Decision on summer school expected Friday

Vancouver, BC, Canada / News Talk 980 CKNW | Vancouver's News. Vancouver's Talk
Decision on summer school expected Friday

The Vice Chair of the Vancouver School Board says a decision will come by Friday on whether or not to go ahead with summer school.
This as the BC Government applies to the Labour Relations Board to have summer school for students who failed courses declared an essential service.

“Vancouver has the biggest summer school program in the province, last year we had 17,000 students, we have students coming from all over the world to participate, but we can’t have a picket line up, so we need to solve the problem.”

Mike Lombardi adds trustees voted last night to urge the Premier to appoint an industrial inquiry commissioner.
Lombardi wants this person to be given the power to issue non binding recommendations to solve the ongoing teachers dispute.


  1. I have to hand it to the Vancouver School Board, they really are fighting the good fight. Unfortunately, they have not realized that this is Christy Clark’s personal “Vendetta”. She is out for blood. She went on record a month and a half ago, long before the lockout and strike, stating that “the BCTF would have to be ready to negotiate through the summer”. I now suspect that she would love nothing more than to drag this dispute out to the end of September, before she legislates teachers back to work. That would make her the happiest person in BC !
    However, the moms and dads of this province with K-6 (and even beyond) kids will be a little less happy about that. The moms and dads that I have seen around town, already look a little worn out. Be ready for a very long, long summer moms and dads! And don’t forget to pay your property taxes in the meantime, that School Levy will help pay for that Liberal Golf Fund Raiser the other day.

    • You do understand that it would be very simple to substitute “Jim Iker and the BCTF” for “Christy Clark” in your rant and it would also be very accurate. Of course the BCTF has it out for the duly elected Liberal government. They made that very clear when they spent several million dollars in the last election to try to get their buddies in the NDP elected. That did not work out so well, so now they suffer the consequences.

      Legislating the whiny teachers back to work in September? Maybe, maybe not, but I can guarantee you that the BCTF is counting on this happening as it would be the only exit strategy out of this mess that would allow them to hold onto whatever minor scraps of dignity they still have.

      And, oh yes, the classic – you have the pulse of the parents and they are all for the whiny teachers and their pathetic union. Yup, you just hold onto that thought and snuggle with it each night. It must be very important to you.

      Just out of curiosity, why would the summer be any longer than normal for us parents? Because the whiny, greedy, lazy teachers are still on strike will somehow make my summer longer? Cool. I’m OK with that thought.

      And finally, there is the Vancouver School Board being cast in the golden glow of righteousness. Well, you do have to remember that they are manned by Patti Baccus (sp?) who was reported to be courted to run for the leadership of the NDP last go round. Mike Lombardi – failed NDP candidate. And so on and so forth. No wonder the Vancouver School Board and the BCTF are such good pals. They, along with the NDP have the same incestuous relationship as a backwoods Kentucky family.

        • The BCTF has been treated the way they have for a multitude of reasons including their deep affiliation with the NDP. But the larger reason is that the BCTF really does not accept that they are a mere union, rather they believe that they are a form of government, just an unelected one.

          The elephant in the room for all you teachers and teacher groupies that never gets answered is why can the duly elected government of the province get along with 100% of unions in the province, both public and private, that are not populated by whiny teachers. Do you not really think that the problem is obviously the teachers, not the government.

          No, the government does not like the teachers for a plethora of reasons. But, I doubt they exchange Christmas cards with lots of other unions, but they can work with those other unions. The teachers are impossible to work with as history has shown.

          • Firstly, just because a union signs an agreement does not not mean they “get along” with government (many members of CUPE locals are unhappy with their unions acceptance of the government’s offer and ratification is not likely to be a slam dunk).

