UPDATED: Province threatens teachers with wage rollback

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UPDATED: Province threatens teachers with wage rollback

BC’s lead negotiator for BC Public school Employers’ Association Peter Cameron threatened to roll back wages five percent for teachers if they don’t agree to a new deal. That rollback would escalate to ten percent if their job action increases to Phase Two.

Vancouver School Board chair Patti Baccus says school boards have been caught off guard by this.

She says they had no idea teachers were going to be threatened with a wage rollback.

“As the employer’s who are responsible for the districts that put out paycheques it’s very concerning to us that we’re hearing this news on a Friday afternoon with no kind of forewarning.”

Baccus says this is a “clear escalation” in this dispute, and she’s “concerned” about where all this is heading.

Cameron says if teachers take the deal before the end of the school year, they get a $1200 signing bonus, adding the union demands amounting to 21.5 per cent over four years are too high considering many other government employees have accepted much less.

The union says it will take this to the Labour Relations Board.



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  1. Excellent! Except I totally disagree with the so called ‘signing bonus’. There is no justification for any wage increase for teachers that would exceed that already provided to other public service segments, The Teachers are well paid with benefits that most British Columbians will never see. Education too is well funded with taxpayer increases provided at frequent budget cycles.

    The taxpayer is fed up with the constant demands by the BCTF and for that matter the rest of the Public Service unions. Public Service wages on average are 25% more than the private sector, and that must be reversed.

    • Signing bonus isn’t a bonus, it’s bait that the government hopes the teachers will bite on. $1200 bonus to save that tenfold in no change to class size and composition is a good bargain for the employer.

      Education is too well funded? Perhaps you haven’t been following news highlighting the drastic cuts and outcry from nearly every district of the province. Also,I think you are incorrect in insinuating that public school teachers are 25% better paid than private school teachers. I have several friends teaching in independent schools that teach 5 blocks (vs. the 7 I teach in a public school) and get paid more than me because they get incentives to coach. FYI, their salaries are still heavily subsidized with tax payer dollars.

    • I am so sick and tired of those who have never even stepped foot in a classroom making judgement calls about our reasons for fighting for a fair deal. I welcome you into my classroom at any time. I have 9 children with special needs and 21 others who rarely get any time with their teacher. Imagine, 1 child with fetal alcohol, 2 with severe debilitating anxiety, 1 child who is 13 with a mind of a 5 year old, 1 child with severe behaviour (loses his temper and beats others up once a week), and not to mention the other 4 who are “grey area kids” which means there is no diagnosis simply because they can function and therefore no funding either. Now, I am not fighting for a wage increase, but more help in my classroom. I am fighting for better working conditions (for these kids!) and definitely smaller classroom sizes so our future generation can thrive. Instead, we get “crapped” on by the propaganda that is our news and media to make the public hate us by showing our wage requests. And people like you cannot see past it. This corporation that is our government has one intention and one only – to make the public system of education so undesirable so the elite can flock even more to private schools so that our lovely government does not have to fund public education. If you really want to talk about wages I will do so. Have you had a raise in the past 5 years? We haven’t! We just want a cost of living increase so we don’t make less each year. We personally spend thousand of dollars of our own money paying for school supplies, books, field trips and even funding the food program (all no longer funded by the government) as well as Christmas gift program so our less fortunate students can have a better Christmas. Please don’t judge us based on what you think you know. Spend some time on the front lines and fight for our children instead.

      • Well Helen- if this is typical of BC classrooms :
        ” Imagine, 1 child with fetal alcohol, 2 with severe debilitating anxiety, 1 child who is 13 with a mind of a 5 year old, 1 child with severe behaviour (loses his temper and beats others up once a week)…..

        then teachers should be demanding that only kids that are capable of being in a particular grade should be in that classroom and certain special needs kids be taught differently.

        FYI none of my friends or family have had raises in 5 years and most of us have taken a drastic pay cut.

        • Well Kelly, this is simply not how our education system works. You get what you get in terms of what your students are able and not able to do and you do your best from there. To that end, teachers are asking for more support for the most needy of students in the form of more funding for specialist teachers and so far that has been ignored.

          It is time that parents speak up for this, because whenever we try to, we teachers are painted as greedy and entitled.

          I for one would love to see one of the brave-behind-the-keyboard people step into the shoes of a teacher for a week, then tell me how easy our job is

      • If you’re not fighting for a wage increase (4 times the rest of the unions) and what to focus on the classroom, you need to speak to your union. The main focus is to get an increase that is out of step with all the other public sector unions.

        And with regard to the number of special needs kids in your classroom, if you have diagnosed kids with IEPs you must have aides in the classroom. Based on your list I would suggest at least 3 (more than likely 4) plus a teacher’s aide.

        One third of all classroom have a teacher’s aide regardless of the number of special needs kids.

  2. So if I understand this correctly, teachers still doing their job which is to teach and yet they will lose 5% of their wages. Do rotating strikes, lose wages on day you not working plus another 10% of your wages for days when you working and teaching the children of the province. All this done under the rules the Liberals created when they made education an essential service. Then people wonder why teachers don’t quickly come to agreements with Liberals…do they use these same tactics with othe public sector unions?

    • So if Teachers only do part of their job they should still be paid full wages? Why.

      Why is it okay for the Union to pressure the Taxpayer, but the Taxpayer can’t do the same?
      Also. when a Union is on strike it is the usual for the employees to pay for their benefits. Most all Unions understand the benefit in this, but it has to be different for this Union.

