BC’s Education minister fires back

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BC's Education minister fires back

Just hours after the teacher’s union spoke out on failed negotiations, the Education Minister is giving his two cents.

Peter Fassbender says the government has moved about as far as they can to make a deal with the teachers.

“We have a responsibility to our balanced budget, to our fiscal plan, and we can’t ignore that as the reality. We are not going to go into deficit to fund what we think are unreasonable demands by the bottom line here is they need to recognize the zone that we are in with other public sector unions and I would suggest if they want a settlement they need to respect their brothers and sisters in other unions  and the settlements they’ve signed and those that we still have to  negotiate – so where do they need to go? They need to come into that zone.”

Fassbender says it is patently untrue that the government is against mediation.

“Mediation will only work when the parties are close enough and even if we split the difference it would mean that the resulting settlement would still be double what any other public sector union has received.”

As far as making greater concessions, Fassbender says at that this point the government has little room to move.

He says they are beholden to taxpayers to balance the budget and will not go into a deficit to fund what he says are unreasonable demands by the BCTF.


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    • k, I think they are being respectful. BCTF must respect the right to appeal and as we all know if the BCTF had lost they would have appealed, which is their right. So quit being such a hypocrite.

      • Respect what law, a decision made by 1judge. Don’t rag on about losing 2 times, it was before the same judge. If you ask, most people in BC are disgusted by the judges and their stupid decisions, whether it’s a criminal one, civil one or constitutional. I think most people in BC laugh about a lot of their stupid rulings.

        • Hopefully you never ask the court for help. If you do I’m sure you will not bring your attitude alone. If you do, you will be treated fairly and with RESPETCT in spite of your attitude.

      • Hey K, funny how there is dead silence from the BCTF supporters on your post.
        It appears you don’t understand. There are 2 sets of rules, The BCTF’s and everyone else.
        Good post!

      • Let me enlighten you.

        You are of course correct, we must all abide by the Rule of Law, and the teachers were wrong. As to a double standard, they were likely guided by the perfect example of Gordon Campbell who – as our leader – saw fit to violate, disobey, and engage in drunk driving in the United States for which he was ultimately convicted. It appears that his lack of guidance reaped political rewards from federal law makers who appointed him to high office in Great Britain as a reward – so much for respect for the Rule of Law by our feds. With that example, it is easy to appreciate why a group may feel there are some circumstances in which laws are so oppressive and unconstitutional (as we now learn) that they violate the law. In the 2005 case teachers had negotiated contractual rights disrespected by the Liberals who used the hammer of their fiduciary legislative authority to compromise and offend against teachers contractual rights.

        History teaches us that some oppressive regimes would never have survived had civil disobedience in those countries occurred. A oppressive, corrupt, and self serving regime will always use law to oppress minority groups under a guise of self righteousness and order. In truth, legislation used to usurp the rights of others may be lawful, but it is nevertheless corrupt. But to be clear, when it comes to the Rule of Law there is no double standard, but merely an appreciation of why someone may believe a double standard exists due to the overriding oppressiveness of a particular law and it’s unconstitutional purpose (which we now know was violated pending appeal).

        Tiananmen Square comes to mind – Canadians were outraged by Chinese Authorities and still are. When we view issued objectively, with a standard of justice and democracy, we reach different conclusions.

        “Just saying”

  1. If the BCTF were smart, they would sign the contract and let the Public School System go into full decay. Let the parents fight for class composition. I just pulled my youngest kid out of Martial Arts the other day. He was in a class of 8 kids between the ages of 8-10 years old. One kid was totally out of control, the other 7 had to stand around and wait while the instructor spent 90% of his time dealing with this one out of control kid. A complete waste of time and money for the other 7 kids. Parents think that just because their kid isn’t special needs or doesn’t have a learning disability that their kid isn’t affected in the classroom. WRONG !

  2. “Mediation will only work when the parties are close enough and even if we split the difference it would mean that the resulting settlement would still be double what any other public sector union has received.”

    WRONG ! that’s what mediators are for , in 2005 the parties were locked in the same situation until a mediator was brought in which ended up with a settlement.
    It’s obvious Fassbender and the BC Liberals are afraid of what a mediator would come up with.

    • Iker is just looking for an easy way out to save what’s left of his credibility. He’s clearly floundering with no where else to go but ask teachers to give up their summer and salaries. I appreciate Mr Fassbender sticking to their election promise.

    • The BCTF is only calling for a mediator because they have bungled this whole process. They have overplayed their hand, misled their members and lied to the public. They are just looking for a face saving way out. Amateurs!

  3. Agreed there’s no reason to up the gravy train with the BCTF members. 9 month annual work employees have it pretty well as it is. The BCTF obviously don’t care about what other unions have accepted and only cares about themselves. That’s all fine and dandy for them, only problem is the reality will be other unions will demand more if you give one double the gravy.

