President’s Report – 2021-2022 Year End

Hi everyone. 

We made it through another tumultuous year. Everyone should be very proud of themselves for continuing to make the schools a safe, caring, welcoming place. It couldn’t happen without all of us working together and caring for each other through unprecedented challenging times. The stress of coming to work in the schools is unimaginable but we did it. You rose to the occasion and should be very proud of your determination and drive. Even when things were scary you still came to work to do your job.

We have all been through challenging times in our life. At work and personally. These challenges have made you stronger. You’re still here. Maintain your faith and trust things will get better with time. We know they will. I hope everyone has some time to rest and relax. Whatever makes you smile, go for it. Look after yourselves. 

I am now going to give you an update on bargaining.

The Provincial K-12 bargaining committee has notified me they are pausing bargaining till September. We have been instructed to not start local bargaining until the Provincial committee has reached an agreement with the government on wages, and other monetary issues. We will wait to see what happens Provincially till we start local bargaining. Right now the two sides are far apart on a wage increase. Their offer is far below what we are willing to accept. Cupe is working with other unions to have a united front in the fight to receive fair compensation for the valuable work we do. Without us the schools would not operate. BCGEU took a strike vote and received a strong mandate with a 95% yes vote in favor of job action. This does not mean they are going on strike. This is a tactic to give them more leverage at the bargaining table. 

Once again, try to get some rest and relaxation and recharge. Hope everyone has a great summer and see you in September or maybe sooner!

In Solidarity

Ian Hillman

Cupe 716 President

Presidents Report – Budget and Bargaining

Hi everyone,

Hi wanted to give you an update on bargaining and the district budget shortfall.

First bargaining:

For those that don’t know there are two bargaining tables. Provincially and locally. We bargain locally with the employer on local issues. The Provincial bargaining team is made up of K-12 representatives from locals from different regions in the Province. They bargain directly with the government through their bargaining group made up of BCPSEA members. This bargaining table bargains wages and benefits and other monetary and non monetary issues. They  met in March but have not agreed to anything. They have taken a “break” from bargaining. The last offer was unacceptable. It was less than 2 percent per year for three years. Right now Cupe is joining other unions to push the government for a more acceptable offer.

Local Bargaining: 

Your contract expires this year at midnight on June 30th. Please submit your bargaining proposals on this form to the union office by May 30th. As of today we have not met with the employer to begin bargaining. We have been asked to wait until the Provincial Bargaining committee has completed their bargaining before we exchange proposals and start local bargaining.

As I hear any news I will update you.

Now the budget:

Once again there is a budget deficit. As usual the board is looking to balance the budget by cutting our jobs. Details are on the district website. They are proposing to cut Library Technicians. Career Information advisors and other positions including the Education Assistant- Literacy Support position. All Cupe jobs are important. The district cannot run without us. The students cannot realize their potential without us. I am outraged by these cuts. To add insult to injury they are adding a management position and replacing retiring exempt staff. They refuse to look at cutting management positions to save our jobs.Please support your fellow union members by writing to the trustees and tell them to stop cutting our jobs. Write letters to the editor of the newspapers. Attend the Board meeting on May 25th from 7-9 pm. Come in person or join via zoom. Contact Cindy Wang, Secretary Treasurer to get on the speakers list. We must stand together. Collectively we are stronger. We need your support!
In Solidarity

Ian Hillman

Cupe Local 716 President

Presidents Report: Trustee Meeting Updates

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

On January 26th, 2022 I presented two briefs to the School board Trustees, on the topics of Daytime Custodial Work, and EA access to technology.

As we all know, the daytime custodians The temporary daytime custodian positions will end in February. A motion was passed to keep 8 of the daytime positions and bring back the 5 EAOSS positions.  It’s unfortunate that some members will lose their jobs, but at least eight members will be kept on day shift and the five original EAOSS positions will be maintained. Richard Lee voted against the motion, he wanted it to stay at the status quo with daytime BSW’s working in the schools. Frank Geyer recommended eliminating all elementary day custodians except EAOSS and Ken Hamaguchi supported him. The results of this meeting have been picked up by the Richmond News, so hopefully the parents see what is happening in their children’s schools.

I also spoke on the ongoing issue with access to technology and EA Ipads. The trustees seemed supportive of more technology for Cupe staff.

In solidarity,


President’s Report: January Return to School

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

At this time, I only know what I have seen at the press conference today.

The plan going forward? I would hope that is the reason for the delay in the return to school for students. So a plan can be formalized before January 10th. The unions position? As it has been since March of 2020, our focus is to keep our members safe! We have advocated since day one, our health and safety should be priority number one. We will continue to do so.

We are constrained in our ability to dictate to the employer and government by Public Health, the Ministry of Education, Worksafe Regulations and the Center for Disease Control. We will continue to do everything within our control to keep our members safe.

We will keep you updated as we learn more. Please check our Website for updates.

In Solidarity,


Ian Hillman
President, CUPE 716

President’s Report: 2021 Year End

Dear CUPE Local 716 members:

It’s hard to believe it’s the Holiday Season!

Hopefully everyone is taking some time to rest, recuperate and making time for yourself. 2021 was a challenging year for all of us. What lies ahead no one knows. What we do know is hopefully we can all find some peace and joy over the next few days.

If you need any support over the Holidays don’t hesitate to use our Employee Assistance Program. You can also call me. I am always glad to talk to any of the membership.

On behalf of your Executive we wish you and yours a healthy, safe holiday season.

In Solidarity,

Ian Hillman,
President, CUPE 716

Presidents Report – September 2021

Greetings Brothers, Sisters and Friends,

Welcome back to our 10 month members. Thanks to all our twelve month members for getting schools ready for school opening. Hopefully everyone had a chance to enjoy the weather and got through the heat wave safely. Speaking of heat; we have had discussions with the employer on having a plan to deal with future heat waves. 


