Vince Ready will not mediate teachers’ dispute

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Vince Ready will not mediate teachers’ dispute

The BC Teachers Federation put out a public request for mediator Vince Ready to step in and take over the stalled negotiations but it doesn’t look like that will happen any time soon.

Government Chief Negotiator Peter Cameron says Vince Ready is no longer an option.

“Vince has told Jim Iker and myself that he’s not available, his schedule is completely plugged until next week, so he is not available to mediate.”

Cameron adds the BCTF still wants too much money.

“We are willing to discuss with the union where we go from here, the problem is not as the union has defined it that we need a magic third party, the problem is the union is completely out of the ballpark in terms of its position an affordable many times what other people got and settled for.”

“It’s really over to them if they are in the mode of searching for some magic solution but the real solution is they’ve got to grapple with the fact that their wage and benefit solution is completely out of line.”

For now the parties are left without a mediator in sight.


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  1. How about you pull the opener clause as one of your demands for a contract. ..put in commitment to fund the restored contract of teachers if they win again. Deal with just wages and get it done

    • It seems the government has the upper hand. The BCTF is being boxed in no matter which way it turns. When it comes to wages, it should take exactly what the government offered and move on.

      But, if the BCTF accepts the wage offer on the table, is it possible that the government now smells blood and there is more difficulty on the way?

      Having said that, I don’t understand your suggestion that the BCTF secure a commitment for funding a restored contract if teachers win again. I thought that was already implied in Justice Griffin’s decision, BCTF doesn’t need to secure any commitment now-doesn’t the end result depend on the appeal itself?

    • Government offered wages this year but would not offer retroactive to Sept 2013…instead it was from day contract signed. Only a short time ago the 10 year dead was dropped. They knew BCTF would never agree to 10 years. Only way to get something for this year…a bonus…this after 4 years of zeros where others got 3.5 to 4 percent increases.

      • So, the BCTF doesn’t bargain effectively for 16 months and the taxpayers are supposed to retroactively cough more money? Give up on that idea. There’s only one week left for any bonus at all. Maybe some quick reality checks for Iker will do it – but I doubt that will happen.

      • @Dave-Just to get this straight. Are you saying that the teachers experienced more years of zero increases then other public sector workers?

        If you are old enough, you will remember the Fed’s “wage controls” in the 1970s. This also applied to salary or exempt workers. If a contract was in effect at the onset of “wage controls”, it did not apply until the new contract.

        Additional, every “employee” was subjected to wage controls (zero) for the same number of years in other words, it was “FIRST IN_FIRST OUT”.

        If this principle is applied equally and fairly, one might expect that every public sector group should have been subjected to “zero” for the same number of years.

        My question : Is that the case for the BCTF or is the government expecting the BCTF to accept zero for a longer time? That requires clarification.

        Regardless, these kind of policies gets very messy with staggered collective agreement expiry dates- having had to deal with it back in the ’70s.

      • With some exception, teachers are not on this list as most are employed by their districts. $132K is off base … the top pay is masters max and it’s in the range of $80K. Maybe you can clarify where you got the number. This site is interesting … it shows the income of government employees. I cannot find many who make under $70K with similar experience. Our Premier for example earns $194K … this is on top of the benefits and on top of the lavish expense account.

  2. The truth is the BC government has been undermining public schools for some time. Cutting funding and generally not giving our children their best chances at successful education and employment.
    As far as getting some kind of deal before school is out. There is no chance. Christy could not be happier, now that the teachers are on strike. I predict the liberals will leave the teachers out till at least half way through September.
    This is because Christy sees public pain and government propaganda as a valid way to swing public opinion away from the teachers.
    Lets wait and see what a bully does.

  3. Not sure the Gov. should be all that hasty to agree to anything at this time. Just let it ride for a couple of weeks. Save us the offered signing bonus at least after all this nonsense.

  4. There must be at least one (or two or three) other ‘silver bullet’ negotiators that can get this ugly deal done. However, if an agreement is NOT reached by the end of June, all balanced calendar schools/summer schools should absolutely NOT BE IN SESSION. Why would they be different? Are they not part of the same union?

