Update on teachers strike – bargaining resumes today

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Update on teachers strike - bargaining resumes today

Teachers remain on the picket line on day two of a full scale strike in the province, but all hope of a settlement is not lost.

Representatives for teachers and the government are getting back to work at the bargaining table this morning – according to the union and the Ministry of Education.

The government’s lead negotiator Peter Cameron wouldn’t comment on the state of affairs when reached by phone this morning.

Talks broke off Sunday night and no one was at the table Monday while teachers had what they called “study sessions” across BC.

After some harsh words from federation President Jim Iker Monday and yesterday morning, both sides met yesterday afternoon.

No word on what came out of that conversationm, or when the public will get an update on what, if any, progress is being made on reaching a settlement.


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    • Mike, it is in the government’s best interest to keep the teachers out of the building until the end of June. If there is any pressure at all, it would be to get summer school up and running.

    • “taxpayers”……not government, the teachers by taking early and extended unpaid holidays, are saving taxpayers millions, thanks, but no sympathy to the “gang who couldn’t shoot straight”, the BCTF

      • My “extended ” holiday involves the loss of two weeks wages, my husband gets to lose wages taking care of our two children, and I get to listen to uninformed, bigoted opinions like yours every day! What a holiday! Is it wrong to ask for cost of living allowances and decent benefits? Is it wrong to demand the best class size and composition guarantees? For your limited information, every other province has these guarantees, so why should BC be so backward? Ask real questions, and quit Iker and BCTF bashing. Get informed.

  1. This school year is over! There is very little use of returning the students to school, other than to write provincial exams. The government saves a lot of money by having teachers out of the building. The smart thing for the government is to stall until the end of June and save that money in order to offer it up later in their proposal to the teachers. As well,, this mess will not be solved because, I believe, the class composition issue. The money is close enough that some agreement could be made. With the matter before the courts, the government will have to legislate the teachers back in August.

  2. so its OK to not have kids in school..??.Great logic…And by the way, the school year is not over..Are you a teacher Rick…?? I’m guessing not. There are other things that happen for kids at school besides exams…Way to quote the standard answer from those who area opposed to Public education…Very original…

    • dave, if school is so important why did you lock the kids out with your strike?
      You are the ones closing the schools, no one else.
      Typical BCTF, blame everyone else for your inability to negotiate.

      • Agreed. For a lock out to happen you need a strike. Teachers could have striked over the summer but that’s when you guys get your two month holidays and it wouldn’t screw over families. Families first remember.

        The school year is over regardless of a deal at this point.

        • explain John…..???? I’d love to hear why the school year is done, even though kids are supposed to be there until June 27…??? Please enlighten us…Or maybe you could just ask Dwight to let you use one of his insightful comments like…”Its your fault…You asked for the strike…” It would be a change if you could actually try and defend your last comment…I have a feeling you and Dwight will find another thread to say the same things on AGAIN…. See you on the next thread…I can’t wait to hear your next original comment…

          • Haha. Do you really believe the school year is still on? My kids and a whole bunch more would like to hear you explain that one. Grads are cancelled, most exams are cancelled, field trips are cancelled, desks have been cleaned out – but kids are supposed to be there until the 27th? Go figure. Those 5 years of university really paid off huh?

          • Well Dave. Let me enlighten you. If you were the government and the BCTF by striking, is generously donating 100 million a week back to your treasury that you can take credit and pump into special needs, what impetus would you have to settle before July? Talk about blowing up your own shoe-bomb. A fundamental rule about striking is that you must apply financial pressure on the employer- not “ENRICH THEM.” The government will let Iker stomp and hold his breath for the summer and if he is still misbehaving in September they will just beat him with a legislation strap. Between his demands for more massage money and a $5000 signing bonus, your leader from the public’s perspective is truly delusional. This after leading a 40,000 membership into a strike with 1 day of strike pay in the “war chest”? Face it Dave, Christy has her stilettos firmly planted on Iker’s throat and a DTES Meth addict has more teeth than his bargaining position. I have many teacher friends and I pity them because Iker’s muscle flexing will cost all them $3000 or the first 2 1/2years of future wage increases. They would have been better off electing the Marx Brothers as their president.

