has any questions in regards to your workloads please contact your supervisor about it. If you are not satisfied with the answer, please call any Executive Member and discuss the issue with them.
Our next general meeting is March 10, 2018. Come join us at 10:00 AM in the Eagle View Library for coffee, treats, and great discussions.
PRESIDENT REPORT – FEBRUARY 2018
Hello everyone, hoping you are all doing good or better. We are now into February and time is flying by. Through all the difficulties people are having around the new work loads, and the extras that have been put on us, it is truly amazing how we continue to drudge forward and complete our tasks. In one of our many letters to the employer, always talking about work loads and looking for better outcomes for everyone, the employer said that there were things mentioned in the President's Report that were not very positive towards them. I will state now, publicly, that I would never tell a fabrication or an untruth in any of my reports or correspondences to administrators or the public.
Moving forward, the employer has decided to hire many new managers and assistants, which is rather interesting. The question going around is, "how does this help our students in the schools?" The expression has always been that we shouldn't spend money on things that are furthest away from the classroom.
We also have a new Superintendent, Shelly Green. We are happy that the district has decided to hire internally and we hope to have a positive and fruitful relationship with her.
I understand that there people are still starting work early and finishing late. Please remember that we have start times and end times for a reason, and we must adhere to them. One concern is that if you start early, without the employers authorization, and you become injured, that Worksafe would not cover you.
The question of employer finances keeps coming up. Where is the employer getting all this money from? If you are wondering this yourself, feel free to call your supervisor and ask. I'm sure they will have an answer for you. I have learned through my many years with the union, as well as life experiences, that if someone tells you something that doesn't make sense then it's probably not true. So remember that in your discussions.
Our next general meeting is on Feb 17th 2018, at 10:00 AM, in the Eagle View library. I hope to see you all there for treats, coffee, and good conversation.
President CUPE 382
PRESIDENT REPORT – JANUARY 2018
Happy New Year Everyone. I know this is coming a little late, but as always said, better late than never. This is a busy time of year. There is a lot of things going on around the district, and we as an executive are sure there are some things happening that we don't know about. If there is something happening around your school or job site that you are not quite sure of, then please contact your foreman. If your foreman doesn't know what is going on then please contact your supervisor. You are an employee of the district and you have the right to know what is going on in your work space.
A hot topic as of late is carpet care. A short time ago the director sent out a directive on carpet maintenance, and we must adhere to this directive. We understand that some principals are unhappy with the carpet maintenance, but we must follow the guidelines and instructions from the director. We know the restructuring has been difficult for everyone, but we only have so much time to get our work done - and people shouldn't be working through their breaks, starting work early, or staying late. The only that happens if you work outside of your scheduled time is you cheating yourself. Does the school benefit from your extra work? Yes it does, but again you are cheating yourself.
The relief positions will be posted shortly. If anyone is interested in a change of work, for a period of time, they should submit an application. I have heard so many people say "I should have put in for that position." Now is your chance to apply. Even if, for whatever reason, it doesn't work for you when you receive that call you have the right to say, "sorry not right now. " Many people don't apply for a position they are interested in because they don't have the most seniority. But if the person who does have the most seniority turns the position down, then it goes to the next, and so on. You can't get a position if you don't put in for it.
Speaking of positions, elections are happening this weekend. Come out this Saturday and help select your executive. Have a coffee and a treat while you vote!
Once again I am proud to go around the district and look at all the schools and building, and know that we are the driving force of this district. We are the first ones on site and the last ones to leave. That alone says so much. And if there are ever any emergencies we are the people that look after it, whatever it is.
Fred Schmidt, President CUPE 382
PRESIDENT REPORT – DECEMBER
December is here and things are still not running smoothly.
The portables have been completed and are now in use, and they look great. There was a lot of extra stress put on us during this time, with staff and the general public anxious to get into these new spaces, and poor communication between our employer and the general public about project deadlines - did not make our jobs easier. Despite this, our teams did an amazing job on these buildings and we should feel proud of the work that we did. Thank you everyone for your expertise and your patience with this project. These portables are looking like the gems of the district.
There is still some confusion about how the carpets get cleaned - carpets get vacuumed according to the direction you received from your supervisor. We have heard that some principals are asking you to do additional cleaning on the carpets. Our staff puts the highest standards on our work, however; please explain to your principal that we have not been given extra time to complete these tasks. If you have extra time then you can get into additional carpet cleaning.
