UPDATED: BCTF President says full-scale strike by teachers is imminent

Vancouver, BC, Canada / News Talk 980 CKNW | Vancouver's News. Vancouver's Talk
UPDATED: BCTF President says full-scale strike by teachers is imminent

The President of the BC Teachers Federation says the provincial government squandered an opportunity in weekend talks to reach a deal in the current contract dispute.

“We made all these proposals, reducing our wage proposal, a new fund for class size and composition and potential fix for retroactive grievances on Friday, and then we waited. The government did not respond fully until Sunday evening, almost a full 48 hours later.”

JIker says the government’s wage offer last night was actually for less money than before.

He says the union’s executive committee will meet later today to discuss all options.

The union has planned a full-scale strike for tomorrow.

Peter Cameron, the lead negotiator for the government in the ongoing BCTF dispute, describes the union’s take on weekend bargaining as “completely wrong.”

Cameron says it’s nonsense that the union claims the government has dropped its wage offer.

“I can’t characterize that as anything other than a misrepresentation, and I don’t like to say that.”

Bottom line for parents and students: plan on no school for tomorrow.

Premier Christy Clark, meanwhile, is again accusing union leaders of putting children in the middle, but she wouldn’t comment about returning any money saved by this week’s walkout to public education.

“I’m going to leave the issues, those issues to the bargaining table for all those folks there that are professionals at this, but I really want to see a way to get this agreement done and this strike ended.”

The government stands to save more than $80 million every week picket lines are up.


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  1. Blogger: Sorry, I dont support the teacher’s demands. I have two sons, one which graduated 2 years ago, the other is supposed to grad now. Through first hand experiences, I don’t believe all teachers are giving their 100%. It seems to me teachers today only like to devote their skills to those students that pick up the curriculum easily. If I were able to bargain with the TF, I would give them every cent of their demands in exchange for their seniority. This way we can get rid of the dead wood and hire some of the newest, brightest that graduate UBC every year.

    My response: And presumably you know education well enough to separate good teachers from bad? Funny less arrogant experts studying education (even going back to Socrates) aren’t exactly sure how children learn. It can be an enormously subtle and delicate exercise, almost as individual as a child, which is one of the reasons for the teacher association. Maybe you should leave it to the professionals. Pay Alberta wages and stop making excuses for the province’s under-achieving economic performance.

    • Why do you have to be an “expert” in education to have an opinion? I disagree that is an arrogant statement as many parents feel that way when they see the results of their kids in the classroom. Are you saying that all parents are unqualified to assess their children’s learning? I would say that is an arrogant assumption. One way to “know” good education method is to be a recipient of it and, as parents, we all remember the “good” teachers who made a difference to our learning and vice versa. We are experiencing that now with our kids who fail with teachers who cannot get the curriculum across to half their class (specifically maths!).
      However, I would also like to say that I support the teachers in the area of class composition, having been involved in supporting kids with special needs going into the school system. I can see how lack of financial support and the philosophy of inclusion for all kids in the classroom is not workable and can only be a huge frustration for teachers in that position.

    • I generally agree with the teachers and I have no love for the way the government is conducting its negotiations. But let’s remember one thing when comparing with Alberta…. Alberta is the richest province in Canada. The capacity of BC taxpayers is not the same.

      • Bruno, why is capacity in Alberta any different from B.C.? A few words for you: BCRIC, CFI, IPPs, Ferries, Carrier Lumber, Carbon Trust, LNG. A litany of crackpot business moonbeams brought to you by arrogant, over-paid economic development bureaucrats in Victoria. B.C.’s economic policy need a full-on purge.

        • OK, let us get rid of all the economic initiatives, then what? Revenues decline, more programs cut.
          Obviously your understanding of economics is a little strange.

          The government has tabled a fair package to the BCTF in line with most others, problem is the BCTF want a platinum solution that is economically not practical.

    • Sorry Mike, but your position that it is impossible to identify under performing teachers is hard to take seriously. But with the BCTF, if there is a problem, they just get assigned to a different school rather than have it be suggested that perhaps they should seek out a different line of work. The down side of a union. Ooops, I mean a teachers association.

    • When I first started teaching, your so-called “deadwood” were our master teachers – experienced and wise. Our youth obsessed culture would have you believe that the younger teachers have all the answers. This is the opposite of true, and this is based on 15 years of teaching experience, and my father’s 35 years in the automotive industry. There is much to be said for experience and our oldest teachers have seen it all and can teach us a lot. Where I come from, we were taught to respect our elders, and to value all generations, not just the “youth.” We were also taught to take responsibility for our own learning, and not blame everything on the teacher. And for your ignorant information, our “best and brightest” go to other provinces to teach – where they receive fair wages, better prep time, guaranteed seniority, and best of all respect. Clearly you enjoy pointing fingers with no background knowledge, context, or experience.

