Government negotiator says BCTF needs reality check

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Government negotiator says BCTF needs reality check

Although bargaining has resumed, it’s clear government negotiators and the union representing public school teachers across British Columbia are far from agreement on a deal that could prevent disruptive action next week from both sides.

BC Teachers Federation president Jim Iker says lock-out restrictions imposed by Premier Christy Clark could see graduation ceremonies cancelled, and final exams not graded. Peter Cameron, the lead negotiator for the government, insists union leaders are demanding too much, compared to what other unions have already accepted.

“We’re asking you to get into approaching what anybody would say as a settlement zone in an objective look at the position of settlements that are going on at this time in this province involving hundreds of thousands of employees and sophisticated big unions.”

Cameron also denies union claims the government’s lock-out will keep them from participating in graduation events.


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  1. It sounds like Mr. Cameron and his team have a lot of “tweaking” to do to their letter of direction to BC teachers. It seems inconceivable that a set of hired-gun negotiators could deliver a letter so full of directives that will actually hurt students’ learning and well-being. Oh wait, Mr. Cameron and his ilk are just front men that really don’t know what happens in a school in June.

    It’s amazing that Christy Clark hates the teachers so much that she is actually going to impose lockout provisions that hurt students. Wow!

      • Christy Clark and the BC Lying Liberals could care less about the taxpayers and have proven that over and over again…this is nothing more than a game for Christy to see if she can bring the down the BCTF at the taxpayers expenses or it’s her way of dealing with her daddy issues as her father was a teacher. Yep families first ha ha ha what a joke…

        • Hmm. That must be why the Liberals got MORE seats than they had before. And that was even with a campaign clearly voicing the need for a 10 year deal to stop this BCTF crap. I guess the majority doesn’t share your sense of reality.

    • BC-Good comments!

      While the government has every right to respond to the BCTF as it wishes, surely it could get it tight. The employer’s letter to teachers was like contaimnated cheese-full of holes that a striking trucker could have driven through.

      And a five page explanation was appended to the original letter. Imagine teachers are free to do whatever they want provided they volunteer!

      It seems to me that Dwight penned that letter and 5-page procedure for Peter Cameron. At least to me, the clumsiness of the directive suggests that Dwight’s fingerprints all over it- like something he would come up with.. LOL!!!

      No wonder we can’t get anywhere when we’re going to lock out teachers over the summer holidays. I wonder what Maple Ridge and Langley will do with their year-round school.

      And the letter was apparently written over the signature of Minister of Education-who approvede that nonsense?

    • The true fool is any taxpayer handing over their wallet to binding arbitration. Keep up the left, B. Cute nicknames, by the way – bet the name calling makes you feel powerful.

      • “binding arbitration” is designed to allow both parties to make their argument to an independent tribunal. How is that being foolish? That’s how a civilized society functions.

          • Aldina – the government didn’t lose, taxpayers lost. Don’t you understand that the government only has the money that you (assuming you pay taxes) and other taxpayers give them?

        • If the arbitration rules were the arbitrator was restricted to picking one side’s proposal in its entirety or the other side’s in its entirety, I could be convinced of the merit. However, what usually happens is an arbitrator “splits the baby” and taxpayers end up on the short end. I for one am glad the elected government has the taxpayers back on this one and will not fall into this trap.

          • Don, here is how arbitration works.

            Arbitrators hear relevant evidence and make their decision in an unbiased way. Affordability, class size/composition, and other settlements may or may not be relevant to a labour dispute, The arbitrator decides on a host of criteria what is fair and how the dispute is settled – then a contract is imposed. If you don’t like the result, the courts will hear an appeal.

            To me, it’s a far better than legislating – I think the government understands that!

            Good Faith is to Arbitrate rather than legislate !

  2. “We’re asking you to get into approaching what anybody would say as a settlement zone in an objective look at the position of settlements that are going on at this time in this province involving hundreds of thousands of employees and sophisticated big unions.”

    Talk about non-reality, huh? Learn to speak.

  3. If the two sides would put as much effort into bargaining as they do holding pressers there would probably be a resolution in sight. So far all we have been treated to is noise pollution which eerily emulates most political election campaigns.

  4. Perhaps if the labour problems go on long enough, people will realize that we can get along just fine without teachers and school boards and government education ministers etc..

    The level of education that children receive at public school is already watered down and poor. If we all invest a little more time in our children, we can teach them at home in a much more effective and efficient manner.

    • Public system watered down and poor…You’re basing this on what….???? Let me kguess…You have no kids…..Terrible kids becasue you’ve not spend enough time with them to teach them manners…Or you’re an old Fart, who doesn’t want to pay your hard earned tax dollars to th elousy Ed syytemmmI agree…If you are an old fart, I have a deal for you…I’ll pay $500 more a month, for my childs education, if you pay $1000 for your new hip in BC Med Care, or heart pills…

    • You only think the curriculum is watered down because you aren’t in the system as a teacher or a student. You probably couldn’t pass a Math 10 or English 12 exam so stop spreading lies.