  5. If a Mechanics union went on strike and pointed out their work is the maintenance of life saving vehicles for the community including for hospitals, school buses, and family vehicles. Their slogan could read our kids and community come first, support BC Mechanics Federation. Although that would technically be true, many others would say they are getting ridiculous and should just say it’s a contract dispute period. By the same principle the BCTF should remove the fluff about this being about the kids and be honest, this is a contract dispute period. And yes when it comes to the BCTF’s sense of entitlement for 9 months annual work, they’re out to lunch but don’t make this to be about the kids.

  6. This isn’t just a “teachers’ dispute”. It takes two to tango, ergo it is a dispute between the provincial government and the teachers.
    By the way, the provincial government is not the employer. Individual school boards are the employers, and they’ve had their bargaining rights stripped by a provincial government which is clearly proving they hate teachers and public education.

  7. Name me another profession that gets 3 months off a year, sick leave & a great benefit package. The BCTF and the government do not get along, they are now needing a food bank ? It has only been 2 weeks, wow !! A 5K signing bonus for doing their job? How do people do with lower paying jobs function ? I am so glad my kids goto an independent school.

  8. Don’t see all those who laughed and made jokes about my saying that I didn’t think Ready would accept the job because of the way he was treated by the BCTf over his last involvement with this Union,making jokes now.
    Ready is a Mediator. There has to be something to mediate.
    He also was commissioned to set down a new bargaining plan, which he did and the BCTF promptly rejected. Why would he want the job.
    It is now all in the BCTF’s lap. This the the second time this union has gone on strike and end up getting the same as everyone else.
    How does the saying go ..they keep doing the same things over and over and expect a different result?

    • Best strategy for union is to continue negotiation until august. There will be do deal as the Liberals clearly don’t want want. There will be no basis for legislation and the strike will continue into October until the appeal is heard. When the appeal comes down, the Liberals be totally rudderless.

      Teachers have come this far, don’t back off now.

  9. I think the writing is on the Wall, and even the BCTF is starting to get it.
    They have now figured it out that no matter what they do, they will not get any more than the other public sector workers.
    They want that $1200.00 (bonus) to much to let if go, and they are running out of time.
    This should get interesting as to how the BCTF can place the blame, for their outrageous actions and demands, on the BCPSEA/Government.
    If the Government stands , and I think they will, by they statements that they are not going to Legislate, what will these crazies do?

    • Teacher’s salary demands are much higher than what other public sector unions settled for. ”

      Because that’s not true.

      Firefighting and police are public sector unions.

      Coquitlam Firefighters got 6% over two years, and all other Metro Firefighters got within a quarter percent of that; except for Delta Firefighters of course, who got 20% over 8 years.

      Recently, Vancouver Police quietly got 8.8% over three years.

      And city workers? Burnaby CUPE, bus drivers, Hydro, B.C.I.T., B.C Pavillion, all 4% over 2 years; Skytrain 5.75% over 3 years.
      Prince Rupert city workers got 18.25% over 4 years.

      All of these settlements are more than 2% per year, just above the inflation rate and more than what the teachers are asking – 8% over 5 years.

      And in the downtrodden private sector; locals of the Machinists and Steelworkers unions got 9.5% over 3 years and Unifor – 10.5% over 3 years.

      Federally, CUPW (posties), got 7.25% over 3 years.

      According to Stats Can, the average public and private sector settlement in 2013 was 2.59%.

      Could somebody please clarify these stats on What public sector actually gets..Would love to hear your thoughts Dwight…

      • No comments…You are all a bunch of “Trolls” as my friend Don would say (sorry to steal your THING..)…defend these stats…!! One person who has spouted off about Public Sector wages…One person…Just as I thought…Nobody…

      • No problem dave, they are municipalities. They can pay what ever they feel that district can afford. People not in the district don’t pay.
        You actually are a Teacher and you don’t understand that???
        Perhaps you should get into a different career, How about a “loafer” in a Bakery. That you may be able to handle.

        • Is that my point Dwight…??? No… This is the crap that Fassbender is trying to sell, that public unions aren’t getting these wages, when in fact they are…He likes to compare the ones that are getting the shaft, and say there you go…Are you actually are a (retiree, welfare bum, lonely person…???) and you don’t understand that??? Perhaps you should get into a different career,

          • Dave, … why do you bother with Dwight, he’s a paid political poster… he will say anything to make the Liberals look good and anything to make teachers greedy. Everyone here knows it….. he is the quintessential cretin which no opinion.

