B.C. teachers ratify tentative contract agreement

Members of the BC Teachers’ Federation have ratified a tentative contract agreement with the BC Public School Employers’ Association.

Members of the BC Teachers’ Federation have ratified a tentative contract agreement with the BC Public School Employers’ Association after weeks of talks with government-appointed mediator Dr. Charles Jago.

In a provincewide vote last week, 75 per cent of more than 21,000 teachers who cast ballots voted in favour of the agreement. The turnout rate was 52 per cent.

BCPSEA is expected to vote Wednesday. If ratified, the net-zero contract would extend to July 1, 2013.

“I think it’s a good thing that matters are settled, at least for the time being,” Comox Valley School District board chair Tom Weber said Tuesday. “I think it’s fully recognized that the agreement that has been negotiated is to run only through until the spring/summer of next year. I trust that those involved, both on the government side and the BCTF side, will continue to dialogue as necessary.

“I think that it offers a period of time that’s a little more settled,” Weber added. “I’m hopeful that’s some comfort to district staff as well as students and parents.”

In a news release, BCTF president Susan Lambert says the agreement “does absolutely nothing to improve the situation in classrooms for students or teachers.

“It doesn’t address class size and composition nor does it provide a fair and reasonable salary increase for our members, who have fallen far behind teachers in other parts of Canada,” Lambert said, noting the BCTF secured “modest improvements” in “outdated” teacher benefits and certain leave provisions.

“However, the most significant achievement is that we succeeded in getting government take its concession demands off the table. Throughout 80 bargaining sessions, government refused to budge from net-zero and persisted in demanding the elimination of hard-won labour rights and fair process provisions around post and fill, and transfer and recall. With this settlement we have forced government off its punitive agenda.”

Teachers will continue to hold government accountable for providing funding, resources and support to meet the diverse educational needs of children, the release states.

“This year alone, we are facing a $100-million funding shortfall due to inflationary pressures, so we know there will be further cuts to programs and services in schools come September,” Lambert said.

Exactly a year ago Friday, teachers voted 90 per cent to launch a ‘teach only’ campaign at the beginning of the school year.

Teachers have been without a contract for more than a year. They took the first phase of limited job action from September to March, held a three-day, full-scale walkout and withdrew from extracurricular activities.

Both sides brought actions before the Labour Relations Board.

Jago had until the end of June to help both parties reach an agreement. Education Minister George Abbott had earlier said an imposed contract would be put into place if an agreement was not reached before the start of the school year.

The BCTF continues to challenge Bill 22, which ordered an end to teachers’ job action and compelled a mediation process under threat of fines.

reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Just Posted

BC Hydro increasing flow in Puntledge River

BC Hydro is warning the public to stay away from the Puntledge… Continue reading

Comox Valley Regional District announces key water treatment project land acquisition

District buys land from Courtenay and District Fish & Game Protective Association

Winds of up to 90 km/hr forecasted to hit Vancouver Island

Environment Canada is warning that loose objects may cause damage

VIDEO: Humpback whale plays with a log near Comox Harbour

On Dec. 2, Lifeforce Ocean Friends found a four-year-old humpback named “Lorax”… Continue reading

Seasonal favourite comes to the Sid Williams Theatre

Many of us can remember a favourite Christmas gift - what is… Continue reading

VIDEO: Close encounter with a whale near Canada-U.S border

Ron Gillies had his camera ready when a whale appeared Dec. 7

Prosecutor signs off on former B.C. Liberal government’s quick-wins probe

David Butcher said in a statement released Monday that the RCMP recommended charges under the Elections Act

Canadian physicist who won Nobel Prize touts science for the sake of science

Donna Strickland, 59, said securing the field’s highest honour has given her a significant new platform

Too many die in heavy truck crashes, B.C. auditor says

Province has no mandatory driver training for commercial vehicles

B.C. city considers scrapping funds for Christmas decorations

Victoria city coun. Ben Isitt doesn’t think the government should pay for any religious symbols

BCHL player lifts Canada West to second win at World Junior A Challenge

Chilliwack Chiefs player has a three-point performance

Well-known B.C. snowmobile guide killed in rollover accident

Shuswap sledding communty mourns loss of experienced Sicamous snowmobiler

B.C.’s skyrocketing real estate market will ‘correct’ in 2019: analyst

Housing prices in Vancouver are set to rise just 0.6 per cent

Most Read