  5. We as a province are in deficit zone ,no new wages, benefits or pension obligations to ALL public sector employees ,officials, politicians and cronies .
    Start rolling back to the average private sector wages, benefits and pensions
    0-5 years to retirement no change
    5-10 years to retirement 5%
    10-15 years to retirement 10%
    new employees start at the private sector wage rates
    I can guarantee you not one public employee would quit

  6. Not this time, RonE. The government is holding our children’s education hostage. Government has directed teachers to not perform the many duties and extras that they do for students at school. Read the letter from BCPSEA. It’s there in black and white.

  7. To the anti-union and supporters of a Government that was found guilty being unconstitutional and bargaining in bad faith twice and cost taxpayers $2million.Seems you people of the right are destroying Democtracy in BC and Canada every time you open your mouths,you want to strip the rights of anyone that does not follow your ideology driven agenda.The Government treats people as Christy Clark will state as customers and clients, as in big business,we the people are the government not just for you of the right and entitled! Christy Clark has a thing for teachers and is out for revenge, could it be for bad marks as in LNG!

    • Aldina, have you done your math homework yet? I asked you and the other BCTF supporters to come up with the solution for where the money is going to come from to cover the demands of the BCTF. All I got so far was a suggestion from one to raise taxes to cover the cost – which we now know is pegged at $1,100 per taxpayer per year. Do you have another idea? Maybe you can caucus with Opinionated, B, Bert & Ken to come up with a killer idea because I haven’t heard from them either.

      • So sorry, Don. When I see your name, I naturally assume a very negative view of public education, teachers, students’ results, etc.

        My answer to your question: there is PLENTY of tax money in the coffers. Examples: half a BILLION dollars for a stadium roof, millions for sea to sky highway (what was wrong with the old one?), millions for the Port Mann bridge (didn’t need that, either–old one was working just fine)–get the picture, Don?

        It all comes down to priorities for this government. They decrease funding each year for more than a decade, public education resources suffer, students leave to go to the private school system which (oh!) get public money.

        This government has clearly demonstrated their hatred for public education. They have money that they refuse to spend on our students and teachers.

        Does that answer your question, Don? I know you won’t like my answer because it comes from a person with 24 years experience in public education. You clearly are not in education. Careful, your ignorance is showing in your arrogance.

        • Of course I am in education – as a parent of two children and a taxpayer. My youngest is graduating from high school this year (thankfully). In the entire 15 years of “being in education” (my oldest is two years older – just incase you hadn’t figured that out), I can count on one hand the number of teachers who I would describe as unfit for their position. In other words, my kids experiences and education in the public system has been excellent.

          It always seems from people like you that unless you support the BCTF and hate the government, that you are (in your words) ignorant and arrogant with a severe lack of respect for teachers. What I don’t respect is the leadership of the BCTF. What I don’t respect is the tired old lines of “it for the kids” and “we are protecting education”. Lines that are akin to a Beauty Contestant’s “a world without music is a world without sound” drivel. What I don’t respect is the constant whining and me first entitlement of the BCTF and teachers who support the militancy. And what I especially don’t respect is some teacher telling me that only money spent on teachers is money worthwhile spending.

          Your solution to your math homework gets an F. A simple lesson in capital budgets versus operational budgets will serve you well.

        • One other thing, Aldina – the education budget in BC has gone up every year under the BC Liberals – just like it did under the NDP and just like it did under the SoCreds. Since 2000, it has increased 32% (10.8% when you factor in inflation), all while the number of students has decreased.

          The BCTF keeps repeating a lie hoping people will simply believe it if they hear it enough. Fortunately, the majority of BCers are capable of critical thought.

      • Don-I’m disappointed that you didn’t include me in your hit list.

        But I take that as you acknowledge I have constantly proposed solutions to the government-BCTF impasse.

        Of course, you are perfectly free to disagree with me-but please explain why.

          • Obviously you haven’t paid attention to my posts where I have suugested binding arbitration to resolve the impasse. (the first to do so on this site). More posters are joining the chorus for binding arbitration. And I am willing to accept an arbitrator’s decision and pay more taxes if necessary. But you are not and will not move off our position-just like the government.

            Have you not heard of Christy’s promise that LNG will make BC Debt-Free within a decade?

            BC can take that promise to the bank and borrow just a fraction of the hundreds of billions flowing into provincial coffers over the next two decades to pay teachers a fair wage NOW. Why wait?

            And you should answer this question instead: What is your Plan B in the event that the dozen LNG terminals does not get built?

            Then we will pay even more for MSP, ICBC, BC Hydro , carbon taxes and fees to pay for fewer government programs when LNG does not play out as an election promise.

  8. JIm Iker keeps whining about needing a 4% annual increase to make up for 2 years of 0% increases. Is he completely delusional? When the Liberals gave the BCTF a 5 year 15% contract and inflation was only 2% did they offer to refund the difference? Iker sounds like a plumber telling you he has to charge you double time to fix your burst water pipes because he under quoted you on your last job.

  9. BC spends $1000 LESS per pupil on education than the national average. Yet, we are not a “have not” province. The BC government is once again bargaining in bad faith and do not want a settlement. A strike allows them to save millions of dollars and at the same time blame teachers for the disruption to students and parents. The Supreme Court of BC found the government bargained in bad faith yet again in 2012 and fined it $2 million of your tax dollars for doing so.

    A strong public education system is fundamental to any truly democratic society.