    • Of course you’re jaded about this situation – your children have never known what education was like withOUT the government illegally stripping the system. As a parent, you’ve seen nothing but in-fighting. Of course the teachers have always been fighting the gov’t. FOR YOUR KIDS. The gov’t illegally stripped the contracts of class size and composition limits in 2002, the year after Campbell came in. It has OBVIOUSLY been a Liberal mandate to break an already-falling-apart system. In 2001, the education system was worth 26% of our budget. Now it is worth less than 15%. YOUR CHILDREN HAVE PAID THAT PRICE. You have Campbell and Liberals, and now Clark to thank for that, not the teachers. Things that make you go hmmmm….

      • Hmmm, so you`re admitting that the Education system was already falling apart when the Liberals came in ? That the BCTF couldn`t play nice with the NDP government that we had for 10 years before that ? Hmmm indeed.

  2. The teachers must feel like Charlie Brown. After spending an entire weekend at the bargaining table, the BCTF, believing the government was willing to compromise, had the football pulled out and away from it.

    Specifically, the pre-emptive attempt on the part of government to avoid compliance with the Appeal court ruling should it lose its pending appeal, by itself, was a deal breaker. The government apparently submitted a “proposal that gives either party (code for government) the right to terminate the collective agreement within 90 days of a ‘final’ court decision on the government’s appeal-of Judge Griffin’s decision.”(This is my wording. Although I did not capture every word, I believe I have captured the essence of this proposal).

    What the government did was to ask the BCTF to agree that “Heads, the government wins, Tails, the BCTF loses.”

    If the BCTF agrees to this proposal or if the government passes legislation making this proposal law, it will have the effect of rendering a court decision at any level completely moot.

    If that is the case, it is indeed a sad day for democracy.

    • And the government should do just that, impose a legislated contract, for a period of ten years, based on the last government proposal.

      No Labour Union, or even the Court should have any any right to force a government to rewrite their budget. The BCTF. in their utter stupidity demanded a compensation package intensely rich and completely unacceptable. Their latest proposal is equally unacceptable,

      It is absolutely clear to me that the BCTF has no intention of bargaining towards a solution.

    • “Specifically, the pre-emptive attempt on the part of government to avoid compliance with the Appeal court ruling should it lose its pending appeal, by itself, was a deal breaker. ”

      Yawn…on repeat again.

  3. For the government to hold to 7.25% increase, I can accept. But to reduce their wage offer, means that they are not going to accept anything. They WANT the teachers to strike. Nice going Christie, you are going to get your wish.

    • Christy doesn’t care! She wants them to strike and save millions. During the summer she will announce financial aid to parents who want to move their children to private schools; and she will change regulations to encourage additional private schools. She is deathly afraid of the outcome of the Court Action and has no interest in any settlement which does not set aside the consequences of a negative court ruling

      • The public school system is broken. I’m really starting to think about sending my son to private school. Now I know why my parents sent me. The BCTF is just as worthless now as it was 20 years ago.

        • @John:

          Why did it take you so long to learn why your parents sent you to private school? Christy values the importance of faith-based education. Is that not enough for you to make that decision-besides being wealthy enough?

          • Socialism and Humanism is not “faith based” . . .

            That is the public system . . . everyone has a belief system, and the most destructive is in the public sphere . . . paid for with my tax dollars.
            They teach many of the kids to be passengers on the great bus of life, to expect to be looked after and to believe in insane concepts like gorebull warming . . .

            Murray . . . I know a lot more screwed up kids from the “Public” indoctrination system . . .

      • Notice how Iker would not elaborate on their proposal to increase the signing bonus? I guess it would have been embarrassing for him to answer questions about asking for $5,000 instead of the offered $1,200. I suspect his $5,000 is to make up for the wages lost by overplaying their hand and going on strike.

        He also didn’t talk about benefits, nor provide a number of what their TOTAL package would cost the taxpayers.

        He is one slippery dude.

    • CKNW just reported that the wage offer actually INCREASED not decreased. According to NW, the original offer was 6.5% wage increase plus a 0.75% savings from reduced benefits, for a total of 7.25%. The TF said they did not want to reduce those benefits, so the 0.75% went off the table and back to keeping the benefits whole. The government then increased the wage offer from 6.5% to 7.0%.

      If this is true, Iker was standing there knowingly providing false information (kids call that lying) to his membership and the public. He also hid the request for a signing bonus increase from $1200 per teacher to $5000 – I assume because he knew this would not sit well with the taxpayer – and did not address the benefits or total cost to the taxpayer. Now why would that be?

