Highlights of the December 2021 National Executive Board meeting

Our National Executive Board (NEB) met December 14-16, 2021 in Ottawa, with some members joining virtually. These are the highlights of their deliberations and decisions.

Read the NEB highlights online

National President’s Report and National Secretary-Treasurer’s Report to the December 2021 National Executive Board meeting

Read the National President’s Report online

Read the National Secretary-Treasurer’s Report online

Grievance Wins

While it is not always visible, your executive team is always hard at work fighting to uphold the Collective Agreement.

We are always here for all CUPE 716 members, please do not hesitate to contact your Shop Steward or executive member, if you need assistance.  

From a thankful member:

Hi Ian and Nancy,

“I want to thank you both for working so diligently on my behalf throughout this grievance. I am grateful for your professional efforts and for the outcome. Wishing you both a wonderful, restful summer.”

We love happy outcomes like this!



BC school support workers welcome education recovery plan

BURNABY – British Columbia school support workers are welcoming the $43.6 million in funding announced yesterday to support the safe reopening of BC schools for the 2021/2022 school year. CUPE’s K-12 Presidents Council, representing over 30,000 support workers in B.C.’s education system, says the announcement by Minister of Education Jennifer Whiteside represents a big step forward in ensuring a healthy and safe school environment for students and staff.


“We are extremely proud of the work our members have done throughout the pandemic to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our schools, to protect students, fellow staff and our communities,” says Paul Simpson, president of the K-12 Presidents Council. “It is gratifying to see the efforts of school support workers recognized as an essential part of our province’s recovery from COVID-19.


Of the $43.6 million announced, $14.4 million in one-time pandemic funding will be made available to school districts to support the necessary cleaning and disinfecting performed by custodians and caretakers, hand hygiene, improved ventilation and restocking supplies of personal protection equipment (PPE).


“CUPE locals have been doing a lot of work in their communities and schools systems advocating for these health and safety measures. We are pushing for the necessary funding for school districts to continue enhanced cleaning measures that proved so successful during the pandemic,” says Simpson. “We are looking forward to working with school districts so that they can fully utilize this directed funding, along with their other resources, to effectively and efficiently keep schools clean and safe.”


CUPE K-12 locals are prioritizing the continuance of daytime custodial services in all schools across the province and says this new funding would be well used to continue this vital health and safety measure.


“Unfortunately, past BC governments almost eliminated daytime custodial services in schools. So, when the pandemic hit, we had to scramble. Thankfully, our efforts to re-establish daytime custodial services contributed greatly to cleaner and safer environments for students, staff, and helped slow the spread of COVID-19,” says Simpson. “I’m optimistic we have all learned this lesson from the pandemic and we can work to continue daytime custodial services permanently to keep protecting our communities from COVID-19 and a host of other illnesses.”


The K-12 Presidents Council represents 57 CUPE locals in school districts across British Columbia. CUPE represents more than 30,000 education workers including: education assistants, school secretaries, custodians/caretakers, Indigenous support workers, IT workers, Strong Start facilitators, trades and maintenance workers, and bus drivers.



For more information:


Greg Taylor

CUPE National Communications Representative

(604) 842-7444


Fall 2021 Social Committee Events *UPDATED*

Your social committee has been hard at work planning events for the fall, in anticipation of things opening up and getting back to normal. So far in the works are:

Welcome Back Family BBQ – This event has been cancelled

September 11th – mid afternoon

Location TBD

Casino Night – This event has been cancelled

October 16th

Location – Riverside Banquet Hall

Christmas/Retirement Party and Dinner/Dance – This event has been cancelled

November 27th

Location – Riverside Banquet Hall

But they need your help planning! If you think you will attend – please fill out the form below so that we can plan accordingly. Looking forward to a more normal 2021-2022 School Year.

Results of the Election

The Election was held electronically May 8-10, and in person on May 10.

A total of 119 voters successfully registered to vote online. Of those, 112 cast a ballot.

An additional 5 persons voted in-person.

There was only one minor glitch, which was rectified with the assistance of the member impacted.

Position Elected
Shop Steward – Administrative Assistants Henry, Louise
Shop Steward – Education Assistants Ryan, Dianne
Shop Steward – Transportation Inouye, Terri

All elected candidates accepted their positions, which leaves the position of Sgt-at-Arms vacant and will be open to nominations at the upcoming membership meeting.

