News

BCPSEA calls teacher strike vote premature

The provincial government has called the teacher strike vote uncivilized and premature.

Peter Cameron, chief negotiator with the BC Public School Employers' Association (BCPSEA), said he was surprised to learn of the strike vote announced by BCTF earlier that day.

Especially given that the BCTF, he said, had not yet presented a negotiating position of its own.

"In the absence of a salary position from the union, [the strike vote] is particularly striking," Cameron said in a news conference held Tuesday afternoon.

"It's fine to be in a reason-based contest between our position and a position we haven't even seen yet, but if the union wants to get into that kind of debate, they do have an obligation to put their position forward for public discussion."

Earlier Tuesday, BCTF held a press conference lambasting the government for unfair negotiating practices. The union outlined the government's salary offer that included a 0.5 per cent increase at ratification. Because the current contract ended last year, that means the union will have been without a wage increase for four years.

However, Cameron emphasized that position as an opening position.

"I just think it's extraordinary to go to the public and to their members and say 'Look at this opening position, isn't it terrible?' without using the word opening," said Cameron.

"And once again, I'm asking, where's their opening position anyway?"

Cameron recognized the tactic as a pressure tactic for the government, but said that parents and the school community as a whole should be concerned.

"The long-term consequences of friction within the school system, that should be a concern to everybody," said Cameron.

The two agencies have been in contract negotiations for a full year. Prior to Tuesday, it had been fairly amicable with all details discussed at the table, not in public.

Chilliwack Board of Education was neutral in its reaction to the strike vote.

"We are optimistic that ongoing contract talks between the BCTF and the government will bring resolution to the matters related to provincial bargaining as soon as possible," said board chair Walt Krahn in an email response to The Progress.

The strike vote is next week on March 4, 5, and 6. If the majority is in favour, the union has 90 days to activate job action.

kbartel@theprogress.com

twitter.com/schoolscribe33

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Native art stolen in break-in
 
Trio of fine Canadian musicians on a Sunday
 
Mayoralty candidate: Sharon Gaetz
Teacher strike cheques in the mail
 
Most colonoscopies on time in Fraser region despite demand surge
 
Langley City crime petition takes off like a rocket
Stealth transit fare hike deserves scrutiny: critic
 
Election 2014: Surrey councillor candidates take on questions
 
Man arrested regarding Surrey sex attacks

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 29 edition online now. Browse the archives.