If you have a job, if you want a job, thank a teacher. And those of us who work in British Columbia truly are indebted to the teachers. Not in some academic way; rather, we are indebted for the BC teachers’ / BCTF’s stand for workers’ rights, for fair bargaining rights, for the right to call into question the failures of employers and governments.
If you don’t have a job, and more and more do not, thank the government and your local elected economist. The economy continues to fail and labour discontent is increasing for good reasons.
This particular teachers’ strike is over but more labour unrest is on the horizon in BC. Who’s next?
Nurses, doctors, postsecondary educators and workers at major Crown corporations including B.C. Hydro and the Insurance Corp. of B.C. are some of the public-sector workers who have not yet accepted the government’s standard offer of 5.5-per-cent wage increases over five years.
The public sector contracts that are still up in the air represent half of the workers, but they include some of the most expensive contracts, accounting for two-thirds of the government’s $21-billion wage bill this year.
That creates significant uncertainty for a B.C. budget that remains balanced on a razor’s edge…
Read More: Justine Hunter, Globe & Mail
Posted in BC Education, Contracts, Government, Organizing, Strikes & Labor, Students, Teachers, Unions
Tagged BC education, BCTF, Government, Students, Teachers, unions
CBC, September 16, 2014– A tentative deal has been reached in the months-long B.C. public school teachers’ strike, but the final details still have to be worked out, mediator Vince Ready confirmed this morning.
The breakthrough in negotiations between the B.C. Teachers’ Federation and the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association comes on the fourth day of marathon talks at a Richmond, B.C., hotel.
- No details about the deal will be released before it is finalized, said Ready, who emerged from the hotel to confirm the tentative deal shortly after 4 a.m. PT.
The BCTF first tweeted that a tentative deal had been reached around 3:50 a.m. A few minutes later, Ready told reporters both sides would be meeting again later Tuesday to finalize the details.
Read More: CBC
Posted in BC Education, Government, K-12 issues, Strikes & Labor, Students, Teachers, Unions
Tagged BC education, BCTF, Government, K-12 issues, Students, Teachers, unions
“It’s time Government makes at least one move,” BCTF President Jim Iker pleaded as he announced that an overwhelming 99.4% of teachers voted “Yes to binding arbitration” today to end the strike.
The BC Government remains entrenched, with the Minister of Finance Mike de Jong flippantly commenting on the CBC this morning that “the only people bound in binding arbitration are the tax payers.” Ah, the dreaded bogey of the tax hike…
Like de Jong, the BC Minister of Education Peter Fassbender has been faced squarely looking into the past. Or most would say stuck in the past. Again, nearly every blog has to end this way: As NDP Leader John Horgan put it at the BC Fed-BCTF Rally on Friday: “Mr. Fassbender I say you failed at negotiation, you don’t understand mediation, you couldn’t spell arbitration, so how about resignation?”
Posted in BC Education, Contracts, Disputes, Government, K-12 issues, Strikes & Labor, Students, Teachers, Unions
Tagged BC education, BCTF, Government, K-12 issues, Students, Teachers, unions
BC Federation of Labour, September 9, 2014
BC public sector unions are sending a message to the Premier that they stand in solidarity with BC teachers and are urging her to accept the proposal for binding arbitration.
“The Premier is attempting to use other settlements in the public sector to create a divide among workers in the province,” said Jim Sinclair, President of the B.C. Federation of Labour.
“This tactic is not only an insult to working people in BC, but it also shows how little the Premier understands and respects the collective bargaining process.”
A letter, signed by the presidents of BC’s largest public sector unions, states their full support for BC teachers and reminds the Premier that every bargaining table is unique and every process to settlement different.
The letter states: “We urge you to immediately stop attributing your refusal to bargain critical issues with teachers because you want to be ‘fair to other public sector workers.’ If you want to be fair to all public sector workers, send the outstanding issues to binding arbitration as proposed by the BCTF and remove E80 from the bargaining table.”
“Our unions stand in solidarity with BC teachers in their efforts to win a fair collective agreement and improve educational resources for BC’s children.”
Read full letter
Posted in BC Education, Government, K-12 issues, Organizing, Strikes & Labor, Students, Teach-ins, Unions
Tagged BC education, BCTF, Government, K-12 issues, Strikes & Labor Disputes, Students, Teachers, Working conditions
BCTF President Jim Iker announced this morning that the union’s membership will vote on binding arbitration on Wednesday. This ‘Yes to binding arbitration’ vote is immensely important, as this will formally put the power of the union’s members behind President Iker’s request to the BC Government on Friday to move the stalled contract negotiations to binding arbitration. This also reaffirms the union’s pressures on the BC Government to bargain in good faith.