I wish to thank all those who ran and the committee members.

Susanne Chaffe

May Pro-D Day – SOGI for Cupe

Please join us in this SOGI session for CUPE members. During our session, we will be covering what SOGI inclusive learning environments look like, sound like and feel like. We will also be joined by student leaders from Burnett and Cambie, who will share their experiences of schooling with adults who hear and accept them as LGBTQ2S+ youths. Our session together will:

  • explore our own intersectionality and how that plays a role in the way we interact with students and colleagues
  • do a self assessment for what we are already doing and what we can do to contribute to inclusive learning environments
  • discuss why it’s important to practise gender neutral language with students and colleagues
  • ​answer some questions about how young SOGI can go
  • include some resources for further professional development in SOGI ​

Facilitators for this session are Loreen Thomson, CUPE; Ellen Hsu, RTA; and Destiny Lang, Student Leader – Burnett

May 21st 9-11am – Registration is open now on the portal!

Eileen Lim for Clerical Shop Steward

My name is Eileen Lim.  I have been nominated for Administrative Assistant Shop Steward in the upcoming election.  I am honoured and privileged to stand for this position again. 

I started my employment with Richmond School District 38 in 2011 and have worked in the board office as an administrative assistant, a year and a half in Continuing Education and eight and a half years as program assistant in the International Department.

I started getting involved with our union by attending general meetings in 2018.  In 2019, I was nominated and voted into the Para-Educator shop steward role for 5 months.  As the Administrative Assistant Shop Steward position became vacant, I was nominated and acclaimed to that position for the remaining term.  In May 2020, I was nominated again and re-acclaimed the same position.

There is still a lot for me to learn from the executive team and from my union sisters and brothers; but I am definitely not fazed by any new challenges related to the position.  I am highly motivated and approachable to help tackle obstacles head on in order to get the job done. I may not have a lot of experience, but I am always keen and open to learning new things.  With my unwavering commitment and determination, I can serve my union sisters and brothers and ensure that our concerns are always heard and addressed.  I am looking forward to the post pandemic days when I can meet all of you in person.  I am tired of virtual meetings.  I miss seeing faces with no masks.

It has been a challenging year for all of us administrative assistants as front liners.  Amidst all the uncertainties, frustrations and stresses, we continue to work even harder to support and care for our students to keep them safe in school. 

It would be a great honour if I am voted in as the Administrative Assistant Shop Steward so I can use this as my platform to represent and serve my fellow colleagues.  I am humbly seeking your support for re-election.  If you have any questions for me, please do not hesitate to email me at elimcupe716@gmail.com or call me at 604-272-1895.

Please take a few minutes to register and to vote for me during the upcoming election from May 8-10.  Every vote counts.  Thank you in advance for your consideration and for taking the time out of your busy schedule to vote.

In Solidarity,

Eileen Lim

Dianne Ryan for EA Shop Steward

Hello Cupe 716 Brothers and Sisters,
My name is Dianne Ryan and I have been nominated for EA Shop Steward in the upcoming
election. I am honoured and humbled to stand for this position again.
I have been an Education Assistant in Richmond since September 2000 and have worked around
the District, mostly in elementary but a few years in high school too. I have been involved with
our Union on and off for all those years. Sometimes I was more interested than others, like when
I was laid off, when we were on strike, or when I was working with a particularly violent student,
the union was much more interesting to me then. I was grateful for the work that people did on
my behalf and I could see that I had a good job with good benefits and some pension because of
the Union.
2 years ago, I volunteered, and was elected to be Sargeant at Arms for our union because they
seemed to be really hurting for people to help out and people told me that this job would be easy.
I was given a voice at the table. I soon became the IT Shop steward, as there was no one to do
that job. I started to learn about being a shop steward. I started taking some Union education
when it was available to me. I started to see and learn about Cupe 716 and how things worked.
My friend Loreen also got involved so we have journeyed together which has made it more fun.
In May last year I was nominated and elected your EA Shop Steward. It has been a challenging
year for many of us with prolonged uncertainty and continuous stress. I found out that your EA
Shop Steward is busy with inquiries about many things coming from many directions. There has
been much to learn and most of it lately has been on line. Winter school, attended on line, Cupe
National Convention, on line, investigations, on line, executive meetings, on line, everything on
line. I miss people. I can only handle so much zoom. I am tired but I have never been prouder to
be an Education Assistant. The work we do every day has been proven essential and I can’t
imagine what our work place would be without many of the EAs I work with every day.
It would be my great honour to continue to represent you as your EA Shop Steward and I am
seeking your support for re-election. Please take a few minutes to vote for me during the
upcoming election from May 8-10. The union is you and every vote counts. Thank you for your
time and consideration.
In Solidarity,