      • As a tax payer I’d rather give a bigger bonus in lieu of on going raises. At least with the bonus half of it comes back in immediate taxation. My prediction is the government will let the strike go on until late july and then offer a similar contract to the one proposed by the BCTF. They’ll save 120 million over the next two weeks and use that to pay the bonus as well as open up summer schools.

        • I would be in no mood to increase a signing bonus to teachers who cancelled the last two weeks of school, camps, field trips, graduations, sports days, plays and more. That increased bonus proposal is just Iker grasping at straws in an attempt to prevent his membership from turfing him out next AGM.

  4. BC teachers are being punished for standing up for an education system that is sorely lacking funding. Despite the larger class sizes and cut backs to special education assistants BC teachers have done a good job. This government continues to disrespect the hard working teachers of BC. It’s time for change but sadly with this government in power nothing will change.


    • Sadly but very true. Christy wants private education for the elite, and a dumbed down inexpensive public education for everyone else. That’s where we are headed, believe it or not.

    • We all get it that education funding is lacking… but if you want to get a hefty raise, smaller class size (read: more teachers for the union to build their empire), class composition, etc. etc. the well runs dry pretty quickly. I have no problem giving teachers a modest salary increase, but other demands that cost alot of money must be reduced accordingly. Please bring in a third party to mediate this mess. Iker & Fassbender cannot agree on anything!

    • Unfortunately, the teachers will not win. I have said this before that fighting for classroom size and composition will not be won by the BCTF but by a provincial PAC.

      The public needs to see that there are more sides than teachers wanting the size and composition fought for. The teachers will not change that right now.

  5. I’m surprised that Fassbender and Clark did not decide to settle yesterday. The teachers reduced their wage request and, much more importantly, offered to end any of the thousands of looming grievances regarding class size and composition … if the government would provide some appropriate funding for class size and composition.

    Christy Clark’s decision to appeal the two court rulings on class size and composition is going to cost we taxpayers a great deal of money when the third identical judgement comes down later this year. In my humble opinion Christy herself should be paying the court costs and the settlement costs because it was her decision to appeal. I don’t think very many professional and highly experienced government lawyers were giving her advice to lodge the appeal.

    Government can do anything it wants, but only until the courts rule on the constitutionality of the government’s action. So far it is “BCTF 2, Christy 0″. Christy is betting our money on a losing horse. It should be her money.

    • Public education is on its way out. The BCTF offer was an excellent basis for a negotiated settlement. The Liberals reduced their offer – talk about “bad faith”. They do not want a settlement – it’s just idle talk for public consumption. Start looking for alternatives for your children in the fall, and look for an alternative government.

    • Stu, appeals area necessary to ensure the lower courts ruled properly, but loser pay all court costs. At the end of the day if the government loses, they will owe a substantial amount of money to the BCTF in addition to the legal fees it paid. That’s money out of the taxpayers’ wallet and other Programs. But that said, it will also cost the government the next election.

      • Thanks Garp for your intelligent reply and comment.

        I don’t want to see we taxpayers paying for Christy’s ongoing errors in judgement when it comes to dealing with the courts and the costs involved in serial appeals. I wish we could compel her, as an individual person, to pay the costs that she has incurred by her own obvious errors in judgement.

        Access to information requests will eventually reveal that she had very little support from BC government lawyers. Oh, wait a minute, most of that will be ‘cabinet confidential’, at least until it becomes the subject of a court case such as the recent one leading to a $million+ fine levied on Christy’s government by the judge who ruled that the Clark government had indeed bargained in bad faith with the BCTF.

        Perhaps instead of attending three different universities, and never earning a degree, our Premier might have better invested her time and money in a single, respectable, useful, law degree.

    • 2 points …. 1) Both judgements were made by the same Judge. 2) If the judgement had gone the other way the BCTF would have appealed in a heart beat. So quit using that argument as the Gov. or BCTF has every right to appeal and both parties would not be doing their jobs if they didn’t appeal.

  6. The the bctf are acting like Gods, and they expect everyone to bow down to them. What ever iker speaks is gospel and he expects everyone to believe him.

    jim ikers strike is causing so much harm to the students that he says he’s trying to protect and battling for. jim ikers strike is going to do nothing for the education system other than to bankrupt the teachers. in jim ikers strike, he wants to also bankrupt this province.

    I’m glad someone is standing up for me the tax payer.

    • Start thinking critically – look at the facts! Do we have a deal? Did the government put anything on the table? Tell me if you know otherwise. This government is in the process of dismantling public education. Teachers are to naive to believe though – they have been suckered by the Liberals, and you my friend can’t see it. Great democracy we live in!