  3. What I find most memorable about our ruling government is their penchant for bullying. They are masters. Talk about confrontational! They wrote the book.

    I’d like to also make note that they have passed their bullying tactics along to the office staff at BC Hydro. You might say they are clones.

    • The BCTF are the biggest and most ruthless bullies anywhere.
      Hundreds of thousands pf people watch in shock as a group of TEACHERS verbally harass and bullied an Arbitrator, and made fun of him as they saw his hands shaking from his medical condition.
      I never witnessed anything as despicable as that, and you have the gall to suggest the Government is the bully. Typical BCTF.

  4. The Lieberals are threatening now…….ooooh… bet the teachers are just shaking..LOL Just like when Crusty Clark said she was going to the USA to tell them like it is.. You could
    hear all the senators laughing from here.

  5. The Liberals are too generous! Performance based raises are the only answer. They need a system where only a certain percentage can get the maximum raise of 2-3% and a minimum percentage are deemed unfit to teach and fired every year.

  6. The Liberals, under Christy Clark, introduce bullying legislation and they end up bullying the teachers with an ultimatum? “Take the deal or else” – sure sounds like bullying to me.

    AND a $1200.00 signing bonus!!! – where in the @#$%^&* is my signing bonus!!! That is complete crap offering a signing bonus to a bunch of whiners.

  7. Labour Relations wouldn’t allow this wage rollback. Teachers are teaching, doing report cards, extracurricular activities, etc. How can the government justify a wage rollback? That’s called bullying and fear-mongering.

  8. And the bctf tactics aren’t considered bullying ?? I ain’t no Lib supporter but I back their tactics here. Offer less than 2% per year,
    salary reduction if they don’t sign and declare them an essential service and force them
    back if they strike. You got to start getting tough with all gov’t unions and now is a good time to begin. Take the pain now . Get their salaries in line with private industry requiring similar skills and job sets. And scub the signing ( or should it be called ” whining ” ) bonus.

  9. This union is bullyproof. Seems negotiators are out of touch and desperate. Offering a bribe to sign a contract. May work for some but seems corrupt. Hopefully teachers will take the high road

  10. How can a province be led by buffoons that understand nothing of labour law in this province. They sure as hell wouldn’t play this silly game with the medical system, because 100% of the public would be affected and up in arms. Yet they will issue idle threats, almost extortion like, with teachers, which effect may 60% of the public. The other 40% of old forts think they will save tax $$$ if the teachers get the shaft. The LRB isn’t that stupid, and once again, Fastbender will look like a moron, even though many of us realize he is Snookum’s peeing post.
    De’Jonge is the only liberal I have any respect for. As for the rest, go back to school and get educated.

    • How can our students be taught by some members of the BCTF that bully, lie, and threaten to get what they want. Not all teachers are like this though. Some are honest hard working teachers. But, the older out-of-date teachers need to go.

  11. The BCTF does not like the way they are being treated. This from an outfit that has been using kids to blackmail the public for years.
    Think yourselves Damn lucky I and a Lot of others like me aren’t in power. The BCTF would be HISTORY!!!

  12. For those self appointed speakers for “us taxpayers” please stop. To the government negotiators, offer the teachers an increase that’s in line with inflation.

  13. This bullying tactic by the BC Liberals is disgusting, they should be embarassed to say they are negotiating. Christy is a college dropout, FactBender’s experience is in advertising. What the hell do they know about the value of a good education???? Using a carrot and a Big stick will just make teachers angry. (I’m not a teacher) I fully support BC Teachers and hope they don’t give Christy what she wants a walk out.

    • How can one bargain AT ALL with a tantrum-gang sceaming “if I don’t get what I want I’m taking your ball and leaving” again and again and again? The BCTF needs to be gone yesterday and be replaced by a group of level headed people that will shine a better light on our teachers. If I were represended by those thugs, I’d consider quitting or taking them to court for misrepresentation.

  14. Those of you complaining about all the work the teachers aren’t doing really have no clue what is or isn’t being done in schools. Teachers are not communicating via paper or email with administrators but are doing so in person. This is not in breach of the contract. Teachers are not attending the monthly staff meeting with administration. This equates to one hour per month. They are still meeting on their own, however. And, they are not supervising recess. This equates to about one hour per month based on the typical recess rotation system. So basically, the struck work equates to about two hours of work per month. Let’s just assume a conservative number of forty hours per week once you include all duties outside instructional time like marking and parent meetings and lesson prep, etc. 40 x 4 weeks = 160 hours. 2 / 160 = 1.25% So therefore the Liberals are threatening a wage rollback that will range between 5 – 10% which is 4 to 8 times greater than the actual percentage of struck work! This will be deemed unduly punitive by the LRB and will be denied. Once again, Peter Cameron will have time to eat his words.

  15. I would suggest that teachers on the threshold of retirement take a careful look at the implications of the 5% pay cut in the month of June. It may be better to retire at the end of May and not have the pay cut factored into the pension for the rest of your life. Inasmuch as the contract has been abrogated there needs to be no 30 days notice. Put that in your LRB and smoke it!
    I wonder what having 1000 teachers province wide retire at the end of May would do to the Liberal position.
    Please take a step back. Teachers are not fools. They will make the right choice.

  16. How about a true cost per teacher cost and a poll on what the public thinks. Include the dollar per dollar ratio between taxpayer and teachers pensions.

  17. Al. How about a true cost per LIE BERAL cost and a poll on what the public think. Include the dollar per dollar ratio between taxpayer and “THE LIE BERALS” pensions that they voted for them selves.

    That would be interesting don’t you think.