Charles Jago

Mediator named in teacher dispute

Charles Jago has been appointed to mediate the dispute between the B.C. Teachers' Federation and 60 school districts.

  • Mar. 28, 2012 7:00 p.m.

VICTORIA – Former University of Northern B.C. president Charles Jago has been appointed to mediate the dispute between the B.C. Teachers’ Federation and the bargaining agent for the province’s 60 school districts.

Education Minister George Abbott announced Jago’s appointment Wednesday. Abbott said his staff inquired about two senior judges suggested by the BCTF as possible mediators for the long-running dispute, but both are still serving and are not available.

Abbott said Jago is bound to seek a settlement within the terms of the government’s “net zero” wage mandate, which has been the basis for 130 settlements with public sector unions. But other than that, Jago has a “quite unrestricted mandate” to find common ground in other issues.

Jago’s mandate is defined by the legislation passed to end the BCTF strike and work-to-rule action and impose a six-month cooling-off period. It includes class size and composition, the division of issues between local and provincial bargaining, teacher performance evaluation, “alignment of professional development with teaching needs” and “scheduling and selection of teachers suited to student needs.”

Jago has until the end of June to work with the union and the employers’ association, and then he is to make recommendations for a settlement whether there is agreement or not. The legislation requires that a two-year contract be put in place from the expiry of the earlier contract last spring to June, 2013.

In a conference call from Prince George, Jago said he is hopeful he can make progress if both sides are willing to work on solutions. Even a two-year freeze on total compensation leaves room to find money for wage increases, he said.

Jago said he was involved with faculty negotiations at UNBC and a previous university post in Ontario, but he has no previous experience as a mediator. He is being paid $2,000 a day, which Abbott said is a standard rate for mediators in large labour disputes.

BCTF president Susan Lambert told reporters the union will participate in the mediation, but she is concerned about Jago’s lack of labour relations experience, and also two donations of $500 each Jago made to the B.C. Liberal Party.

Jago said the payments were on behalf of a golf foursome that took part in two party fundraising tournaments, for which he was reimbursed by other players. His policy as a university president was not to donate to any political party, he said.

Lambert also questioned a report on education Jago wrote for the government-appointed B.C. Progress Board in 2006. That report recommended closer interaction between secondary schools and post-secondary institutions, with “priority attention” to promoting trades training.

 

Just Posted

Eke Me-Xi Learning Centre’s 2018-2019 graduating class

The Eke Me-Xi Learning Centre is located on the Tsulquate reserve in the North Island.

Skin deep: A look inside the ink behind Beacon Tattoo

Patrick Berube, owner of Beacon Tattoo, spends most of his Tuesdays at… Continue reading

Second recreational cannabis shop opens its doors in Port Hardy

Pacificanna owner Darren Saunders was excited to finally see his family-run business open up shop.

Bradshaw’s Photo Highlight: A lone crow landing beside an eagle

“I saw an eagle just sitting there, but I had a feeling it wouldn’t be there long as I got closer”

Port McNeill council’s June 17 meeting features ‘packed agenda’

A draft policy on wildfire response for the Port McNeill Volunteer Fire Department was presented.

VIDEO: Tributes flow on 10th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death

Jackson received a fatal dose of the anesthetic propofol on June 25, 2009. He died at age 50

40 cats, kittens surrendered in apparent animal hoarding at Vancouver home

Officers found the cats living among piles of garbage and feces, suffering from fleas

Campers hailed heroes in rock face rescue at Vancouver Island provincial park

The campers quickly noticed the man in distress and jumped into the river to swim across.

Vancouver Aquarium drops cetacean ban lawsuit in new lease agreement

Ocean Wise CEO Lasse Gustavsson called the updated lease an exciting new chapter for the aquarium

Pedestrian struck by vehicle in Stz’uminus dies from injuries

A male pedestrian was struck in the early morning of June 25

Thieves steal two $40K chairs featuring gold serpents from Vancouver furniture store

Chairs believed to be the only two of its kind in Canada, police said

Poll: Rising gas prices force B.C. residents rethink summer road trips

63 per cent of respondents reported gas prices are impacting their day-to-day finances

PHOTO: Moose cow and calf relax in Williams Lake flower garden

The homeowners got a surprise when they checked their most recent surveillance footage

Two in hospital after plane crashes in Okanagan Lake

RCMP say wheels left down caused landing plane to overturn on lake

Most Read