BCTF President blames government for lack of 24/7 bargaining

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BCTF President blames government for lack of 24/7 bargaining

As a full-scale walkout looms over BC’s public schools, both the union and the government have pledged to bargain round-the-clock, but that doesn’t appear to be the case.

BC Teachers Federation president Jim Iker spoke to reporters this morning while picketing with teachers at Templeton Secondary in Vancouver.

When asked when both sides will start negotiating 24-7, he says there’s no point unless the government brings the cash.

He says, “We made some significant movements the others day. We’ve had two sessions since we made those movements and government comes to the table, through their employer representatives, sits there, and does not bring any proposals.”

If teachers approve a full-scale strike in their vote on Monday and Tuesday, the earliest they could walk out would be the following Monday, June 16th.


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  1. What you don’t get General Ike. Its not the government bringing money to the table, its the voters who voted No more money with the last election. What don’t you understand, you will get no more than all the other unions. Voters have had enough, No more tax increases to pay for your gold plated benefits and salaries. Now get back to work, and quit holding our kids hostages.

  2. There comes a point in contract negotiations when it is simply over, a total impasse. That is the time to give a “final offer”.
    That is what I would suggest the Government does. They have tinted, at least by my reading, that there is some “wiggly room”. A smart Union leader would have exploited that before forcing the others hand, but oh well.
    There is absolutely no sense in continuing this charade for anyone. And certainly not the students.
    Give them the Final Offer and let the Teacher’s decide on a full blown strike. Remembering
    that after the holidays they would still be on strike.
    And don’t forget the Government has said they are ‘not” going to legislate.
    Could get real interesting.

    • Teachers have been without a contract since July 1st 2013. Government has said…not retroactive raise on any amount given in 1st year…so that basically a zero for this year, concessions on contract and no class size and composition language. Would you agree to that?

      • With the current negativity against the profession? Of course. The signing bonus will more than cover the lame “I didn’t get a raise” argument. The supreme court will answer the other questions.

  3. 24/7 is just silliness. Who can really think seriously with no rest? Even now, it’s visibly obvious your fatigue is catching up on you while you’re making less sense. Why not agree to continue through the summer if you’re really serious Iker? Don’t forget it was you that wanted spring break and a whole week off for a long weekend convention. Enough dragging this on and on. Do your job or quit and let them put your big salary to better use.

  4. Jim “I want it my way” Iker – I’d be glad to help out if you need a strategist……..
    Point of strategy for the BCTF. Pick your time to fight and it is not now. This is now more about the BCTF bargaining team than most teachers.
    1. Stop all job action, go into the class room and finish this year while collecting your current full paycheques. Avoid further depletion of your war chest while maximizing the governments financial position (who thought of that tactic?)
    2. Do not hold a strike vote now – that is what the government wants. If you walk out, you help the government immensely. You save them money (your money) and you upset parents and students.
    3. Bargain over the summer and if you do not get what you want, do not sign. Save your pennies and build your strike fund/personal savings.
    4. After bargaining over the summer without an agreement (and there will be none) take a strike vote in September. Shut the system down in October or November and be prepared to be legislated back to work.

    For years teachers have tried to do what is best for students. It doesn’t seem to be working. It is time to let the school boards and government micro-manage the system. Do your best and bite your tongue as you see the train wreck that is about to happen. I know it will be difficult to not help “your kids” but sometimes a broken system has to be allowed to shake itself to the ground.

  5. It is laughable that Iker blames the government for a lack of bargaining after painting the BCTF into a corner. The first rule of negotiation is to negotiate from a position of strength. When there are 40,000 unemployed teachers eyeing 35,000 teaching positions like a pack of starving hyenas what is a $90,000 teacher going to do if the BCTF’s 20% wage and benefit demands are not met…. quit? Their seats won’t even have time to cool before a bright energetic TOC will plants their bum in it. And after only a week of leading his troops General Ike tells them they are broke? Two months ago he was bragging that their brimming “war chest” would bring Christy and Fassbender to their knees and now Iker is on his knees looking for spare change under his sofa? This union would be better off being led by the Marx Brothers.

    • It’s true the BCTF has not done a great job for the teachers. I look at other provinces and see that teachers have a much better salary, prep time and over all working conditions (class size and comp.). The other provincial governments and unions have been able to get deals done without any disruptions or work stoppages. Maybe Christy Clark has a hate on for teachers considering she flunked out of school.

  6. Dear Al:
    I wonder if you had a child/student in this system as it is now, if you would still feel the same way? In 3 classes right now, I have 30 students with identified learning/behavioural challenges; 5+ EAL students, several waiting on testing that likely will not happen in years due to recent cuts….I challenge you to work one day in my classroom. So I have all of the above, what about the average, or above average student? When do they get some one on one?