I’m sure we were all hopeful after restrictions were lifted July 1st things were going to get better. Well, we are in the fourth wave and all the stress and anxiety is upon us again unfortunately. We have met with the employer to discuss school startup. We have, as a union, very little control over processes mandated by Worksafe andthe Public Health Officer. We are always here to advocate to our fullest capability for your safety and well being. I am sure things will evolve and change daily. Wear your mask, wash your hands, and stay safe.

We would like to see stricter controls such as masks for all ages of students. Physical distancing, cohorts and any othermeasures to keep us safe. But as I said that is beyond our control. Remember to report any unsafe working conditions to your Supervisor and site safety committee.

I hope to see everyone in person soon but for now we will continue ourUnion meetings on Zoom.

In Solidarity,

Ian Hillman

CUPE 716 President

Presidents Report – May 2021

Dear Members,

I am writing today to update you on where we stand in the Budget process for next year.  We have met multiple times with Richmond’s MLA’s to discuss the shortfall and funding levels, however despite this lobbying they have declined. They based their decision on the fact the District has a 9.8 million dollar surplus. We understand that there needs to be some surplus maintained for unexpected situations, but strongly believe that this is the time to spend more of it.  Like we have said many times, it is a rainy day, it is time to spend the rainy day fund. Thank you to Trustee Richard Lee for advocating for the Trustees to spend more of the surplus so that our members can continue to work to support the students of SD 38. Unfortunately he was not supported by the other Trustees but we appreciate his advocacy. The budget was passed and Trustee Lee was the only one to vote no. 

I am still taken aback by the fact the district wasn’t interested in being more creative in looking at other areas to balance the budget. I am sure we all know of ways the district could save money other than cutting our jobs. But they chose not to. 

We are also trying to work with the employer on the Educational Assistant downsizing. Your Union believes any downsizing, regardless of the FTE allocation, should be done by seniority. The employer disagrees. We have filed a grievance on this.

We now have to support our members who will lose their jobs. I can’t imagine the stress and anxiety they have been experiencing waiting for the budget to pass. Now that it has, the reality is setting in, they are really going to lose their jobs. I ask you to join me in saying we are here for you and will do everything we can to support you moving forward. If there ever was a time for solidarity – it is now.

In Solidarity

Ian Hillman

Cupe 716 President

President’s Report: Budgets April 2021

Dear Members,

As many of you may have heard our School District is facing a 7.2 million dollar shortfall. No decisions have been finalized on how this budget will be balanced as required by law. Your executive is working hard to prevent any cuts to us.

I encourage and frankly implore you to write to your MLA, and Member of Parliament and tell them to fund School Districts that are in a deficit situation due to the current pandemic.

Jennifer Whiteside: Minister of Education


Locate your MLA here

Locate your MP here

I also ask you to write our School Trustees:

Norm Goldstein

Ken Hamaguchi

Heather Larson

Richard Lee

Sandra Nixon

Donna Sargent

Debbie Tablotney

Implore them to look at cutting management positions and using more of the reserve funds to balance the budget instead of cutting vital support staff. I also ask you to attend the next school board meeting on Wednesday April 28th at 7pm and express your concern about how they will balance the budget and be straightforward expressing it should not be done on the backs of CUPE workers. Please register to attend here on Zoom.

Please don’t be alarmed by the shortfall at the present time. No decisions have been made but we need to be heard before decisions are made. There is strength in our resolve to stand together as one collective force and have each other’s backs moving forward. Please take a few minutes to call or email all of the above.

In Solidarity


Ian Hillman

CUPE 716 President

President’s Report – March 2021

Dear Brothers and Sisters of our Union:

After a year of being there for the students of the district, relief is in sight for us. We have stepped up and through this pandemic have been on the front lines keeping the schools open, clean, and supporting the students, the teachers and each other.

It is a huge relief to know we have been prioritized to be vaccinated in April. Your Union has been working diligently behind the scenes for this past year to make this day happen, to ensure your safety and to get through this together. Throughout this period, CUPE has invested our efforts in direct communication with the government and the results speak for themselves.

Words cannot express how proud I am of all of our CUPE Staff for working through these anxious and stressful times. We may not always get the mention in the press, but the schools could not operate without our efforts, and I am immensely proud of all of you.

This pandemic has touched all of us. Finally getting prioritized for the vaccine is a huge step in protecting us and heading us down the path to the new normal.

Once again we should all be proud of how we have been there for each other and our students. We have kept strong through very adverse, trying and uncertain circumstances. I am in awe of your strength and resilience, and I also wish to extend a thank you to all our partners, district staff and the teachers for their efforts.

In Solidarity,

Ian Hillman, CUPE 716 President

President’s Report – 2020 Year End

To all CUPE 716 members,

On behalf of the executive I wish you all a joyful and restful holiday season. Winter break is almost here. Please take some time to rest and recuperate. It has been an unprecedented time not only in our work lives but our personal lives. Try to reflect on the positives. Words cannot capture the mixture of emotions and stress we have all been through.

Unfortunately the Government has not made mask wearing mandatory in schools. Wherever and whenever possible if you are able to, please wear a mask to help keep you and others safe. We continue to work diligently to keep you safe and advocate the district follow all safety protocols.

Let’s continue to support and be there for each other now more than ever. Report any unsafe conditions you see to your supervisor, your safety committee and your union. We are only strong when we are united together.

Enjoy some time away from work. Look after yourself and your loved ones.

In Solidarity,

Ian Hillman, CUPE 716 President