            Furthermore, no other union, with the exception of the nurses, has had their collective agreement robbed the way the Liberals robbed the teachers the moment they became “duly elected.” It sounds to me like you are suggesting that the voters that voted for the Liberals (less than half of those that voted in the last election did) support the illegal and unconstitutional actions of this government which has resulted in this long bitter, and ultimately expensive dispute (have you considered how many millions of tax dollars have been spent by this government defending that illegal and unconstitutional act?). The current proposal that the Libersls have on the table includes an opening statement that while they (BCPSEA) “acknowledges that class size, class composition and specialist teacher staffing ratios are appropriate matters for collective bargaining, BCPSEA does not agree with the BCTF’s assertion that a judicial decision can or will determine the content of the new (2013 to 2019) collective agreement with respect to those matters.”

            In other words, even if the highest judicial authority in the country, the Supreme Court of Canada, were to rule that their actions in 2002 were illegal and the language on class size snd composition and the ratios of students to specialist teachers is returned to the contract, this government is declaring cleat that they will not accept it.

            Their proposal to address this refusal to accept any court ruling that says they cannt do whatever they want and just tear up collective agreements if they decide they are not convenient for them, is to include, in their current offer to the teachers on the table, a clause that states:

            “In order to avoid protracting the present dispute because of a difference of opinion about the possible consequences of future court decisions, BCPSEA is addressing the matter in Proposal E.81.”

            Paragraph 5 of Prop E.81 states:
            “The following applies, despite paragraph 4, if either party is dissatisfied with the outcome otherwise required by paragraph 4. Within 60 days of the ultimate judicial decision, either party may give written notice to the other of termination of the collective
            agreement. If notice is given, the collective agreement terminates at the end of that school year, unless the ultimate judicial decision occurs after the end of February, in which case the termination takes place at the end of the following school year. Until a new agreement is concluded, the provisions set out in E.80 continue in force.”

            So if the “ultimate court decision” rules their previous actions whereby they unilaterally robbed the teachers of their contractual protections on working conditions (which are also your own child’s learning conditions), to be illegal and orders the return of the stripped language to the contract, they would like teachers to agree to allow them (government) to terminate the amended contract and bargain a new one (presumed lot one that does not have those protections in there). How can you expect teachers to agree to this, and how can you call them greedy and lazy etc, for fighting against this agreegious attack on their constitutional right to bargain their working conditions?

      • John, I honestly don’t think the Government will Legislate them back. They have made their bed, now lay in it.
        As you said. they have no other way out, other than accepting the BCPSEA offer. And of course that will be very. very close to what they were at when they went out of strike.
        And they just blindly go along. Sooner or later Teachers are going to say what the hell did we lose all that pay and time with the kids, for exactly the same offer as before the strike.

        • Actually Dwight teachers can continue with their strike into the fall and wait for the appeal decision . Back to work Legislation can be challenged on a summary proceeding A challenge will likely be successful unless the liberals can convince a court they bargained in good faith. That in my view will not be likely and the strike will continue unless liberals deal with class size and composition.

        • You could actually make the argument that the teachers, when they do finally accept the offer that is currently on the table, could have had that exact deal one year ago. Everything that has happened since last June has been posturing by a union that has grown accustomed to having it’s own way.

          I swear that there is a Harvard business case study waiting to be written on how not to conduct labour negotiations by the BCTF. They have been bubbling idiots right from last June when they stated that they could not possibly negotiate during their summer holidays right up until this week when they go on a public rampage demanding the services of mediator Vince Ready without so much as checking his availability, which is posted online. But, 86% of braindead teachers are drinking the Koolaid, so there is no pressure on the TF to accept the inevitable.

      • John in your last paragraph you imply that fiduciary decision are influenced by political affiliation. Would the lrb decisions be tainted with the same brush as they all are termed liberal appointments.

        • LorAx, at 8:42 you comment about paragraph one. At 8:59 you comment about paragraph five. Seventeen minutes to digest five paragraphs. No wonder the BCTF needed an entire day to study the latest govt proposal.