      • blah blah blah…Anything new to add…Why don’t you try actually agreeing or disagreeing with my comment…That would be a change. No…Instead you bring up the same old line that you’ve used a thousand times…You have 3 comments Dwight. and you’ve used each about 100 times already…You need better writers my friend…so…Do you agree or disagree that there’s others things that students benefit from by being in school for the last 2 weeks, than just exams…anyone…anyone…??? Thought not…!!!

        • And your a Teacher? You really should not be allowed to be involved with kids.
          And you always have such brillant posts.
          You are why Teachers are no longer a Profession.
          blah, blah, blah,

          • Hey Dave, Since Iker can’t afford to pay your $50 strike pay can you use a few extra bucks? My kid’s private school wants to hire you for a recruitment ad….as a typical teacher in the public eduction system.

          • Why, because I call them the way I see them…Are you hurt Dwight…??? You’re a big boy aren’t you..?? You make big statements so you should be able to take it…

          • Hey J…Why don’t you ask your kids teacher were they would be if given the chance to get into Public Ed…They don’t care about your kid, they care about getting out and getting into the Public System. Thing about that when you’re paying $2000 a month, you right wing teabag dope….

          • Dave, Judging by your keen grasp of spelling and grammar, you must be an public school English teacher. In any event Iker should drop his demands for more massage money and invest in anger management his members, where it obviously needed.

          • Ron….Another of the group…I’ve heard your same 3 comments too…Ron you must retired…Those baby boomers are the reason we’re here in the first place…Most spoiled generation ever…I hope they cut Health care next Ron…Being young…Unlike you…I will be on here supporting that all day…I’ll have my same 3 comments ready…

    • Also the school year was not over for the 5 schools that are on a balanced schedule (of which one is where my daughter is attending). She will probably miss a more than a month instead of only a couple weeks of school.

    • The school year is as good as over, especially for elementary. We all know that not alot, if any, academic instruction happens in June – it’s all fun days, sports days, field trips and videos while the teacher cleans up the classroom.

    • Dave, exams, other than provincials, are finished. What are those other things that happen worth bringing the kids back into the schools with less than a week to go? Sorry, but nothing at the high school for kids to do in the next ten days except write exams. As for my own kids, in elementary and middle schools, they have cleaned out their desks and have said goodbye. Does it make sense to have them lug their supplies back for what will amount to three or four days of class? Schools are not child care centers. The only upside to having teachers back in school between now and June 28 is to allow the teachers to straighten out report cards and prepare the rooms for next year. Not sure what the standard answer is you speak of – if there were some real reason to have kids in school next week, other than it is a place where someone can look after your children, I would like to know what it is. Opposed to public education? – far from it. I want my kids in school, but it has to be to do something meaningful. Otherwise, it is just babysitting. My kids are at home and, like other parents, dealing with it. I am with the teachers because they are, in spite of some people are saying, looking out for my kids. How is that Dave?

      • The reason you don’t know, and anyone that’s not a teacher knows is because your not a teacher…You and everyone else’s ignorance on Public Education makes me laugh…But the same Pea Brains are on these threads within minutes giving their own perspective of BC Public schools, but as a teacher I just sit and shake my head, because of how far off you all really are… It would like me giving you my two bits about how an accountant spends their day,… I get it…You hate teachers because they make a decent wage, and unlike a lot of you, have gone to school and secured a good job…You life sucks Ron and Dwight I get it… But your hatred and jealousy are the only things I read in your posts…I sorry that you have wasted you life, but blame yourself…You could have been a teacher too, instead of scraping by on CPP…Boo Hoo…Get over it…Or get back to work…I here Enbridge is hiring..

        • Jealousy???? What is there to envy? Teachers are mistreated, disrespected, underpaid, overworked, stress out, etc. Remember?