      • I see everything. It’s just you teachers are all reading from the same script/bible that iker has put out. I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him, he doesn’t care about the people of BC, only his disciples.

      • Did the BCTF take their long laundry list of benefits and increased benefits off the table?
        Ike is another in a long line of loons leading the BCTF . . . the teachers don’t exist in the real world. This is what happens when you go to school all your life and live off the taxpayers . . . your perspective of reality is flawed.

        Lor . . . a union should be about “democracy” but little exists in the BCTF. It is controlled by a select few and is largely responsible for the decline in the public education system in BC in recent decades.

      • The point is there’s only 2 ways to get more money. Economic growth, which the ndp keeps trying to squash or, or raises taxes. Do you want to pay more tax, then you’re in a very small minority in this province.

      • True, but 100% of your income comes from taxpayers. That is different than those in the private sector. Whatever individual increase you get in salary and benefits will be far greater than your individual share of a tax increase.

    • This weekend of negotiation should have happened months ago. Many many months ago. Both sides need to suck it up, put pride aside and talk this out. Remember the taxpayers, the students, the parents and the incoming teachers.

  7. Both sides are wanting to swing public opinion to their side and both come out with sensational statements in the media. This needs to end. If they want to talk to the public, then both sides should release their full offers. Let s read your proposals cut through your BS and decide for ourselves. It is clear someone is lying in this case and I suspect both parties are. And lets get this straight, no one is in this for the kids, that is the biggest lie of all. Yes there are teachers that support the kids and their are MLA’s in for the kids. But the government is responsible for ensuring the public purse and it’s re-election. The union is in to ensure it remains relevant and continues to get dues from teachers. I am not saying either is necessarily bad, because that is reality. I just wish each side would tell the truth, that kids are the ponds, the ones to be sacrificed, the ones that each side (Union and Provincial Government) could really care a less about. Simply a means to an end.

  8. Hurting the kids….give me a break.

    We all know if we got a day or two off school when we were kids, it was like winning the Lotto

    The kids you see on tv are just spewing what their parents have told them to say.
    In reality, they are happy as hell to have an extended summer holiday.

    I wish I was back in school to join them :)

  9. BCTf offer 8% over 5 years…. take signing bonus this year without a percentage Increase to their salary which wouldn’t be compounded next year. That means a zero percentage increase. Government went from 6 to 7 year term and dropped wage amountl…still want all concessions….demanding bctf be willing to give up all claims to court cases..if government believes they are in the right….tell us exactly what they want from BCTF.

  10. I thank the goverment for trying to get the best deal for the province. This past school year my youngest grandaughter had 5 different teachers , Its really about the kids. Yeah right.

    • Ken, you’re a fossil from the 60′s – take a look at your granddaughter’s classroom. Come to think of it, there will be no classroom – maybe think about your more expensive alternatives in private school. Otherwise, sorry to say, but your granddaughter potential will be substantially compromised. Class size and composition – Ken – that’s what this is all about.

        • You should review your own posts – specifically the ones to insite – you may want to take your own advice. Would you like me to post them here for easy reference? That said, you obviously feel threatened by the truth.

        • Dumb move by the BCTF and I don’t agree there should be a signing bonus, but that doesn’t change the fact that Liberal strategy is to provoke and maintain the strike and argue that the fix for education is in the private sector. If you value the future of the next generation you must take note of where the Liberals are taking us.

    • Ken, I agree with Ron_26 below – Lorax’s post is insensitive. Five teachers in primary school is unforgivable – how does a child learn in that type of environment?

  11. June is the time when the BCTF can exert maximum pressure on students and parents, which they did. Since the gov’t hasn’t blinked, and everyone has had to rearrange their lives to accomodate the screwed up end to the school year, why would the gov’t settle before September? That is when the teachers will be broke after the summer and have no strike pay available either…the taxpayers of BC will then be able to exert maximum pressurre on them. That is simply strategic negotiating.

    • Simply strategic negotiating.Why is it then when the BCTf does the same you will howl its an outrageous demand? Seems everything is good for the government negotiators and you call it strategic. The BCTF they are so BAD! Hypocracy!

      • Not at all…it was strategic to squeeze parents and students, iker said so. He said they were using the opportunity to apply the maximum amount of pressure. Now they have fired that bullet and everyone who has been inconvenienced by having to arrange child care, or take time off work, etc, has made the adjustments necessary and it only makes sense for the taxpayers’ representatives to wait until they have maximum leverage to use against the BCTF. I think that would be in September or later.

