BCTF negotiations continuing with mediator

Teacher contract negotiations are moving, but a legislated contract is still likely.

Teacher contract negotiations are moving, but a legislated contract is still likely, according to Comox District Teachers’ Association president Steve Stanley.Stanley said B.C. Teachers’ Federation representatives have had a number of meetings with government-appointed mediator Charles Jago so far and things look less bleak than they did just a couple of months ago.”It was a little rocky, I think, at the start but now it looks like they’ve had some substantive discussions,” Stanley said. “At least, you know, there’s issues on the table that are looking hopeful anyway, optimistic, that maybe he will be able to find some middle ground.”Jago was appointed by government earlier this spring when Bill 22 was brought in. He has been meeting with the BCTF and the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association to see if the two sides can come to an agreement, and is expected to report his findings to government by the end of June.Although Stanley said the BCTF has been negotiating in earnest with Jago, it is also going ahead with a court case to have Jago’s appointment as mediator quashed because of his connections to the Liberal government.Last week, Education Minister George Abbott told media a contract will be imposed by government before the start of the next school year if the dispute is not settled through mediation. Stanley said what the contract looks like will determine teachers’ actions — and what the next school year could look like. “It feels like (a legislated contract is) going to happen — depending on what that looks like of course could have a big impact on next year,” said Stanley. “Things could be worse next year, or if the (contract) comes back and it’s something people can live with, maybe it’ll be fine — it really depends.”The cooling-off period imposed by Bill 22 ends in August, and Stanley said teachers are not allowed to discuss future plans of action until that period is over.Teachers withdrew from extracurricular activities to legally protest Bill 22, which makes a strike illegal. The BCPSEA filed an application to the Labour Relations Board to have the BCTF’s withdrawal from extracurricular activities declared illegal. The LRB has not ruled yet.According to Stanley, the BCTF has filed a court petition around the right to strike, essential services legislation and government interference, which it is calling Charter of Rights and Freedoms issues. It’s also going to court over class size issues, and has a civil case in the works surrounding the constitutionality of Bill 22.writer@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Just Posted

A Saanich man received almost 10 years in Supreme Court in Courtenay for a shooting incident from 2018. Record file photo
Shooting incident north of Courtenay nets almost 10-year sentence

Richard Daniel Vigneault was arrested without incident and faced 16 counts

Danielle Egilson has been awarded a $40,000 post-secondary scholarship with The Cmolik Foundation. Photo supplied
Student from Courtenay’s Vanier Secondary lands prestigious scholarship

Cmolik Foundation provides opportunities for youth who’ve experienced adversity

Poverty is a sad reality for some people in the Comox Valley. Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash
Project takes a hard look at poverty in the Comox Valley

Objective is to reduce poverty in the Comox Valley by 25 per cent over four years

Dr. Aref Tabarsi, a general pathologist at the North Island Hospital Campbell River Hospital Medical Laboratory, spoke about the issue of service in the region at a meeting in February 2020. Black Press file photo
Comox Strathcona hospital board wants pathology service back

Board supports move for chair, vice-chair to engage with Island Health on issue

Comox town hall. Black Press file photo
Comox approves 2021 tax rates

Homeowners can expect a 4.95 per cent in their residential tax rates this year

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

The only access to 5th Street bridge heading east (toward Lewis Park) is via Anderton Avenue. Photo by Terry Farrell.
Single lane alternating traffic controls on Courtenay bridge now in effect

Single lane alternating traffic on the 5th Street Bridge is now in… Continue reading

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
MISSING: Salt Spring RCMP find woman’s car, still seek Island resident

Sinikka Gay Elliott is 5’3” with a slim build and dark brown short hair

Bradley Priestap in an undated photo provided to the media some time in 2012 by the London Police Service.
Serial sex-offender acquitted of duct tape possession in B.C. provincial court

Ontario sex offender on long-term supervision order was found with one of many ‘rape kit’ items

Rich Coleman, who was responsible for the gaming file off and on from 2001 to 2013, was recalled after his initial testimony to the Cullen Commission last month. (Screenshot)
Coleman questioned over $460K transaction at River Rock during B.C. casinos inquiry

The longtime former Langley MLA was asked about 2011 interview on BC Almanac program

Steven Shearer, <em>Untitled. </em>(Dennis Ha/Courtesy of Steven Shearer)
Vancouver photographer’s billboards taken down after complaints about being ‘disturbing’

‘Context is everything’ when it comes to understanding these images, says visual art professor Catherine Heard

Most Read