The Vancouver Island North Teachers’ Association (VINTA) Local President Shawn Gough has issued a press release regarding an issue with First Nations relationships, which you can read in full below:
One of the items that VINTA is engaging in to build solid working relationships with local First Nations has hit a road block thanks to the British Columbia Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA).
In the current round of local bargaining, teachers have requested a territorial acknowledgement be placed in the text of the Collective Agreement. The School Board has agreed that this is important, and both parties have signed off on the proposal.
Unfortunately, the BCPSEA has informed the Board and VINTA that it is not permissible to bargain this proposal at the local level. Both parties have been told that such an article must be negotiated at the provincial table between BCPSEA and the BC Teacher’s Federation (BCTF).
“BCPSEA is telling us that we cannot undertake this important work locally, where we have relationships and an understanding of our local responsibilities. They tell us that this is not a local issue, but a provincial one,” said Gough, local president of VINTA.
“The School District and the Teachers’ Association both believe that this is important to us, and that we have the responsibility to negotiate this locally, but BCPSEA has told us no,” he went on to say.
In this day and age, when the public education system is trying to improve relationships with Indigenous peoples in Canada, the actions of BCPSEA stand in stark opposition.
For more information contact Gough, Local President, 250-949-8888, firstname.lastname@example.org.