Contract talks and rotating strikes continue today in the teachers dispute

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Contract talks and rotating strikes continue today in the teachers dispute

70-thousand students in Surrey are staying home or in child care today as schools in the province’s largest school district are behind picket lines again.

Schools in fourteen other districts are also closed, including Chilliwack, Burnaby, North and West Vancouver and the Sunshine Coast.

Surrey School District spokesperson Doug Strachan confirms parents can expect shorter report cards this year due to strike action and the partial lock out.

He says, “If we look to the past for the elementary report cards atleast, the comments weren’t there or were not what they might typically be as far as descriptions, that may be one of the changes we will see this year, but we will know more as we get closer.”

Contract talks resume later today, but there is no indication the union or the government have budged on the issue of money.

And the Labour Relations Board is expected to rule tomorrow on the validity of government-imposed lockout provisions, which include a 10% pay cut for teachers.


  1. So the talks continue, students are short changed, and the Liberals try to make their case through the media. The Liberals refuse to submit to arbitration and provide confusing commentary by their paid posters. The parties to this dispute are irresponsible and public education suffers.

    If anyone is listening, BCTF show good faith by sending teachers back to school, BCSEA withdraw the lockout; and mutually agree to forward dispute to arbitration.

    The issue of existing appeals can be dealt with via mediation or , at the very least, via a transitional agreement which contemplates a court decision (presumably from the Supreme Court of Canada).

    • To be fair, both sides are using the media to get their talking points out there and always have. You may not like what he says, but at least Mr Fassbender attempts to answer reporters questions while Iker says essentially the same thing for any question.
      I’ll agree that public education is suffering though. After over a year of playing this game, it’s really quite ridiculous what stage they’re at. A high school class project could have happily done a better job in 2 or 3 weeks.

      • You do make a good point, respecting the answering of questions, however, I have noted that it’s difficult to get a direct answer from any politician; which includes Iker; there is a tendency to redefine a question and answer in accord with the talking point – I accept that as part of the political process. Minister Fastbender has a difficult job and I respect his difficult position; balancing all interests in the economy and continue to meet objectives of education. For me, I value education our future generations get, and there is no doubt they are affected by the strike – that is regrettable!

        It is for that reason, I continue to push for some form of independent overview. The Court case has complicated what would otherwise be pure public policy and it may well be that Section1 of the Charter will ultimately apply, but for now – lets get our students graduated and not leave them with a legacy of disbelief on how irresponsible we are adults.

    • Garp:

      We are in the minority-calling for binding arbitration. Our voices are unheard in the prevailing static.

      But we will never get anywhere unless Dwight exercises his insider staus and gives his unconditional approval.

      • Notice the difference with Garp’s preference of both sides mutually agreeing to arbitration/independant overview and YOU calling for binding arbitration? Two different animals eh? If they don’t get to a place of shaking hands (even a little), we’ll be right back here before you know it.

      • Garp give it up.
        I am entitled to my opinion as you are yours. I must be really hitting a nerve as you, and your comrades, seem unable to Post with out bringing me in.
        Arbitration process is not a good way to go. You have a third party making your decisions for you. As I said, it is great for Grievance resolution, but not for Negotiations.
        I again ask you, did your Union ask for Binding Arbitration? Or, is it easier to say, the Government rejected it?

    • I would agree with a total ban if this was Private sector negotiation, but as a Taxpayer I want to know up front what is going on. As Taxpayers we have that right.

      Garp, you say the Government has refused to submit to Arbitration, has the BCTF asked for that?
      Arbitration is great for Grievance solving etc. but is rarely used in Negotiations, and certainly not in the Private sector. No one wants a third party deciding their fate.
      Not only for the Government but for the Union also.
      That is why Mediation is the usual choice.

      • This dispute is between two parties; either can ask for arbitration. Neither has – let the Government demonstrate leadership towards ending this dispute, and expose the hypocrisy of the BCTF. Secondly, as to the right to know – sometimes it has to take a back seat, such as where there exists an overwhelming public interest. We have a concrete examples of that in Cabinet Privilege and there are many others.

        So let’s not quibble and get our students graduated. Demand binding arbitration or at the very least mediation by someone who has no direct stake in the outcome.