          Thank you soooooo much for your huge sacrifices. The world would fall apart without the altruism of teachers like you.

        • Dave, take a red pen and edit your rant. Spelling mistakes (using “your” instead of “you’re”, “here” instead of “hear”), run-on sentences, poor paragraph structure, poor punctuation. Are you really a teacher?

        • Dave, I don’t think many of these writers disagree with you completely, but you are trigger happy and firing at every cricket you hear. Put the guns into the holster man. Me and a few others on here agree with you, but you are making it personal. Tough to make a convincing case or change minds when you name call.

  3. If you read LRB ruling carefully…nothing in it about marking exams….just to invigilate exams. Exams wont be marked until next week..convenient time to get a deal done with a few days left to pay teachers.

      • No, D, the LRB ruling is very clear on that – teachers will only be used to invigilate. Districts have already lined up administrators to mark the exams. There’s a big difference between ‘pretty sure’ and ‘accurate’.

        • The LRB ordered the teachers to have to marks, including provincials, to the grade 12 students. If no one else marks the test, it has to be the teachers as they’ve been ordered to.

          Given the financial state of the BCTF, they certainly can’t afford any fines.

          • Hello again, D. The LRB said that teachers must provide marks for grade 12 students for the term and final marks. The only provincial that they write is English 12, which is traditionally marked in the summer and results released in August. English teachers only provide the school based marks and the provincial test is worth 20% of the overall final mark. There are a number of other provincial tests: Math 10, Socials 11, etc. for which the teachers are required to invigilate but not mark. Again, you are using conjecture rather than facts. The boards have already lined up principals/vice-principals/district admin to do the marking – not teachers.

          • It’s kinda moot who’s doing what. The point is the LRB has said kids WILL have the opportunity to write the exams, they WILL be marked, kids WON’T need to worry the teachers actions will negatively effect them. Too bad the BCTF didn’t consider doing the right thing for these kids in the first place.

  4. I can’t believe that the BCTF striking was a very smart idea. I believe the teachers deserve a raise and even the courts say class composition is suffering. But the strike only gave Christy exactly what she was looking for.
    I see the teachers being legislated back to work in the fall. But not at the start of the school year. Not until the public has suffered a little. This is Christies way.
    She clearly thinks public suffering at the hands of the teachers makes her position stronger. I have to agree.

    • Your first sentence makes total sense and then you completely lost me.
      What court said class composition is suffering?
      Just what has Christy been looking for as a result of the BCTF’s stupidity? What is this “position” that she needs to strengthen? I haven’t heard one word from any Liberal MLA so can you really say she is orchestrating some obscure secret scheme? Even the NDP hasn’t uncovered a one woman plot (or much else for that matter).
      Perhaps you need to think through a few things before making nonsense presumptions.

    • Micheal, What garbage, The Court ruled on Law. Had absolutely nothing to do with class composition. Get real.
      Also, you do understand that it is the Teachers on Strike, a vote that apparently was heavy in favor of a full scale Strike. You can’t blame that on Clark. That is the BCTF/Teachers way. Not Cristies!

    • The public has suffered already…the key is the teachers will be suffering financially by fall. That’s when the gov’t will have the upper hand.
      The teachers need to realize the BCTF aren’t doing them any favors. I get the feeling that most taxpayers appreciate the job most teachers are doing, but are sick of the BCTF. The pay issues should be easy to settle, but teachers can’t realistically think they are going to gain control of funding levels. Allocation of funds should be up to administrators, not teachers. Class size and composition issues should be decided by administrators not teachers, they are trained to teach and they should stick to that function.

    • you mean not until the BCTF further suffers without any cash, moolah, sheckels. That’s what they want. There willnot be a $5000 signing bonus, completley outrageous and confrontational, aint gonna happen chum.
      The BCTF is still fighting the last election. They are upset they didnt get their big multi million payoff from Comrade Dix, the taxpayers of this province shut down that idea fast.
      The BCTF, legends in their own mind.

