Benefits seminars not considered ‘professional development’ for staff

Chinese cooking, archery not job-related courses: Employer
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 06/18/2018

After a union at a school district in Parksville, B.C., used funds to sponsor pension and benefits talks for teachers on a professional-development day, the board filed a grievance against the union.

On Oct. 21, 2016, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), Local 3570 held seminars on the employee’s pension plan. On Feb. 24, 2017, the union held another seminar on the district’s benefits plan.

The Board of Education of School District No. 69 (Qualicum) grieved the union’s actions and argued the talks were intended to “promote and foster the professional development of staff” and the benefits and pension talks violated article 37.2 of the collective agreement, because they were not “directly related to the skills and qualifications necessary to the various job descriptions.”