“It’s whal all teachers, students, and parents want,” the BCTF affirms.
The “only hold out so far” is the BC Government, marked by Minister of Education Peter Fassbender’s blinkered neglect of the public and the strength and resolve of the BCTF, and his stubborn inability to move from timeworn, original positions. As NDP Leader John Horgan put it at the BC Fed-BCTF Rally on Friday: “Mr. Fassbender I say you failed at negotiation, you don’t understand mediation, you couldn’t spell arbitration, so how about resignation?”
Posted in BC Education, Contracts, Government, K-12 issues, Strikes & Labor, Students, Teachers, Unions
Tagged BC education, BCTF, Government, K-12 issues, Strikes & Labor Disputes, Students, Teachers, unions, Working conditions
It is due time Premier Clark, to put the hard on again, and make two tough decisions: Fire Minister Fassbender and agree to binding arbitration to settle the contract with the BC Teachers’ Federation. Two tough decisions. Put the hard hat on.
The Minister of Education has to go as his failures in the aggregate are destructive and disruptive. He has to go. As the opposition NDP Leader John Horgan put it at the BC Fed-BCTF Rally yesterday: “Mr. Fassbender I say you failed at negotiation, you don’t understand mediation, you couldn’t spell arbitration, so how about resignation?”
Premier Clark, how about firing Minister of Education Fassbender? And agree to binding arbitration. Put the hard hat on and make two tough decisions.
Posted in BC Education, Government, K-12 issues, Protests, Strikes & Labor, Students, Teachers, Unions
Tagged BC education, BCTF, Government, K-12 issues, Students, Teachers, Working conditions
Taking the high ground in a prolonged labour dispute, the BC Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) has requested binding arbitration. BC Premiere Christy Clark and Minister of Education Peter Fassbender have been counter-productive in agitating the teachers to suspend the strike. Feeling the pressures of sustained job action– the likes of which BC has not seen in a long time– the Premier and Minister have consistently underestimated the BCTF and made a series of awkward mistakes.
Now, here again is the BCTF taking the high ground and waiting for the Liberals’ response.
BCTF, September 5, 2014– Today, in an effort to find a fair settlement for all parties involved, open schools, and get children and teachers back into classrooms, the BCTF has called for binding arbitration. If the BC Public School Employers’ Association agrees to binding arbitration, the BCTF would quickly put the vote to teachers to end the strike.
BCTF President Jim Iker made the announcement as teachers across the province gathered together for study sessions.
His speaking notes (check against delivery at http://new.livestream.com/BCTF/Sept0514) are below.
First, I want to speak directly to the 40,000 teachers watching around the province in today’s study sessions.
Your determination, solidarity, and support move me every day. You have given up so much for your students and the future of BC’s education system. All British Columbians owe you their gratitude.
Earlier this week, I outlined a simple, pragmatic, and practical way forward to ensure all parties involved reach a fair settlement so we can get schools open.
I also said we would consider all options and close no doors.
So today, I would like to open another one.
Throughout this dispute, BC teachers have led the way in trying to reach a fair deal that gives our students more support. We have made moves, proposed creative ideas, and taken job action only when absolutely necessary.
In return, the government has put up road blocks.
Their focus has been on delay tactics, a $40-a-day payout scheme, and attack ads on Twitter.
I hope that all comes to an end today.
This week, the BCTF Executive Committee met with our provincial Bargaining Team and we are proposing another way forward to get students and teachers back in the classroom.
Today, we are not closing any doors, just opening a new one. Mediation with Vince Ready in our view is still a viable option. However, BCPSEA and government made it clear last weekend that they were not ready or willing to get the job done.
They did not respond in any meaningful way to any of the significant moves teachers made.
Today, we are putting forward another option for all of us—government and teachers to resolve this dispute and reach a fair settlement.
Today, the BCTF is calling on BCPSEA and the BC Liberal government to agree to binding arbitration.
Read more: BCTF
Posted in BC Education, Disputes, Government, K-12 issues, Protests, Strikes & Labor, Students, Teachers, Unions
Tagged BC education, BCTF, Government, K-12 issues, Students, Teachers, unions, Working conditions