CUPE/school talk sidebar? Whistler school trustee Andrée Janyk has been appointed to the Public School Employers Association board of directors as one of the seven provincial trustee representatives. That means the Howe Sound voice stands a better chance of being heard when it comes down to negotiating a new collective agreement with B.C. teachers next year. "We will be looking at what we will be dealing with with the contract coming up for renewal again next year. This year we will be planning," said Janyk. "We want to ensure we are at the table again." The teachers’ contract expires June 30, 2001 and BCPSEA is the body charged with negotiating a new deal. The Public School Employers Association was created in 1994. Prior to its creation collective bargaining with the education sector was conducted on a district by district basis by individual school boards. The association was established to manage employee relations in the public school system on behalf of B.C.’s 59 school boards and the Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique. The trustees on the BCPSEA board are joined by four government representatives and a non-voting representative from each of the B.C. School superintendents’ Association and the B.C. School District Secretary-Treasurers’ Association. Janyk said BCPSEA does not get involved with the local Howe Sound CUPE negotiations currently underway for District 48 school support staff. CUPE, however, says BCPSEA has taken on a greater role in what school districts can settle for and how settlement is shaped. The union says individual school districts have cut CUPE jobs and ignored collective agreement language with the help of the school employers association and CUPE has begun working to develop a united strategy to "counter the BCPSEA common front" and a better system of co-ordinated bargaining.