Teacher demands ‘too high’ for mediation

Latest BCTF offer rejected, neither mediation nor a legislated settlement are being considered, Education Minister Peter Fassbender says

Education Minister Peter Fassbender

The latest offer by the B.C. Teachers’ Federation to settle its strike has moved the union farther from the “zone of settlement” established by other public sector unions, Education Minister Peter Fassbender said Thursday.

With a strike underway that could run until the end of the school year, Fassbender said neither mediation nor a legislated settlement is being considered.

Peter Cameron, chief negotiator for the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association, said the latest union proposal would bring the compensation increase for teachers from 12.5% over five years to 14.5%. On wages and benefits alone, Cameron said that is more than twice the increase other unions, including school support staff employees, have accepted.

The BCTF added to its proposal of an 8% wage increase over five years this week with a proposed $225 million fund paid out over five years to settle thousands of grievances filed over the past decade. Those grievances sought to return class size caps and specialist teacher levels that were removed from the contract by legislation, and were ordered restored by a B.C. Supreme Court decision that is now under appeal.

The union wants a second $225 million annual fund to fund ongoing class size and special needs support.

“It is well into the $2 billion range,” Fassbender said of the union proposal. “It’s unaffordable for taxpayers.”

BCTF president Jim Iker said the union’s proposal is fair in light of the latest court decision.

“Evidence from the government’s own officials presented in B.C. Supreme Court shows the government has stripped $275 million per year from B.C.’s public education system,” Iker said.

Fassbender said that misrepresents the situation, because the government has put an extra $1 billion a year into the education system since taking class size and compensation out of the teacher contract in 2002.

It has been spent in different ways, such as learning assistants who are not teachers, full-day kindergarten and a $75 million annual “learning improvement fund” to address class size and special needs support, Fassbender said.

 

Just Posted

Parksville youngsters design problem-solving robot

Lego robotics team gearing up for gold in Victoria competition

Parksville wants consultant to examine feasibility of rec centre

Strong demand from residents for a multi-sport facility

Developers withdraw rezoning application for huge Parksville waterfront plan

IAG to create new draft after processing public feedback

Part Three: 10 questions with a Qualicum Beach historian

Local guide shares stories of town’s foundations

Shambhala named best music festival in North America

Shambhala Music Festival is held at the Salmo River Ranch in B.C.

B.C. MLA calls on province to restrict vaping as first related illness appears in Canada

Todd Stone, Liberal MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson, introduced an anti-vaping bill in April

Chilliwack woman wins right to medically assisted death after three-year court battle

Julia Lamb has been the lead plaintiff in a legal battle to ease restrictions on Canada’s assisted dying laws

B.C. bus crash survivor petitions feds to fix road where classmates died

UVic student’s petition well over halfway to 5k signature goal

NDP, Liberals promise more spending, while Tories promise spending cuts

Making life more affordable for Canadians a focus in the 2019 election

UPDATE: Police probe third threat against a Kamloops high school in eight days

Police have not released any further details into what the threat includes

Charges dropped against Mountie involved in shooting death of Surrey man

‘I feel like I’ve lost Hudson all over again,’ says mom

B.C. Interior caribou protection area big enough, minister says

Proposals sparked protest in Kootenays, Williams Lake region

Most Read