          Anyhoo, I really have no idea on just how you are connecting the dots and coming up with the LRB being tainted. You would have to show me the proof that the members of the LRB have run for the Liberal party in the past or were invited to run for leader of the party. You are reaching way, way past common sense at this point simply because your “side” is continually getting slammed by the LRB. Maybe Jim Ikers should do a little studying on labour laws in BC before he blunders into his next move.

          • Well John I note it took you in excess of an hour to respond. Not much of a point though, is it and the gratuitous insult speaks to your confidence. In any case, As to the dotes being connected, well if a board is appointed by a party there exists a reasonable apprehension of bias – maybe you don’t understand that??? The bias originates from the natural desire of an appointed member to be reappointed in the near future. If one of the parties is the appointor, then bias is self evident. Anyway, John, this may be difficult for you, and I suggest you review cases on natural justice, specifically cases involving a reasonable apprehension of bias.

    • Wasn’t it? The “lock out” (which coincides with the earlier withdrawal of services by the TF with no end date given) will be lifted after June 27th. That makes me think your argument doesn’t work.

        • Uh, today is June 25. How can you use past tense for June 27? Are you a teacher?

          The govt has stated that they are willing to lift the lockout before the start of summer school, placing the ball firmly in the court of the BCTF who will bobble it just before they drop it.

          • Sorry John I should have typed “will be lifted” rather than was not lifted.

            On a personal note, I’m not a teacher. It appears you are incapable of posting without some implied insult. I have not insulted you, nor do I feel it necessary to do so. I simply asked you to answer a question. You react with offense. Why?

    • @Lorax-The sad reality is that the Liberals can and have it both ways. They can respect and abide by law whenever it suits them.

      They will win even if the LRB dismisses their request to deem summer school as an essential service. They will lift the lock-out and place the onus of summer school back onto the BCTF. The BCTF will be blamed if summer school does not proceed.

      Were those students who need to go to summer school to upgrade their “failed” grades in order to graduate or move on to a higher grade part of the student population considered “special needs” during the regular school year? If that is even partly true, imagine the stress on a summer-school teacher. I wouldn’t want to teach a class composed of “special needs.”

  2. Fact is that many students take summer school to overcome a problematic subject which enables them to focus their attention on other subjects during the regular school year. The argument that summer school is only for those who failed courses is specious and grumbles under scrutiny. This will not likely matter to the LRB which is appointed for term by the Liberals. There is a real apprehension of bias and it’s little wonder that the BCTF complains about those rulings.

  3. It is clear that the people blaming the teachers for this dispute either do not understand the conflict and really believe it is all about wages and benefits (both of these can be solved in an instant by the recommendations of an Industrial Inquiries Commissioner like Vince Ready did in 2005. It is this governments refusal to budge on their illegal actions and their insistance on total control of the conditions of work (they have denied teacher’s their constitutionally protected right to bargain their working conditions, which are also the student’s learning conditions, for the last twelve years), on which they will never mediate nor allow an arbitrator rule (arbitrators only ever rule on wages). It is the government’s unwillingness to negotiate on this point that has resulted in this mess, and it is clear from their willingness to keep the strike going all summer (by their refusal to negotiate) that they care less about the students than the teachers who are accepting the need for short term pain to achieve long term gain. While it is hard for students to understand this need, you would think educated rational adults could figure out that sometimes you need to make sacrifices in the short term to get improvements that will help all students (especially those just entering the system in kindergarten).

    • David, you are preaching to the deaf, blind, and dumb. No amount of factually correct information and overcome the argument of political expediency; regardless who suffers. Liberals have wasted tax payer $$$ of 12 years, they blundered the public purse to benefit themselves and their friends, believing the were setting a trap for the incoming NDP. No one was more surprised that they won the last election, but now they need to fix the budget – which was the cornerstone of their campaign. Education, teachers, and students are on their budget hit list; This can only be justified publically by portraying teachers as greedy and unreasonable. It’s not working – outside of CKNW – bloggers and others see the situation for what it truly is – just like you do.