Dianne Ryan

Terri Inouye for Transportation Shop Steward

April 22,2021

Greetings Fellow 716 Members:

It’s hard to believe it is almost May and we have made it thus far, during a pandemic school year!
My name is Terri Inouye. I proudly accepted to stand as a nominee for the CUPE 716 Transportation
Shop Steward.
I have been an Educational Assistant for 28 years in the Richmond School District. I have worked in both
Elementary and High School with a variety of students who required transportation. I do have some
great memories of union meetings from years ago when I first started. As for my union experience, well,
I have been an active participant for the last year or so. I have held following union positions: Trustee,
plus, my current position; Sergeant of Arms. I have also undertaken the communication committee role
of our local too. I continue to post on social media and 716 website, any and all relevant information for
the membership. In addition to that, I serve on two district committees: Calendar and Diversity & Racism
I have been able to participate in Human Rights Conference as well the BC Federation Labour
Conference. I have taken the CUPE Challenging Racism course, and a Territorial Acknowledgement
seminar. I also volunteered to work on the SSEAC training survey questionnaire that was sent to
members earlier this year. I was also able to stand in for other executive members in a district Healthy
and Safety meeting as well as being part of meetings with our district partners regarding district
program concerns too.
My experience as the Sergeant of Arms has enabled me to understand the importance of everyone’s
roles, not only within the union but, in dealing with management and ultimately, the membership. I’m
excited to take on this new role of Transportation Shop Steward as it will enhance my union experience
and increase the knowledge that I have gained from my previous positions.
So as your Shop Steward, I can assure you that I bring a lot the table. I know that many members have
concerns over health and safety and that will be one of the areas that will be addressed. It is also
important to me that members are heard and there is open communication at all times. I am always
available by email or phone. I want members of this unit to also know that I will advocate on their
behalf when they need their union representative in a fair, equal and just way when dealing with
management. And above all else, you have someone with a good sense of humor, empathy and compassion
when you need to vent.
It would a great honor to serve as your union representative so that the transportation voices are heard
when matters arise. I look forward to meeting everyone and forging a new and relevant partnership.

In Solidarity,

Terri Inouye

Louise Henry for Clerical Shop Steward

April 21, 2021

Hello fellow CUPE 716 Members,

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I hope you are all doing well, and like me, are excited to see the light at
the end of this long pandemic tunnel.
During the Union meeting on April 14, I was nominated to run for the role
of Clerical Shop Steward, which I gladly accepted.
Some background information about me: I have been with the Richmond School District
since 2004, starting as a Noon Hour Supervisor. After three years, I moved into the role
of Educational Assistant, and in 2016 I began working in a school office in the position
of Senior Administrative Assistant. I have been in the position of Business Assistant for
the past three years. As I have held a variety of positions within the Richmond School
District, and these positions have been in both elementary and high schools, I have a
well-rounded understanding of our District’s culture.
In addition to my experience in schools, I have familiarity in Labour Relations, having
been involved in grievance procedures and developing proposals for bargaining. Due to
this, the rights of employees in the workplace are not new to me, and are something I
value deeply.
Although this would be my first opportunity to hold a Shop Steward position, I want to
convey that I understand the role of Administrative and Business Assistants across all
sites in the District and the ever-changing demands put on these positions.
Being involved in our Union at the Shop Steward level will give me the opportunity to
bring forward the concerns of Administrative staff within the District to our Union
Executive and Management. The complex responsibilities of Administrative positions
are an integral part of the organization we work for, and we need someone who will
embrace the importance of these roles. I will do my best to provide representation for all
Administrative staff in the School District, and to ensure people are working in a safe
environment – with both physical and mental health being a priority.
No matter what position you hold in the District, I really appreciate and thank you in
advance for your support of my running for the position of Clerical Shop Steward.

Louise Henry