  4. Why hasn’t Fassbender been more honest with the BCTF and the public. He and the government keep playing this cat and mouse game with the BCTF. You might as well just tell the BCTF and the public what the deal is for all the unions (take it or leave it) (or get legislated back).

    On second thought that sounds like Fascism! Heil Hitler!

  5. It’s funny. fastspender says this is all the tax payers can afford!
    Why don’t they think of this when THEY vote themselves anywhere from 30% to 50 odd %?

    We all know that you have to pay to have “THE BRIGHTEST and the BEST” running things.
    BUT snookums and her circus are far from “THE BRIGHTEST and the BEST”. YA NO?

  6. If Liberals “had a responsibility to their balanced budget” they should not have irresponsibly violated teachers Charter Rights: TWICE! 2002 Education Minister Christy Clark should not have started this whole mess by stripping legal class size/composition contract language that teachers had given up money to secure.
    The Liberal party later used the provincial legislature to pass “unconstitutional and invalid” legislation. By doing so they have put the provincial finances of all British Columbians at risk.

    In addition through these twice repeated illegal actions, Liberals have established a key difference between teachers and the “zone of other public sector unions”. Teachers remain, due to Government’s costly October appeal, in their own unique justice and commensurate compensation delayed and denied “zone”.

    Instead of bargaining fair restoration and compensation in good faith, Liberals are pretending the Supreme Court decisions never happened. Every day the Liberals provide the Appeal Court judges with further evidence of bad faith bargaining and strike provoking behaviour. Fassbender is right, teachers are not in the zone of other public sector unions. They are in a “ripped off” and expecting compensation zone.

  7. “If you are not careful, the newspapers will have you hating those that are being oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing” Malcolm X

    Seriously. We need to think about this. These are scary times. I am horrified by how many people are misinformed and bash teachers. My future children deserve to be seen in the classroom. They are worthy of attention, support, and all the extras that I got as a kid. They deserve a music program, a librarian. And god forbid they need any extra help- with a learning disability, anxiety or some sort of physical ailment- they deserve that too.
    Yes, is going to cost taxpayers ( including
    Teachers because they pay taxes too) but it’s 12 years in the making. It’s not like they just opened up a credit card statement and there it was. Oh but I guess you can do that if you’re the liberals. No, the lack of funding to education has accumulated and now there are costs that need to be backdated to support our future generations. Too much to ask? Still want to support our politicians over our people. Still think it’s okay to illegally strip contracts? It’s not okay with me. And don’t tell me that there is no room for movement after looking at the almost 50% wage hikes they can afford to give themselves… It makes me ill. People need to re-evaluate. Stop reading or watching news segments and judging. Stop bashing teachers and instead use your time to read the facts and get truly

  8. Your grandchildren and my great grandchildren can look forward to their children receiving a gold-plated public education system when billions of LNG revenue will fill provincial coffers. That is expected within 15 years at the latest. There will be so much money available for public education that schoolchildren will receive one-on-one instruction from highly-trained and well-paid teachers. Since our provincial debt will erased as well, each child will receive the very best level of education that he or she is capable of achieving.

    The LNG boom will last 36 years and at least 3 generations of K-12 children will benefit. Eventually, the LNG boom will go the way of most resource plays and go bust as our natural gas reserves are depleted. The then premier’s Jobs Plan will be a disaster. Government revenue which depend on a growing and booming economy will dry up. But the government, having won an election on the promise of a balanced budget, will cut education funding resulting in larger class sizes with more special needs children.

    This is the scenario painted by the Education Minister. Implicit in his press conference presentation is the notion that the quality of public school education to be received by future generations of children will be a crap shoot.

    Surely there are other options available that allow a government to fund a public education system based on better metrics than on an all-consuming passion to always balance the provincial budget. If that were he case, why have we had so many deficits in the past decade?

  9. I have watched in dis belief . The teachers and their supporters make out that the government is some third party.We the people are the government .Elected representatives work on out behalf .So education is just one part of the budget . Not for them to take what they want and leave what little would remain.Other coments raise the business tax and give it to us . HMM we saw the raising of business tax under the last NDP government and watched them flee. Comments from teachers in regard to other unions settling “we will show them how to bargain”. Well we have seen that . Now a long hot summer on the picket line. The BCTF is just sitting there making demands . So who would pay if we gave to the demands . Would you like your municipal school tax going up by 20 points ?? I think not .Remember the money has to come from somewhere and that somewhere is from taxpayers . You and me
    The next thing is we may see is the demise of public education as Pete McMartin of the Vancouver Sun indicated .Come the first of August parenst with the where with all will be looking for placement . Independent schools will be the beneficiary . Education is changing rapidly with technology. Teachers as we now it will become redundant .