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

Victoria ranks 20th among 25 Canadian cities for Internet experience

Findings appear in a 2016 report from Canadian Internet Registration Authority

Squirrels star of guided walk in Saanich park

Going Squirrelly Guided Walk happening Sunday in Francis/King Regional Park

B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages

The December storm wreaked havoc on B.C.’s south coast

Oak Bay realtor recalls sale of home where family was murdered

Home sellers not always required to disclose violent crimes

Victoria police seek witnesses after assault reported by man in wheelchair

Cops hope to speak with witnesses near Yates and Douglas on Jan. 13 between 1:45 and 3:15 p.m.

Trudeau says politicians shouldn’t prey on Canadians’ fears

The Prime Minister was speaking at a townhall in Ontario

Body of Canadian miner found after African kidnapping

Kirk Woodman’s body was discovered 100 kilometres from the site where he worked for Progress Mineral Mining Company in Burkina Faso

POLL: Should people have to license their cats?

The Victoria Natural History Society has sent letters to 13 municipalities in… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Study finds more than half of food produced in Canada wasted

The study released Thursday is the world’s first to measure food waste using data from industry and other sources instead of estimates

Snowed-in Austrian nuns insist they’re staying put

Authorities have deployed heavy equipment to clear snow and fallen trees blocking the road to the monastery

Condo rental bans may be on way out with B.C. empty home tax

Many exemptions to tax, but annual declarations required

B.C. chief says they didn’t give up rights for gas pipeline to be built

Hereditary chief: no elected band council or Crown authority has jurisdiction over Wet’suwet’en land

Thieves steal thousands from 140 Coast Capital Savings members

Online fraud tactics included phising and ‘brute force’ in November and December

Most Read