        • I think it is silly to paint one side or the other as “bad” or “good”…these are labor negotiations and both sides have a job to do. The BCTF can only justify their existence by gaining the maximum benefit for their members and the gov’t negotiators are there to keep the fixed cost of labor as low as possible for the taxpayers of the province. I am sure the majority of teachers are interested in what is best for the kids, and contrary to the union rhetoric, I believe most in go

          • sorry…most in government also care about kids, as do most taxpayers, as most are parents or grandparents. I don’t believe for one minute that negotiators on either sidde are thinking of the kids when they are at the bargaining table. Class size debates are about protecting members’ jobs, nothing more. Those decisions should be left to administrators, not teachers. Obviously teachers would like to see one or two teachers per student. They have a direct conflict of interest there.

      • Spinster, what is your connection to the teachers? Please enlighten me because I am sure you’re just an armchair cynic collecting a pension with too much time on your hands.

        BTW…after 2017, are you going to go into hiding again after the BC “N”DP lose…again!

    • Have the Liberals then forgotten about the 100 million they get from international students? Do you send your kid to school here if there’s no school? That problem compounds year to year. There will be plenty of pressure both ways.

  12. FACTBENDER and the liberal government have to go. Even when they are caught breaking the law (teachers and nurses) they don’t care, just like a bully.

    All unions should join together and stand up against this government. With numbers this bully can be beat.

  13. Even if the BCTF reached a deal, the school year is lost. The teacher’s aren’t going to work for two more weeks. So what’s the point of trying to settle now. The government is saving all of us money we would have spent on teacher’s who wouldn’t be working the last two weeks anyways.

    Just cause the offer was for less money, none of us know the details, doesn’t mean there wasn’t something else increased. There’s a massive benefits package the BCTF doesn’t want the public to know about, because it’s so juicy, it makes all of us shake our heads.

    At this point let them strike all summer and then they can try and reach a deal through the precise 8 week holiday teacher’s enjoy while the rest of actually work.

      • How about 3,000 a year massage therapy, how many extra sick days I lost out , how many bereavement days for when ex best friends second cousin passes, extended benefits beyond what average person gets, pension top up by tax payers, etc etc etc.

        • where did you get that figure? The Liberal bargaining team? CKNW, or worse yet Michael Campbell – the front sprinter for the Liberal Propaganda Machine. What you’re missing in all this that this entire strike/lockout is a part of a larger strategy to undermine public education. Take a breath and critically think about what I’m saying. Are Liberal supporters that blind? Or are they paid for their blindness? Public Education is on it’s way out in British Columbia! You either object now, or hold your peace later.

          • LorAx aren’t you suppose to be in a study session today. It seems all you’ve done today is put up slanderous posts against the Liberals, nothing of actual substance. Think You’ve been listening to commrade iker too much.

          • @Ray – Wow, now I am impressed – you think I’m a teacher and you think Iker is a General. The level of thinkers on this site is beyond belief. I guess with that level of critical thought, I can understand why my comments have breezed by you.

          • You sound like Ken280. The fact of the matter is that neither side has actually said what was presented. So quit acting like experts because all you have done, the both of you, is act like some philosophy major who thinks too little and believes they know a lot.

          • Lor . . . when it comes to information . . . Michael has forgotton more facts than you will ever knew . . .

            The teachers benefit package is quite extensive . . . and gets little mention . . . why do you suppose that is?

    • No, Dave ……. more likely some Teachers were “ill” or had the friend of a Facebook friend die or a bad Teacher was transferred to a different school. Could have even been some holiday time was owing. Lots of reasons in the Teacher’s benefit package to have had 5 Teachers in one school year.

  14. When I heard General Ike call 8% over 5 year reasonable I guess he was comparing it their 20% over 4 year demand. But 8% is still 46% above the CUPE settlement which they will also expect if the government caves. Iker keeps claiming they are not getting any respect at the table but then again why should they? A few months ago Iker bragged he had a strike fund that would bring Christie and Fassbender to their knees. 3 weeks ago General Ike claimed he was bargaining for the entire public sector- just before he had to admit their strike fund was tapped out- after only a week of rotating strikes. Then holding rotating strikes and expecting no financial consequences. A good leader knows how to anticipate and counter punch. But Iker is bargaining from his financial knees and has painted himself into a political corner. You would think his priority is to financially protect his members but he could not resist flexing his muscle at Fassbender, as a stroke of genious, pleaded for them last week to “not strike” ….which is like telling your defiant 3 year old not to stick a fork into an electrical outlet. The BCTF strike will enrich a cash strapped government by 175 million dollars that will be used for special needs… so as a taxpayer, thank you Jim. Sadly there are deserving teachers who will lose $3000 in wages and will be saying hasta la vista to their next 3 years of wage increases. And the final kick in the groin will be the back to work legislation coming on Labour Day. I pity the teachers who deserve much better leadership.