  10. Fire them all. Let’s start fresh! Bill Good had a head union guy on last week (can’t remember his name), and he basically said this is the worst union in Canada.
    This is just a militant narcissistic bunch of whiners who care about no one else but themselves. The government just needs to ignore them till they come begging.

    • Rose you don’t even work…You’re collecting CPP, which I’m paying for..Not to mention the Health Care which I’m sure you use a lot more than me…Why don’t you just say thank-you that we have social programs set up for old folks like yourself, and get back to you knitting…!!!

      • Wow just because somebody doesn’t agree with you ! Can you really blame the general public for not believing in the BCTF’s strategy on this given what’s happen so far?

        • Fire them all…Is that Rose’s idea, and you think that’s a good one…?? Is Rose your mom Sammy, because I can’t figure out how you’d defend that statement

      • I guess Rose never put a dime into CPP, eh, Dave ?? And never paid an MSP premium ?? What we do know is that you don’t pay into MSP, do you Dave. We pay that for you. Who’s the entitled leech ???

        • And now she complains because she no longer has kids in school, so Public Education is a waste to her, is that how it works…?? Well I’m complaining that 47 cents of every dollar is spend on health care… get rid of the system and make Rose pay for all her visits and medication based on individual needs…Private Health care is the way to go, just like in the States…The sooner we privatize the more of my tax dollars I can keep…I’m tired as a tax payer paying for this overuse of health care by old people, I’m healthy and never use it…Its a complete waste of my tax dollars…When will this stop..??? Liberal Gov’t, I know you’ll support me on this…

  11. Iker’s very public challenge to the government to accept “their” choice of Vince Ready as mediator was nothing short of a desperate ploy by a failed leader, standing frozen in the middle of his own minefield that he forgot to map out. Anyone including Iker who’d bother to check Ready’s online schedule could see he was booked up to May 2015. So without even giving Mr. Ready a “courtesy call” Iker’s hasty public invitation obviously put Mr. Ready in an uncomfortable position with his current clients as his business is not one where you simply walk away to put out someone else’s fire. Yet Iker on June 20th would have us and his members believe that Vince who was out of Province, could have rode in on his white horse settling 600 million in BCTF demands before Sunday night dinner and it would be business as usual today. The reality is 40,000 teachers were coaxed and misled into a strike believing General Ike’s muscle-flexing claim that the BCTF had a “brimming war chest” that would bring Premier Clark to her knees. I guess he felt he had to top Susan Lambert’s rant at their last BCTF convention where she was beating her chest declaring “Christie Clark’s goose was cooked.” But as it turns out it’s Ike who is being slowly basted on Christie’s spit, and the war chest” he bragged about turns out to be a half filled penny jar in his closet. If that won’t inspire the troops nothing will. This is like being parachuted behind enemy line only to be told no one brought any ammunition. The first rule of winning a strike is to impose financial hardship on your employer yet Iker’s strike is enriching the government by 100 million a week- money that twill take years for the teachers to recoup which the Liberals will take credit for when they pour it into special needs. Brilliant strategy. Meanwhile his members are competing with the homeless for first dibs at the food bank. How pathetic is that. Last week Christie had her stilettos firmly planted on Iker’s throat and this week she’s going to twist it slowly. It may take until Oct, but Iker will eventually tap out or lowers his ridiculous demands. Teachers do need to stand up….but against this delusional leadership who has been leading the union like the German army into Stalingrad who too were also promised a decisive victory.

  12. Hey dave, what happen to all your bravado about war in the streets etc. if Teachers were ordered by the LRB to mark tests.
    Man for someone who claims to no so much, you certainly are wrong a lot.
    Are to trying for a position in the BCTF high command. You certainly seem ignorant enough to make it.
    I still say the BCTF is a cult.

      • Hey Dave, If according to you, a couple of administrators are doing all the marking for the entire school, why are you and other teachers constantly whining about being overworked? It looks like you’ve made a perfectly good argument to raise those scrawny class sizes LOL.