The School Business Employees Union (SBEU) comprised of school board employees in transportation, facilities, budget and accounting, IT and community outreach and student support programs, has filed for conciliation after two years of bargaining with the Province of New Brunswick. You can find these workers behind the scenes in schools, ensuring students can get to school and learn in safe and healthy environments with proper supports. Many of them work very long hours, without proper overtime or on-call compensation.
All the key issues brought forward by SBEU members remain unresolved by the province. The province’s job classification system is not transparent or accountable and, as a result, workers are not paid their proper wage. The province’s latest wage proposal is two per cent per year for five years, while offering other school board employees, such as members of CUPE, a higher increase over the same period. Furthermore, inflation is currently around eight per cent, which means that SBEU members would be taking a pay cut if they accept this offer.
The province has given SBEU no choice but to request conciliation. SBEU members will not settle for less than what other school board employees received and will not settle until the province addresses our key issues
A series of mobilization meetings were held across the province during the week of Aug. 29 to Sep. 2 to prepare for conciliation and the possibility of job action. The bargaining team will attend a conciliation meeting on Friday, Sep. 23.
“The objective is always to reach a fair collective agreement without any work stoppage,” says Michael White, Local President “However, so far, the Province of New Brunswick has shown very little respect for SBEU members who worked tirelessly during the pandemic to ensure schools could continue to operate and that negative impacts on student learning were minimized. It is frustrating to see the province not recognize the value of the work our members do. Our members are tired of being underappreciated and will certainly not back down, not after what they’ve been through during the last two years! Students, teachers, and parents rely on us each and every day –it’s time the province recognize this.”