Chilliwack school trustees fear loss of bargaining control

Incoming government changes to bargaining with teachers and CUPE is causing concern among Chilliwack school trustees.

  • Oct. 15, 2013 10:00 a.m.

Chilliwack school trustees fear the B.C. government could be setting them up for another funding shortfall with teacher contract negotiations.

The provincial government is angling for a 10-year contract with B.C. teachers, however, as it stands now, school boards will have very little say in those negotiations, said Chilliwack trustee Barry Neufeld.

This summer, the ministry of education essentially did away with the BC Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) and announced it would be restructuring the K-12 bargaining process to give the government more autonomy over contract negotiations.

BCPSEA was the accredited bargaining agent for the province’s 60 public boards of education for unionized teaching and support staff. It had representation from school boards and government.

“The government is stripping the power and authority of local school boards,” Neufeld said.

Without school board representation in contract negotiations, Neufeld believes boards would be fitted the bill for the pay raises and other concessions.

“The only way the teachers are going to agree to anything is if they’re given considerable concessions that will last for 10 years,” said Neufeld, “which means we’ll have to scrounge around, and cut here and cut there so we can give our employees a raise.”

Chilliwack is joining other trustees from around the province to present a unified voice in opposition of the government taking sole control of negotiations.

“We want to retain the right to approve final bargaining at the local level before the contract is signed,” said Neufeld. “We’re also insisting that if [the government] is going to give teachers a raise, they’ve got to give [school districts] more money to pay for the raise.”

The Fraser Valley branch of trustees are meeting this Thursday to discuss the issue, and later this month trustees from across B.C. will also be meeting.

Just Posted

Spartan grad shines at NCAA Div-II swimming nationals

Jessie Gibson earned All-American status in four events and smashed Simon Fraser team records.

Third ice sheet proposed for Twin Rinks addition project

Council is considering $8M proposal this week from shortlisted proponent

Greg Moore Raceway rolls into 2018 season

With new faces on the board, Chilliwack’s hidden gem is ready to step into the spotlight.

Rescue boat theft marks third in 3 years for Agassiz-based SAR team

Eight-metre Spirit of Harrison rescue vessel was stolen Friday night, found Saturday morning

CRA scam the email edition targeted the Mounties in Chilliwack

Fraudsters claim to be from the Canada Revenue Agency but the CRA never operates this way

VIDEO: NatureKids “critterscape” at Cheam Lake Wetlands

A group of children helped keep invasive species in check at the local park

Spring snow melt uncovers dirty needles in B.C. city

Vernon residents are upset with number of needles being found around town with spring melt

US would host majority of games at 2026 World Cup

A decision on the winning bid will be made June 13 at the FIFA Congress in Mexico

‘A perfect storm’: Gas prices could hit $1.60 by April, expert says

Prices will shoot up to 155.7 cents a litre by end of week or early next week

Most people in B.C. too ‘lazy,’ ‘apathetic’ to prepare for disasters: poll

Less than half of those surveyed aren’t insured for earthquakes and wildfires

Chris Hemsworth goes surfing in Tofino

The Australian actor donned a full body wetsuit to catch some waves on Vancouver Island this weekend

B.C. hospitals receive boost for dental surgery

Disabled people needing general anesthetic wait too long, Adrian Dix says

BCHL Today: Wenatchee Wild on the ropes and Smoke Eaters reeling

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

5 to start your day

Kinder Morgan protests heat up, a horse rescued from a muddy field and more

Most Read