    • Get off the Liberal treatmill “J” – too much cool-aide will bloat you. Did you hear the same news conference we did? You can spin it anyway you want, but it’s as transparent as clean glass. Liberals don’t want a deal! BTW, what are your thoughts on Chrisy’s inside circle receiving pay increases which exceed those of CUPE? Seems like insiders get looked after, but everyone else is greedy in your Liberal Books. I guess that is the benefit to kissing A…$$.

      • LorAx, now that more information has come out like the request for $5000 signing bonus (Iker didn’t want to mention that – only mentioned an “increase”; but he is not shy about providing detail about items he feels benefits his spin), and the FACT that the employer did not reduce the wage proposal, but actually increased it, perhaps you are the one who needs to back away from the Kool-aid table.

        Blind Faith is not a virtue.

        • Govt did actually decrease it by a half a percent. (7.5-.5=7). Don’t forget teachers have had 4 years of zeros. are they not allowed to catch up? that is what the signing bonus is. People forget that they were legislated zeros for 4 years. cost of living allowance is 3% per year. Also, clark’s staff received between 30 and 70% raises when they came into office. They decided it and made it happen.

          • Christine, excellent point. The raises to Liberal insiders can be totally justified on the basis of net 0-0-0 concern for the public purse and a double standard. They can now balance the budget on backs of education – some of that Basi/Virk money has to be recovered

        • Nope, …. I agree there were distortions, but that does not derogate from my original post; Liberals don’t want a deal, and were resolved to “appear” to bargain in good faith with a hidden agenda to frustrate a deal; otherwise they would now appoint a third party to resolve the dispute. But no Don, the Liberals are content to let this go on into next year and promote private education. Maybe that’s what we need, but do not keep telling the public we have such a great educational system.

          • My two kids, of which the second will write his final exam on Friday then off to UBC, spent their whole 13 years (K-12) in this “turmoil”. Everything worked out just fine, thanks to great teachers and engaged parents. The sky is not falling and the whole private education conspiracy theory is laughable.

          • “..thanks to great teachers and engaged parents” – that’s the key Don. How do you engage a teacher when their classrooms are war zones? When parents aren’t engaged, the teacher needs to be twice as engaged to make up the deficit. Average children suffer. I’m sincerely happy it worked out for your children – it does not for all! It is expensive for the public to create better conditions, but lets be honest, the Liberals see an easy fix in the promotion of private institutions. Keep your eyes on the regulations which regulates private schools.

      • I did hear the same press conference but I must have missed the part where Iker told us he’s demanding a $5000 signing bonus. I only state the facts LorAx (hey that rhymes). A meth addict has more teeth than Iker’s bargaining position. The BCTF is dead broke and thanks to Iker’s chest beating, so will some of his teachers. You’re probably right that the Liberals don’t want a deal right now but why would they? When your political enemies are offering to pony up 175 million in unpaid salaries to fund special needs without a dime coming from taxpayers, how can you turn down a generosity like that? At the end of the day the BCTF will get the CUPE settlement anyhow and if they are still misbehaving in September, they’ll be legislated to the principal’s office. And if teachers quit for greener pastures as Iker would have us believe, the rush to fill their still warmed seats from the 35,000 unemployed teachers will look like a herd of wildebeests crossing a crocodile infested river. I know this is difficult for BCTF supporters to accept but these are the hard facts. Right now, Christie’s stilettos is firmly planted on Iker’s throat and due to his bargaining miscalculation, he will not get a deal before July 1st. The best he can do to save some political face is to reach a deal over summer, or risk embarrassing himself further by tapping out in September.

        • I agree with your comments, J, but add that this is part of a larger Liberal strategy to undermine public education long term. Contrary to popular belief, I don’t have much use for the BCTF. In part because they mislead teachers about the strength of their bargaining position, leading teachers to conclude the Court case was the be all to end all. That case has factored negatively into these negotiations .. but I digress.

    • It’s not just the rich or elite who patrionize private schools (of course, the west side of Vancouver ay be an exception to this). I know a family of very modest means who sacrificed alot and did alot of work at the school to send their kids there.

      • why should they have too sacrifice…We should have that type of public education from our Gov’t…That’s the trick, make you think you have to pay more…What a load of crap… They’re liars…Plain and simple liars, and if you believe them then you need to get some real help.Invest in education…common sense

  15. The comments on here supporting the BCTF and the teachers better get a mental check up because you are all crazy ! … The BCTF has got to go, they are using kids as pawns and they support keeping old past their prime teachers !

    Time to get rid of this union and any teachers that support them !

    • Hi Dex,

      You remind me of the oft-quoted comment that: “There is a simple answer to every complicated question, and it is wrong.” I urge you to keep trying though.