Some people are having difficulty getting in touch with their supervisor by phone - if this is the case, I recommend that you email your supervisor, that way their is documented proof of when you tried to communicate.
It saddens me to say that it appears administration does not trust the facilities employees, and possibly all employees. We are under a greater amount of surveillance then ever before. Facilities staff have been notified that they are on video - we have counted 7 security cameras around the yard and gas pump. We have all received a district cell phone, which gives administration access to our cell phone calls, social media activity, internet activity, and our physical location. Please be aware of this when using your district phone. There is GPS monitoring in all vehicles, and if you require gas, you must use another fob to get fuel. Additionally, as you read this our mechanic is installing another fob in the vehicles to provide administration with information about who is driving each vehicle. Lastly, the Ameresco Service Request system is asking us to document what work is done and how long it takes to do it.
The union is left with a lot of questions: why don't they trust us? are we being monitored? Administrators say that we aren't being monitored, but their actions indicate otherwise. A lot of decisions that have been made have not been in the best interest of employees.
Do not fret brothers and sisters. We will make it through this disastrous administration and the problems that it has created for itself. Everyone knows that we are the backbone of this district. We get the schools ready for the little ones. We are the people everyone turns to when problems arise. We are the experts. The schools can't run without us.
On a happier note, Dec 9th is the last general meeting of the year. Please come and join us at Eagle View this Saturday at 10am. There will be finger foods, coffee, juice, and pop. Following the meeting is the Christmas Dinner and Dance. I am looking forward to seeing you all there. Tickets are selling fast so get yours now!
Last but not least, we the executive would like to wish everyone a great and safe winter break to you and your family.
Fred Schmidt, President CUPE 382
PRESIDENT REPORT – NOVEMBER
Hello Everyone, here we are November, and is it cooling down fast. Well the executive has been very busy over the past month, and I can say without a doubt one of the busiest for us ever, so I will try and squeeze everything in my report.
I will start off by saying I’m very proud of everyone out there in CUPE 382, for dealing with the administration team that sits in front of us, it is quite pleasing to know that this implementation of the re-organization, is really testing how much our administration really knows, I proudly sit and tell them if they have any questions about our work, ask the experts, (And That’s All of You).It seems there are many bumps and flaws in this not so well laid out plan. And we are sure things will slowly rear to our favor, of getting more people to do the work.
The portables are being build and the admin team has given 3 different completion dates, to no avail, the other day I was at one of the schools that the new portables were being built, I must say our guys and gals have done a fantastic job, I asked the people there on an approximate date of completion and they told me it’s not the date admin has said, because they have not asked the experts, they have the real answer.
It is very important especially for the evening staff to report any time there is no replacement of your fellow worker at schools, we must record this because it is time owed, to the school for cleaning, if you have any questions about any of this have a discussion with any executive member.
As you are aware the executive is not attending school district committee meeting, because we are being treated “Differently” then the other locals, of the district, but in discussion with these other locals we are teaming together, which is historic for School Dist #61 bargaining groups.
That being said we understand it is very difficult for our custodians right now due to work over load, we must tell you that, yes it helps the school if you start early, or miss your break, but the employer will not recognize, you putting in for over time. So how to work around that is take your breaks at appropriate times, don’t start early, don’t work past your quitting time, unless instructed by your supervisor. And if the work does not get completed contact your foreman.
On another note, please inform your union exec if there are people doing our work, whether it be a teacher, a student, a parent, a principle, that includes desk tops, vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, any of our custodial duties, that is our work and we should be doing it.
On a happy note, there is the Christmas Dance happening Dec 9 2017, at the Croation Hall, on Gordon Head Road, Tickets will be on sale next week around weds.
Also the admin team here had their thankyou luncheon, last Friday, it was a big turn out, and I’ll thank everyone that was there, for being respectful, it was good to see every one out enjoying one another’s company.
Our next general meeting will be Nov 18 2017, due to Remembrance day on Nov 11 2017, we hope to see you there, Eagle View 10:00am, and The treasurer`, Darren Reed has offered to have a draw for 2 tickets, to the Christmas Dance, Thank You Darren.
My last note is please everyone, it quite possible snow is coming, please be careful, whether your walking, driving, be smart...
Fred Schmidt, President CUPE 382