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

New Coast Guard radar boosts marine traffic monitoring off B.C. coast

Six radar installations set up for Georgia Strait to Queen Charlotte Strait to Prince Rupert

Port Alice resident a descendant of two Aboriginal war heroes

Charlie and Henry Byce are Canada’s most decorated father and son in history.

Port Hardy council hesitant to formalize question period in agendas, refers it to committee

In first act as new council, representatives were uncertain about formalizing question periods.

Gas prices on Vancouver Island to drop six cents

But a ‘volatile’ market could lead to increases in the coming weeks

Mt. Waddington’s Salvation Army releases eye-opening statistics report for 2017

Shelter overnight stays saw a 431 per cent increase since 2014.

Winter weather hits parts of Canada

As some parts of the country brace for cold, parts of B.C. remain warmer than 10 C

Canada’s health system commendable overall but barriers to care remain: UN

The United Nations says Canada’s health care system is “commendable” overall but vulnerable groups still face barriers to quality care.

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

Kelly Ellard’s boyfriend has statutory release revoked

Darwin Duane Dorozan had several parole infractions that found him ‘unmanageable’

Six String Nation’s Voyageur guitar comes to Port Hardy Secondary School

The presentation at the school is one of many showings Jowi Taylor is putting on in Port Hardy.

Harvest Food Bank prepares for busy winter season

Port Hardy’s Harvest Food Bank has prepared itself as the winter season… Continue reading

Doctor’s note shouldn’t be required to prove you’re sick: poll

70% of Canadians oppose allowing employers to make you get a sick note

Port Alberni convenience store robbed

Police still searching for suspect

German-born B.C. man warns against a ‘yes’ vote on proportional representation

Agassiz realtor Freddy Marks says PR in his home country shows party elites can never be voted out

Most Read