      Another great quotation: “If you want to have a good idea, you need to have a lot of ideas.”

    • Dex, the only reason you continue to have even a modicum of “Public Education” is because teachers are trying to give you and me a message. Do you really think they want to walk the picket line, loss 280, million with the uncertainty of employment in September? I’ll tell you this, I don’t like the BCTF either – I view them as ideologues and unwilling to bring educational delivery into the 21st century. But I view the Liberals as disingenuous with a strategy to dismantle public education in the way we have known it. Posters here – most anyway – work as insiders with precise knowledge. Their sole job is to influence you and me to believe that the systems failure belongs to greedy teachers. Garbage, don’t buy into it.

      • Seriously??? You think this little CKNW board is part of a master Liberal plan to win over the 12-15 regular teachers and their supporters who post on this board?

        Dave, Mike, Insite, Garp, et al…. are you feeling like you are being manipulated by “Liberal insiders” and are on the verge of being converted? Didn’t think so.

        • William, Don, mark my words. This is about methodically dismantling Public Education in favour of private education. The cost to government will be reduced significantly. I’m not suggesting there will be no public education, rather it will be similar to that in the US. – a very compromised system.

          • Wrong again, LorAx. This is about dismantling the power of the BCTF. Nobody has elected the BCTF to be the stewards of the education system. We elect government to do this. The BCTF is accountable to no one other than their teacher members. Are you advocating that they should control how education is delivered? What is your recourse if you disagree with them? At least, we can vote a government out of office

        • Don. Nice try; taking a point to it’s extreme in a futile effort to undermine it? Try actually dealing with the substantive issue; rather than allowing your politics to rule your critical thinking.

          • LorAx, at least have the courage to stand by your words….

            “Posters here – most anyway – work as insiders with precise knowledge. Their sole job is to influence you and me to believe that the systems failure belongs to greedy teachers. Garbage, don’t buy into it.”

            You said it. I was only pointing out the ridiculousness of your tinfoil conspiracy.

      • Wow Lorax, it may be time to put on your tin foil hat !

        I believe a majority of this generation of teachers have fallen victim to the “woe is me” union mentality and are asking for way too much for THEMSELVES ! … The fact is if the teachers really just cared about the kids in this situation then they would not be on strike at this time !

        I don’t believe all teachers are greedy and bad and hate kids but I do believe your union, the BCTF, does not care about anything other than money and how many more due payers they can wrangle in to the folds ! .. It is clear the BCTF and Jim Iker does not care about the kids at all and any teachers that support the unions actions should not have the right to say, “it’s for the kids” because that is total BS !

        • Dex, …. why do you and some other posters assume I am a teacher? If I were I’d be proud of it, but as it turns out, your assumption is wrong. You see Dex, not all people who support public education are teachers or parents. Some of us actually care about our future generation’s opportunities – we want children to have the same opportunities they had. and understand the politics of deception. I don’t own a “Tin Foil” hat but I’m sure you do …. so do me a favour, put it on and look in the mirror.

  16. Clark’s has basically come across as an Icey leader with little care of the education system in BC.
    She is an unchallenged leader who has the belief she is above the law and doesn’t require or want to deal with class problems which are prevalent in many school districts. Despite the overwhelming case that has been made by teachers and parents of classes with multiple “special needs” children, there seems be no appetite from the premier in addressing real in class concerns and problems. There is no opposition of any kind that we as parents can turn to for answers and support. We are at the mercy of the Clark and her team for the foreseeable future. Not a pleasant thought anyway you cut it!

  17. This is an exercise in futility. These two sides are both so entrenched in their positions. It’s time to put an end to this charade with binding arbitration. Let’s get on with it!

    • Do you really want an unelected individual in charge of the Education Budget and the delivery of Education Services? Binding arbitration is an abdication of duty. A total cop-out.

      Mediation and non-binding arbitration as a way of bridging gaps is acceptable. But there is no way I want my tax dollars nor the delivery of government services to be decided by anyone outside of the duly elected government.

        • Read slowly…. When it is your job to find a solution and make a decision, handing it over to a third party is an abdication. You do understand the meaning of abdication , don’t you?

          • Don, am I hitting nerve with you? Who is arbitration for if not for persons who are unable to resolve a dispute? In this situtation government is negotiating as a “Party”; not as “Government Policy makers”. It’s a fine distinction but I’m sure you can make it.

          • But they are able to resolve it. Iker just doesn’t want to do what it will take. He’s in his own little world.

            And yes, of course the winning party is elected to make policy. What do you think the point of a campaign is if not to let voters know what those policies will be? The Liberals decisively won their mandate.

      • Don, you are right in the money.

