Education Minister Peter Fassbender says he is disappointed with the latest contract demands from the BCTF, and he says they have pushed the union further away from the affordability zone for public sector settlements.
He says they are twice as much as what other unions settled for, and on top of that the union wants hundreds of millions more each year in other contract demands.
He is referring to the BCTF’s demand for two, $225-million dollar funds – one to hire more teachers to improve class size and composition, and the other to improve health benefits, prep time, and professional development for teachers.
“And I can tell you when we finally got the full response from the BCTF on Wednesday and when we looked at the numbers and they had filled in the blanks that they’d had there before, it is unaffordable. It is well into the $2-billion range, that is not affordable for the taxpayers of British Columbia.”
Earlier this morning, the union announced it would like the dispute go to mediation, saying the past two days of contract talks have yielded no progress because of stonewalling from the government.
Fassbender isn’t saying yes or no to that request.