  5. Minister Fassbender , as a condition of resuming bargaining, suggested that the BCTF submit a fully-costed proposal. I’m not so sure that the BCTF has sufficient access to education ministry data to make comply fully.

    But the onus to provide an accurate fully-costed proposal should also apply to the government.

    Is the $75 million in the LIF agdequate, too much or too little? Until each the begiinning of the school calendar- for the duration of the 5 year contract, no one will know exactly what CS and CC will be like. . Each school will need to sort that out as it does every year.

    So IMO, while the $75 million may well be a Goldilocks estimate, it may not reflect reality.

  6. My above comments also apply to the $225 million cost submited by the BCTF. Student make up, including special needs, is like a piece of elastic.

    Numbers are being thrown around recklessly.

    The costs will be what it will be as determined each September when school resumes.

    • “Minister Fassbender , as a condition of resuming bargaining, suggested that the BCTF submit a fully-costed proposal. ”

      Have you ever nogotiated a contract Site?

      Iker wanted a % wage increase . . . and then dropped a long laundry list of other demands . . . every item has a cost . . . all those items added together make up the % Wage Increase. But the incompetent Iker, in true BCTF tradition, did not do that. He just harped about the wage increase and expected the other stuff to be thrown in . . . at an extra cost to the taxpayers of 100s of millions extra.

      The BCTF will be on the street till the pay for their own wage increase – brilliant tactics Mr. Iker . . . .

      • @ Dale: Absolutely, my answer is yes. That is why I can comment, state my opinion.

        And I’m been involved in three strikes. First as an exempt professional, I car-pooled other exempt employees through the most violent picket line in BC history (Lenkurt 1966) and got my car keyed on both sides. That was costly to both union and mangement-how not to provoke a strike and how not to behave on the picket line.

        I was also on the management team at the bargaining table 3 times for another company. Two were negotiated successfully but we took a 3-week strike because corporate HQ sent in a chief negotiator who didn’t understand the situation here where our union went into Trudeau’s wage controls last and got out last when inflation was running rampant. Our chief eventually blinked and the union revceived what it wanted and deserved and it cost the company an unnecessary 3 week strike.

        Also when I had a position requiring me to be a union member, I was out on strike for over two weeks.

        So I have personal experience having worn shoes in every situation.

        My total experience taught me to have an open mind, keep both feet on the ground and not get caught up in the emotional and confrontational rhetoric present on this site. Of course, I respond to personal attacks and over-the-top comments. And don’t be surprised or offended if I respond in kind. I find it very fascinating how people respond. You would think that their life was at stake.

        I’m not out to alter your opinions-nor do I want to. So take my comments as my personal opinion based on my perspective of the facts.

        BTW, the BCTF seemingly submitted a fully costed proposal just before noon as requested by Fassbender. Now that’s a problem with you?
        See my comments as to what I thought of both party’s costed proposal.

        Oh brother-Must apologize for this essay which will solicit another repeat complaint. Can’t win-can we?

        • I’m starting to warm up to you, insite! However, bottom line is the bottom line. NW reported that the TF costed out their “new money, new funds” proposal at $225m each – per year. That is an extra $450m per year over and above any wage increase. The signing bonus request is another $150m (one time cost).

          That proposal is too rich for the taxpayer.

          • No real argument there. However, the $225 million proposal to deal with CS and CC starting September and a $225 proposal in which costs of settling past grievances pertaining to CS and CC may well assist the judical process when determining the appropriate award(s) should the government lose its appeal.

            The later $225 million might be reduced by the amount that massage therapy will cost the taxpayer. Not how I would cost it-but Michael Campbell claimed the $3000/teacher benefit would cost taxpayers 40,000 x $3000 = $120 million. So let’s deduct his $120 million resulting in an estimate of $105 million to settle past grievances. So that’s a total of $330 million plus bonuses.

            But in addition to your comment that the taxpayer cannot afford such a settlement, I might also suggest why the government should not even touch the subject. If it did, it may be construed that the government acknowledges the legitimacy of CS and CC concerns. That would never do-would it?

