Students walk out of class in Nelson as the latest teacher dispute disrupted B.C. schools in June.

Government won’t stop September school strike

Imposed settlements don't work, so don't expect one if strike drags into September, B.C. finance minister warns

VICTORIA – The B.C. Teachers’ Federation had better not expect an imposed settlement to keep the beginning of the school year from being disrupted, Finance Minister Mike de Jong said Tuesday.

Every other union in the public service has been able to find agreements within the government’s balanced budget mandate, but the teachers’ union might be expecting a legislated settlement as has taken place in the past, de Jong said as he presented the public accounts that show B.C.’s budget balanced as of this spring.

“You cannot send negotiators into a bargaining session with other public sector workers, hammer out agreements that include very modest settlements, and then because another group decides to make a little more noise, provide more, because you are taking from one group in order to satisfy the demands of another within the context of a balanced budget,” de Jong said.

The BCTF strike for the last two weeks of June saved the provincial treasury about $12 million a day, while year-end studies and exams were disrupted. The two sides haven’t communicated since early July, when B.C. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Kelleher said they are too far apart for mediation to be effective.

Education Minister Peter Fassbender said the BCTF has to reduce its demands, in particular improved benefits he said represent an additional $225 million a year. Those include increases to preparation time, pregnancy and parental leave, extended health and dental care and substitute teacher compensation.

De Jong said the lesson of imposing settlements is that they haven’t worked.

“Every other sector of the public service is able to negotiate an agreement,” he said. “What is it about this one area, and is it the expectation that the government will step up and simply legislate an agreement? I hope that’s not the expectation, because that’s not the plan.”

 

Just Posted

Streets of Chilliwack to come alive with classic cars, summer parties

Fortin’s Village Classic Car Show and Party in the Park draw tens of thousands to downtown Chilliwack

Seven Days in Chilliwack

A list of community events happening in Chilliwack from June 17 to 23

Chilliwack’s Secondary Characters celebrate a decade of drama with cabaret

Secondary Characters 10th annual Confectioner’s Cabaret features desserts, performing arts

National Indigenous Peoples Day in Chilliwack has two events

One event is at Tzeachten Field and the other at the Sto:lo Resource Centre

UPDATE: Two-year-old involved in Chilliwack pool drowning has died

Toddler was reported to not be breathing as air ambulance called out Thursday afternoon

VIDEO: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon

MPs hear retired B.C. nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

Metro Vancouver’s air quality could be the worst yet this wildfire season

As wildfire season approached, Metro Vancouver experts predict the air will be an issue for many

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

Update: Multiple fires along the railway tracks in Pitt Meadows

CP rail has closed tracks while firefighters work

Grieving B.C. mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

B.C.’s measles vaccination program gains traction in May

More than 15,000 doses of the MMR vaccine has been administered across the province

B.C. farmers concerned Agricultural Land Reserve changes choking their livelihood

Dozens voice concerns at special meeting hosted on Vancouver Island

Most Read