New proposals coming in teacher talks

Education Minister Peter Fassbender expects "new concepts" from both sides in long-running labour dispute this week

Education Minister Peter Fassbender

Negotiators for the B.C. Teachers’ Federation and school districts are meeting Friday for the first time since schools were shuttered by a strike in late June, and Education Minister Peter Fassbender expects new proposals from both sides.

Fassbender said Tuesday it’s the first meeting of full bargaining teams in more than a month, and the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association has some “new concepts” to bring to the discussion.

“We’ve already demonstrated our willingness to move on some key elements,” he said. “We need to see the same from the BCTF. They’ve indicated they’re willing to do that.”

He wouldn’t comment on the new proposals, except to reiterate that the BCTF’s position on benefits and other compensation is not in the “affordability zone” established by other public sector union agreements.

If the strike shuts schools again in September, the government plans to use the savings to compensate parents $40 a day for each child under 13 in public school, to assist with daycare or tutoring costs. Fassbender said there would be no conditions attached to the payout.

“My hope is that there isn’t a nickel available as of September, because schools are operating, teachers are back in the classroom, students are there and there is no further disruption,” he said.

The B.C. School Trustees’ Association has urged the government to direct its $12 million a day in payroll savings from the strike to a fund to address class size and special needs support.

Trustees have also called on the union to moderate its benefit demands, which include parental leave, dental benefits, massage therapy and increased preparation time for elementary school teachers.

BCPSEA has offered $375 million over a six-year contract term to provide extra classroom support, and specified class size limits in the teacher contract, to address key issues in a series of court disputes.

 

Just Posted

Port Hardy Reigns compete in Nanaimo at Island Championships

“We are very fortunate to have this opportunity for our youth in Port Hardy”

Derina Harvey Band – Heartfelt, Energetic, Celtic rock comes to Port Hardy

Front-woman Derina Harvey leads this Celtic-rock act, who offer an authentic east-coast experience.

OPINION: Urgent care room will cost lives

“Seniors, of any demographic, are the most vulnerable to the loss of emergency care.”

James Hayward coroner’s inquest rescheduled hours away from where RCMP shooting occured

The family is “a bit disappointed that it’s going to be held in Campbell River”

Deadline looming for North Island College scholarship applications

Students have until April 24 to apply for a record number of… Continue reading

‘No answers:’ Canadians react to Sri Lanka bombings that killed hundreds

The co-ordinated bomb attacks killed at least 207 people and injured 450 more on Easter Sunday

RCMP confirm witnesses say body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

Global Affairs warns Canadians in Sri Lanka there could be more attacks

A series of bomb blasts killed at least 207 people and injured hundreds more

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

Most Read