            Actually I would hate to contemplate the final cost should the governmeent lose its appeal.

      • Dale-left coast, obviously you’ve never bought a car! Have you ever heard of negotiation strategies? Positions are not immutable. Why not send it an arbitrator? Obviously that would not serve Liberal interests! Why?

  7. Why do teachers need a ‘signing bonus’ ? It’s not like there is a bunch of competition from other ‘teams’ competing for them.
    Why are teachers eligible for EI over the summer? If you choose to be paid over 10 months instead of 12, save your money to last you over the summer. Better yet, why even give them a choice, pay all of them over 12 months, maybe then they wouldn’t need to use the food bank after a few weeks of no pay. Sounds like some teachers need to learn basic money management skills. Ironic that this is not taught in school as is.
    Why do teachers need such large increases in the extended health benefits and why has this information not been made more public.

    • People are conveniently forgetting the damages owed to teachers. The Liberals never appealed the 2011 Supreme Court loss. That means the Liberals agree they broke the law! Experts believe that means the BCTF members are potentially owed $600 million in damages/grievances.

      The BCTF members are willing to accept a $5000 signing balance. If one uses 30,000 full time positions, that works out to $150 million. The teachers are willing to let THEIR other $450 million be put back into the system. This $5000 seems like a good deal for the province.

      Christy Clark wants to continue to appeal this for longer and longer. When it is all said and done the BCTF members will be owed $1 billion or more, plus legal fees. That will work out to $30,000 per full time teacher. The teachers are offering to walk away from all the grievances for JUST $5000 each. That is why they “need a signing bonus” As a taxpayer, this government better accept the offer before we are forced to pay up just as we had to pay the HEU.

    • Only laid off teachers are eligible for EI. Please ensure you are informed before you post erroneous information. You only serve to muddy the waters, otherwise.

  8. If teacher gets laid off..they collect ei…they pay ei premiums like every worker. They are mostly new teachers or toc’s. If you have a continuing contract. ..no ei. Pay teacher a lump sum this year. ..not added to salary next year. ..one time payment. Saves government money. Paying same salary over 12 months or 10 doesn’t matter. ..it.still the same net amount.

  9. Shannon, I don’t believe teachers are eligible for EI over the summer.

    As for the food bank use, I feel for teachers living on the edge. Some are single parents, some are the major bread winners and some are married to teachers (so it is a double hit for them).

    Basically, teachers have bought a pig in a poke from Iker. It is unfortunate the good ones are paying a high price for their union overplaying their hand.

  10. Most teachers are not eligible for EI over the summer. If you have a continuing contract you don’t qualify. The signing bonus is to offset the 4 years of zeros. No other public sector has had to face that. It is only a small percent of the 3% cost of living increase we all face each year. The cost of house insurance goes up by law 3% per year but there is no wage increase to offset this. Christy Clark’s cabinet gave them selves between 30% and 70% raises when they took office. Did you forget that?

    • And yet, teachers overwhelmingly support their union. Do you not see that your union is doing you no favours? 86% in favour of a strike. Electing hard liners as your leaders time after time. You cannot win with that strategy. You are being played.

  11. How can the BCTF say that they really want to settle at the Table when they come back with a New Demand of $150,000,000. Bad faith bargaining.
    Why lie and say they want an agreement then pull this off.
    Why doesn’t someone answer the questions as to how this and $3,000. in massages, and an increase in all their benefits help the kids?
    Instead of spiting vemon, why not explain?
    Come on dave, lets here your answers, as we who are not Teachers just don’t understand. Now is your time to shine, and explain how these demands will help the Kids. Should be easy for a Teacher.

  12. @dave. in your opinion, myself and others who are not Teachers, are not qualified to respond on Contract negotiation?
    SO I would assume that because I am an experienced Labor Relations person, I could say you have no right tot comment because you are only a Teacher and have no knowledge of Labor Relations. Or is it that Teachers just automatically know everything?
    You seem to assume that all comments are to you. AS someone else said, you are getting to personal.