Updated: Promised decade long education deal now off the table

Vancouver, BC, Canada / (CKNW AM) AM980

Big move on the education front.

The BC government has backed away from its long-held demand of a ten year deal with the BC Teachers’ Federation.

Education Minister Peter Fassbender now says teacher’s will be offered a six year deal, including a signing bonus.

But Fassbender says this is not a comedown.

“Well we’re not backing off on our desire for a decade of labour peace, that is fundamental to the platform that we have.”

And another carrot for teachers is a time-limited signing bonus.

“So that we clearly show that we want an agreement, we want that agreement before the end of the school year.”

He won’t say how much the signing bonus might be saying it must be tabled first.

Premier Christy Clark had stated repeatedly she wanted the stability of a ten year deal.

But the union has always said there is no way it would agree to a deal of that duration.

The BC Teachers Federation says members will be relieved a 10 year deal is off the table as the government now offers a six-year-deal and a signing bonus if there’s an agreement before the end of the school year.

President Jim Iker says the 10 year contract proposal was unfair, unreasonable and unworkable.

However Iker says major sticking points remain.

“The government has not tabled or proposed a single improvement to class size, class composition, or staffing levels for specialized teachers who work one on one with our students, and that’s so important for us.”

And of course there is wages “This government is still pushing zeros, a non retroactive increase in year one, and another zero in year two. And we’ve just come off two legislated zeros.”

Iker adds the union wants a four year deal but is open to compromise, and he hopes an agreement will be reached by the end of June.

Comments

  1. Teachers are currently asking for 4.5% per year for their agreement, 47,000 health care workers agreed to 1.1% per year.

    Watch the teachers drop down to 4.25% and then wonder out loud why the government (taxpayers) won’t jump at it.

    • Other public unions are coming off 2 year contracts that gave on average 3.5 to 4 percent increase over term of contract. If teachers were offered the same for first 2 years and then the same as others over next 3….do you not think a deal would have been done. No such offer…instead zeros. You want teachers to jump at more zeros. ..not going to happen. Fair deals get done fast…not unfair ones

      • The world is unfolding as intended. Teacher contract duration and expiry dates are designed to always fall out of step with the rest of the public sector.

        This tends to favour the government as it prevents the public from accurately comparing the settlements reached by other public sectors to what is offered to the BCTF.

        Every time the issue of “catch up” sticks out as a sore thumb. Perhaps the issue of “catch up” could be separated from the main negotiating issues and the parties agree to binding arbitration-Vince Ready presiding.

        It seems only a third party, if allowed, may be able to resolve that issue-with a solution that neither party will be happy with. At least binding arbitration will put this issue to rest and teacher contracts can follow the rest of the public sector workers in terms of salary percentage increases. There is an element of fairness which is crying out for a solution and a third-party verdict may provide the answer.

        An equitable contract is long overdue.

      • The teachers have been offered that same deal (there’s a 0.017% difference).

        Teachers want 4 times what the last 4 public sector unions have agreed to and that doesn’t include increases to benefits which both sides have said are going up.

        So yes a deal should be done but a fair one.

  2. six year contract ok, zero signing bonus, same wage increase as the rest of the public service, no changes to class size or composition or anything else, is only acceptable.

    There should be no such thing as a signing bonus in the public service what so ever.

  3. Even a six year deal with these clowns is pushing it. Remember. They are the ones, the brightest and the best, that just tear up legal contracts. I don’t think their word on anything is meaningful. As snookums would say, “YA NO”

  4. Re: headline – a 10 year deal was NEVER a “promise” Sean. It was a good goal to aim for for all sides. It was soon obvious that the BCTF would never agree though so this announcement has been expected. The TF has historically demanded their way or no deal.

  5. Imagine! Instead of an entire generation of our students going through K-12 education system without disruption, these students can only look forward to six years (either K-6 or 7-12 or whatever) of uninterrupted classroom instruction. Another promise broken.

    What was touted as the “holy grail” of solutions to end all teacher contract disputes has now gone up in smoke. But there is always a clever political trick involved.

    Perhaps it is not in the best interests of government to have 10 years of peace in the classroom. Why…. that would cramp its style and limit it to being able to provoke the BCTF into a strike only once every 10 years.

  6. who in their right mind would sign a 10 year contract for hardly any raise, Is Fasbender coming up with this stuff in his own or is he a puppet? they just snap their fingers and give themselves a 40 per cent raise . Want to set an example Fassbender sign Mlas to that raise for 10 years!!!!!!!!

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