BCTF Vice-President expresses surprising optimism about teacher talks

Vancouver, BC, Canada / (CKNW AM) AM980

Some surprisingly optimistic comments from the First Vice-President of the BC Teachers Federation, as the union launches week #2 of its rotating strikes.

According to a story on the BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils website, Glen Hansman was asked yesterday at the organization’s annual meeting about bargaining through the summer.

Hansman said it might not be necessary and the union thinks it’s possible to reach a deal this week.

He told the meeting the two sides aren’t as far apart on wages as has been reported in the media, and the union proposals on class size are similar to what is already in place, atlhough the BCTF wants action o secondary school classes with more than 35 students.

B-C Teachers Federation President Jim Iker walked the picket line this morning with teachers at a Richmond high school, and he was asked if a deal can be reached this week.

He says, “Anything is possible but we need government to bring the funding, we need government to show the will. And despite the comments being made in the media, this government has not shown any will.”

Contract talks continue today and continue Thursday and Friday.

Schools in 13 school districts are behind picket lines today, including those in Langley, Delta, Richmond, and Maple Ridge.

Comments

  1. It’s nice to hear somebody speak common sense, as opposed to Fastbender, trying to look overworked and in turmoil, painted on his droopy old kisser. Get the bloody thing done. When it comes to money, the teachers can’t logically expect a peso more than everyone else. Who’s more important when you are in an emergency ward, in 3 pieces, a nurse or a teacher. In other words, what makes teachers special? Nothing, that’s what. Class size and special needs kids are the problem. Reduce the stress level for the teachers in the class and it will be signed…….With a modest $ increase.

    • If I am in an “emergency ward in 3 pieces” I hope there is a nurse there…one who has been educated and trained by a teacher-from elementary school to university. Every person in the medical profession would not have received their degrees without a teacher….that is what makes teachers special. Think about it.

  2. So the BCTF is willing to move on class size in exchange for a higher salary increase. I wonder if the current government positions on composition will somehow now be really close in order to get a little more in the salary position.

    • While better learning conditions are the ultimate goal, teachers may be gun shy about swapping their wages for learning conditions again in bargaining. Teachers forgoed better wages in the past in order to improve learning conditions language. Christy Clark erased that with a stroke of a pen in 2002. You can’t blame teachers for being once bitten, twice shy in this round of batgaining.

  3. I’m with you, but it will not happen. The Government has historically gutted education and used the revenue in other areas more favourable to their political objectives. Education in BC is secondary at best, and to restore it to it’s pre 2001 levels, will bankrupt other programs.

    The proposals for resolution put forward by BCSEA all require settlement of the existing court case – solely to avoid funding class composition and size. The Government would rather see classroom learning ineffective, than create efficient learning centers. This is typical of an elitist mentality as those who have funds send their children to private schools; case in point, Christy Clark (former minister of education).

    Trolls like Dwight try to cloud this issue and focus on “teacher greed”.

    • Hey Garp, knower of all things in Garp’s world, how has the these changes, made in 2001, affected the students to justify Taxpayers paying out $1,100 per year each.
      Are the stats wrong that shows we are actually doing better?
      Grad rates are up .
      Grades are either up or as good.
      Higher Grad rates for Aboriginals up substantially.Etc
      You should have no trouble explaining that little problem.

        • Well Garp, are you saying that that is not the case. Or is it that is just does not fit in you arguments.
          That is why negotiations never works for Teachers, if it doesn’t fit
          it must be untrue.
          Anyways, please point out where I am wrong.

          • SO, Garp, are you saying that only the Stats you and the BCTF spout are right, but everybody else are wrong?
            Wow . How arrogant.

            It is good to note your position on Stats

          • Dwight, I have never provided any stats as I know how they mislead. As to the BCTF – please don’t align me with them; I dislike them as much as you, but I do value public education.

            I am interested in looking at your stats – so please provide them, or stop misleading the public

      • Simple answer Dwight…if you had any experience in the education system…compare a provincial exam from 1987 to the last ones a few years ago. I hate to use the term “dumbed down”…but I will. Grad rates are up because expectations are down. I am sure you will blame that on teachers, but I sat on a ministry curriculum committee that chopped material out of the curriculum. The government is thrilled to have allegedly better results with lower funding. Validates their rape and pillage of the education system.

    • You seem to forget that for the BCTF, there is one issue – them. However, to the government, this one of many many issues to deal with. They have the whole economy to protect and promote. Every group thinks their needs are more important than the other yet you seem to want the BCTF thugs to get everything they want at the expense of everyone else.
      The consistently growing education budget, shrinking student enrollment and a huge number of unemployed teachers is hardly “gutting education” is it?

      • Did I hit a nerve,E? – sorry.

        Why use inflammatory language; “BCTF thugs”? It’s extremely simple and transparent to criticize the messenger, rather than the message.

        However, you rightly point out that the Government has the entire economy to protect, – does that entitle the Government to frustrate court orders? Does that entitle the Government to use its authority to over come Canada’s Constitution? as was done with health care workers, and now with teachers? (I say this because the Supreme Court Decisions in those cases). j These continuous court challenges end up costing the taxpayer outrageous legal fees as they move through to the Supreme Court of Canada. Arbitration, which you do not support, is by far more conciliatory and workable for all involved.