        To carry a step further, what if the binding Arbitrator came down on the side of the Government?
        They are unable to accept any ruling that does not go their way. Like posts such as the LRB is controlled by C. Clarke.
        WE would just have another 6 years of listening to how they were screwed again.
        Mediation yes, binding Arbitration no.

  18. This would be funny if it was not so sick.
    The teachers/BCTF come with their lowest offer yet and Christy’s counter offer is lower than her previous offer.
    I said this before and I’ll say it again Christy wants the teachers to strike. Is still bargaining in bad faith.
    I predict this strike will still be going on in October. Unless the government exercises the non withstanding clause. Which I believe is what Christy wants.
    A long strike will only sway public opinion away from the teachers.
    Christy is dancing with glee over this. I can see that smug little smile now.

  19. Why does Jim Iker not use some of his benefits to get a haircut and some dental work?Why do the Governmant negotiaters not use their minds! all sides seem to be completeley lost in a fantasy world!Listening speak from both sides ,makes me ashamed for humankind.

    • This is as bad a personal attack (almost) as people referring to the Education Minister as Factbender. Very old, very soon. Quit the personal attacks – you must be quite the looker, I’m guessing…. or not.

  20. Wow what a kick in the teeth!

    BC Teachers have been docked 10% pay, reduced their wage demands to 8% over 5 years and then the BC government turns around and proposes a counter offer that is lower than their original offer!

    Only in BC!

  21. LorAx. To reply to this gem….

    Why concern yourself with my comment if there is no truth to it; maybe you protest too much, just maybe.”

    That what these board and posts are all about. Comment and reply. It’ not that hard to understand.

    • Silly Don…tisk tisk, you dragged my comment away from the original posts; took it out of context to undermine it. Typical flawed reasoning. Works if the reader doesn’t catch it. Nice try.

      • How obtuse can you be? It is your comment – own it.

        The reason the comment had to be dragged away and a new thread started is because there was no room left in the original thread to reply. There is a limit to the number of links. You should have been able to figure that out on your own.

  22. I don’t subscribe to the theory that the Government intends to dismantle education but I believe there are substantial changes in the horizon. Likely the Government wants to bring education in line with new technology which appears wired into our childrens’ brains. Teachers find that difficult to accept, as the only model for education is the one we know today. Classrooms need to catch up with technology as we move through the 21st Century. In fact, that may well address some of the class composition issues which are creating the impasse. The BCTF must acknowledge that the Government has the mandate to decide education budgets and what that will look like. Obviously the BCTF likes the status quo, and I get that, however, the BCTF must appreciate they have no role in shaping education, it is tasked with the delivery of it.

    These parties need to appreciate the respective responsibilities of the other side, and make compromises with that in mind.

    • Stay with your legal points Garp, ….. You’re missing the point that the way the Liberals intend to solve the funding issues is to slowly move education into the private sector; not overnight, but gradually. There’s no appetite for settlement if you hold the legislative hammer. Keep your eyes on the regulations or amendments to the school act. You will see beyond the horizon!

  23. @ LorAx. Here is your comment:

    “..thanks to great teachers and engaged parents” – that’s the key Don. How do you engage a teacher when their classrooms are war zones?

    WAR ZONES!!!! What are you talking about?

  24. Do you know what a hyperbole is? You’ve intentionally removed my comment from its context to create a false impression. Shame on you, it’s an insult to YOUR intellect!

    • Again, there was no room left to reply to your comment, so a new thread was needed. The quote was the main point of your comment. Feel free to fill in the context that you think is required in order to justify the use of the grossly over the top “War Zone”.

      You anger quickly when challenged on your statements or choice of words, and move swiftly to back away from them. The old “quoted out of context” defence, or “jk – it’s only hyperbole”.

      • You un believable! You do understand a hyperbole? . But in the future, I will use much simpler language to ensure you understand. Sorry, I gave you too much credit!

  25. Teachers get ‘summers off’. Well not many people will work if they aren’t being paid. When fishing season closes for the winter, it’s ‘off season’ (and fishers can collect EI), when a mill has a shut-down, it’s not called ‘time off’. Maybe we should start referring to July August as a work-shutdown. Even if I wanted to, I cannot go in to my school and work (except for the first week of July and last week of August). I get paid a salary for 190 days of teaching, plus weekends and evenings for marking and reports/prepping, and I would defy anyone who says that good teaching can be done by only doing any work related to the job between the hours of 8:15 and 3:45. Maybe the July August is to make up for the work I do outside of my paid time. Instead of marking and planning at 3:15, I’m often coaching a sport 2-3 days a week. On those days I get back to my class about 5pm, finish up what has to be finished in the class (Science experiment, art lessons), and take what isn’t doable only in the classroom home to finish there. Summers off? I’d like to have weekends off please.