Teacher’s union balking at paying massive bill from the province

Vancouver, BC, Canada / News Talk 980 CKNW | Vancouver's News. Vancouver's Talk
Teacher's union balking at paying massive bill from the province

The BC Teachers Federation has sent the provincial government’s lead negotiator a letter telling him not to expect a cheque from the union.

Peter Cameron says he is not backing down on a threat to bill the union roughly five-million-dollars a month for health costs until a deal gets done.

“The invoice will be in the mail in time enough to get delivered to the union before the first of the month. So they have time to cut the cheque because that is what the labour code says it should be paid in advance.”

Cameron expects the BCTF to take issue with the bill when it arrives.

“Well it is always open to the union if they don’t believe we have the right to do that, which is what they say, that the union can go to the labour board.”

Reporter “And I anticipate as I am sure you do as well that, that is where we are headed?”

“It certainly is a good possibility.”

Cameron says negotiations are also heading for what he calls a “difficult time.”

“Well there has to be some point to meeting. We are not going to meet for the purpose of just looking at each other.”

He says the two sides remain far apart on the chief issue wages.

“We have got a proposal that is pretty close, or within the settlement zone of other unions, adn they have one that is several times higher and they take the position that they want a whole lot more money than everyboy else got. That is bringing bargaining into a tough place.”

However the teacher’s union as of late last week said they have not been offered anything similar to what other unions were offered under the cooperative gains mandate.


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  1. This is just another classic move by the Liberals to show how much they HATE teachers and the students in this province. Underfund education so BC receives the worst per-student funding, download costs to school boards (ex. carbon offsets)–just make life more and more difficult for everyone in the education system.

    A society not willing to invest in its education is not a moral and just society.

    I hold no hope for a negotiated settlement. The government has been completely unreasonable–only offering concessions at the table (why don’t we hear the media report THAT fact??).

    I fear for the future of education. Christy Clark wants a U.S. model–charter schools or private schools under the guise of “choice”. “Choice” means division between the “haves” and the “have nots”, ie, a larger proportion of special needs and learning disabled in the less desirable schools, and all the bright, capable students in the more desirable schools. Sort of like our class system: upper class and working poor–no middle class.

    • Where are these concessions? According to the BCTF the main issue is that they want 4 times what the last three public sector unions settled for. The BCTF have stated they are wanting increases in their benefits and it just the amount of the increase that’s the issue. Is this normal BCTF speak where if they don’t get what the want, any actual increase is called a concession?

    • “A society not willing to invest in its education is not a moral and just society.”

      Aldina, this statement actually proves we have a moral and just society. We invest $Billions$ every year in our education system. I think to make your point it would have to be edited to this:

      “A society not willing to invest in its education, to the level Aldina feels is adequate, is not a moral and just society.”

  2. Way to go Al
    Seems to me that its time for the majority to rid themselves of the radical few who control them and bring back the respect to the teachers profession,

  3. “Baulking”??? How British can we get?

    Fassbender seems to now acknowledge that it is an accepted tactic for either side to put pressure on the other to reach an agreement. While the BCTF withdrew teacher supervision during non-class times and banned written communications with administrators, the province has apparently not yielded to that pressure other than to respond by billing the BCTF for the cost of employee benefits.

    The government response sounds like a case of using an elephant gun rather than a fly swatter as there is no evidence that learning outcomes are affected. A bit of over-reaction indeed. That being the case, the thought of a full strike must be devastating.

    Interestingly enough, the same job actions by the BCTF, in another era which resulted in little more than inconvenience to the education system, was virtually ignored.

    Well this is a big change from a government which previously encouraged and provoked a full-strike-according to the justice system-which allegedly makes its own laws.

  4. D–to answer your question, “where are the concessions?”–EXACTLY MY POINT! There have been/are lots of concessions at the negotiating table but the public doesn’t know about them (so I’m telling you) because the media refuse to report on them. Why???

    • Are you actually suggesting if there were concessions on the table that BCTF wouldn’t be screaming about them and so would the media,they love conflict but they’re not going to make it up just to make the BCTF happy. Stop making stuff up.

      Oh I heard the BCTF is actually asking for 45% salary increase and 15 days less of instruction time. Why isn’t the media reporting on that? Perhaps because it’s not true.

  5. William–careful, you’re ignorance is showing. You are obviously not a teacher or a parent because if you were, the cutbacks to education over the past dozen or so years would be GLARINGLY OBVIOUS!

    Spend some time volunteering in your neighbourhood school or better yet, go to university for six years and become a teacher. Either experience will open your eyes and wipe out that ignorance for good!

    • Aldina, I might suggest that your view of the school system is slightly off or at least slanted.

      Volunteering? Try and see what happens.

      And it’s 5 years and less than a great number of positions out there.

      You know what else if GLARINGLY OBVIOUS, the reduced amount the time that a large number of teachers spent on classroom preparation. My son gets docked marks because he spells the canadian version of words and the marking sheet that the teacher gives out to the students to check their work is printed from an Americian website. Doesn’t match, therefore it’s wrong. And no, it’s not been changed. The teacher said he’s not going to worry about it. Of course the real sad part is only a couple of parents actually noticed. Another teacher will only discuss student issues via email and that she will respond in 2 to 3 weeks after receiving a request.

      As opposed to suggesting people get the education to become a teacher (we all know there’s an excess of teachers) perhaps teachers might take some time off, like a sabitical, and work outside the school system and see what’s it’s like to work a actual full year (not 9 months and with Pro-D days, etc) and start work at 7:30am and stay to 6pm to finish a project. And please, don’t suggest the teachers actually work 50 or 60 per week….no one believes that.

  6. Ron_26: If you have nothing to contribute to this conversation, better to keep your mouth shut than be thought a fool. Open it and remove all doubt.

    Your “attacks” and bullying tactics do nothing to add to this conversation.