        You also point out that there is “sinking enrollment” and I agree, but that is due to parents moving their children to private schools. Once parents are awakened to the disaster in their child’s classroom, those who can absorb private school costs quickly move their child. Christy Clark is a case in point. Needless to say as “average” children are moved to private schools, the composition of the classroom changes for the worse. .

        You refer to “unemployed teachers”, and its unclear why you make this point. Perhaps it is intended as a disguised threat to teachers, and to inform the public that existing teachers can be easily replaced, by appealing to the basic supply and demand model of economics. This however would not change the fact that the class composition and size continue to be an issue – changing the messenger does not change the message.

  4. I find it interesting that the only item that seems to be moving the BCTF is that concern that they might have to give up some of their summer break.

      • How is that not constructive? The BCTF are asked to actually take some time from their summer break to get a deal done so it doesn’t drag on in the next school year and now the BCTF feel a deal can be done. Seems like a reasonable connection.

        After endlessly talking about unworkable class size, now they are close (that is, the BCTF now says the current sizes are ok).

        What else pushed the BCTF? They like their 2 months off.

        What constructive comments do you have that might give some insight to the change in class sizes?

    • Not sure that is true – I think they both (BCTF and Government) want their usual summer off….. Oh wait – The Legislature is already off on summer break – the politicians don’t return until October.

  5. The BCTF keeps asking for parody with other areas, in other words market pricing. Given that other areas seem to be paying more to attract teachers, wouldn’t the market price for a teacher in BC, where there is a glut of teachers, be much less?

    Further, how are teachers promoted through the existing categories listed in the previous collective agreement? There seems to be no measure of merit or skill, only time in job and number of degrees. Surely a secondary school teacher should make more than a kindergarten teacher. How does this work?

    • Parity…not parody.

      High school harder than kindergarten ?

      This is not a simple comparison…but you think it is ?

      You have no idea…like most of the people who rant against teachers here.

    • Larry You ask
      Surely a secondary school teacher should make more than a kindergarten teacher. How does this work?

      A secondary school teacher teaches one subject. Maybe two.
      A Primary school teacher teaches all subjects.

  6. Some of you really need to take a look in a school, and see how they have changed over the last few years. Cuts, cuts, and more cuts. I would guess most of you, none teacher supporters, do not have any children.

    Putting 35, 40 or 50 students in a class is a big deal for me, l as a parent. As my children are starting elementary school; how is the teacher going to work with my child if there are 39 other students in the class. I don’t know about you but when I went to elementary school we had way less, which meant more one-one teacher time. Obviously, I am over exaggerating the amount of children in a class, but I don’t think it will be long until it happens, think you all need to open up your eyes. You may think teacher are not as important as others in society, but teachers are what create this society. If they didn’t care, and put as much time into children as they do, where would we be?

      • 50 is an exaggeration, 35 is not, in some cases. When I was in school, I believe my class had 24 students, in grade 7 and even less in the lower grades. So you can focus on a minute point, and be ignorant, or you can open your eyes and see that learning conditions are not the same and are not ideal for all students.

        • 35 is some cases, like band and gym.

          And why is making up number (yours) a minute point?

          The class size number are basically fine according to the BCTF VP. He mentions the 35 but again, mainly gym and band.

          Special needs need more support but there are so many issues that need to be dealt to get that to work, including not allowing teachers/principals to take money away from kids that have it allocated and use it for other reasons, like giving another teacher an assistant.

          And if there’s a plan in place based on a Doctor’s advice, teachers shouldn’t be able to change it based on a whim or an article he/she has read.

          • Wow, you sound so smart! You got it all figured out. You probably sit on your A** all day, and don’t know what a real job is. Sorry you don’t feel education is important. By the way how did you figure out how to do your job? Oh ya, it came to you in a dream, and you had the skills from birth!

          • D
            The supreme court has twice sided with the teachers on class size and special needs kids. Do you think they did not issues, and take them into account. What about all the money that Christy is spending on lawyers fighting court decisions.
            All the while gutting the judiciary as well.

            If this goes on. All we will be left with is Federal police (RCMP) and prisons.

          • N: I have an education. Seemingly one that is a little more well rounded than yours.

            I feel education is very important. I’m not sure where in my comments I suggested otherwise.

          • Michael: The two judgements were made by one judge. It’s currently under appeal and judgement has been stayed.

            You don’t like our justice system that allows for appeal?

  7. Hey N, sure didn’t take you long to get to the personal level. That is usually what happens when one feels they are losing. Laughable that you toss around numbers like 35, 40 & 50 but don’t stand behind the statement by later saying it was an “over exaggeration” (btw – you cannot “over exaggerate”; you can only exaggerate). The whole rant was just more hyperbole?

    • Very well put D.
      Perhaps they are afraid of what the Appeal may be. Perhaps the last election has them jittery?
      AS you said, How or better yet why, would a justice overrule herself.
      Not going to happen.
      Ever wonder why it is the Teacher types that attack the person.

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