Government offer of $1,200 signing bonus expires tomorrow for B.C. teachers

Vancouver, BC, Canada / News Talk 980 CKNW | Vancouver's News. Vancouver's Talk

June 30th marks another pivotal day in the ongoing labour war between B.C. teachers and the provincial government.

The provincial government pledged a $1200 signing bonus to teachers if a new collective bargaining agreement was reached before the end of the school year. That offer reportedly expires tomorrow.

The BCTF had also said that if the government didn’t come to the table with new funding by tomorrow, teachers planned on picketing outside summer schools.

The two sides met for negotiations last Thursday and Friday, and their most recent attempts to bring a mediator in hopes of settling the labour struggle have come up short.


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  1. One of the flaws of striking is that the money lost while on the picket line is never recovered by the negotiated salary raise …. So when the BCTF finally caves in and acccepts what is reasonable, the taste of defeat is going to be doubly sour !

    • Agreed. They lost their chance to avoid a strike to accept the 7% raise and $1200 signing bonus. Far more then what other smarter unions accepted. Instead they went for the gravy on top for with the $5000 signing bonus, $3000 extra massage therapy, and even more paid days off which of course is all for the kids and now the Government has the upper hand. Too much pride and too much living in the gravy train world has made them weak, greedy, and out of touch with the real world.

      • This proves that the bctf is not just about money but principle; class size composition. Part of all offers was the abandonment of their Supreme Court Claim. I applaud teachers for standing on principle. They have put their money where their mouth is.

        • If you say so. More likely this proves the BCTF are all about money for their members. Majority of cost in Education has been in salaries and benefits. They are still asking for a list of more gravy for their members as stated above. Case closed.

  2. Considering Iker’s demanding new funding by tomorrow, and the signing bonus IS a big chunk of new funding that gets taken OFF the table tomorrow, is he willing to gamble one away for another that likely won’t happen? But then, it’s no skin off his nose. He doesn’t get it or need it. Once again, does this guy and his cohorts really know what they’re doing?

    • Regardless of Iker’s stance, I hope teachers continue to reject the signing bribe – it’s offensive, wrong, and contrary to the public interest. The class size composition issue will not evaporate over the summer, and will be front and center stage when September rolls around. P.S. teachers are not paid during the summer in any event.

  3. Teacher gave up salary. While they may never get lost money back…the issue of class size and composition can’t be ignored by the Liberals any more….teacher’s job action has brought this issue to the forefront.

      • Your comment clearly demonstrates that you have no idea what class size composition entails. Even the Liberals know better, they just don’t want to acknowledge it.

      • Even IF that old fashioned and out of date philosophy were to rule, the government would not fund it to the levels necessary. They are already putting in $1000 less per each student than the Cdn average. Since we – as an intelligent and caring society – do not isolate those of us who can not take care of themselves, it is time that the government redirected money to taking care of those individuals…and that means properly funding the system that takes care of our fellow British Columbians.

    • True enough Dave, but at what personal cost to our teachers and lost respect toward the profession? Wouldn’t a fair settlement coupled with an honest creative ad campaign have done the same thing with less pain and better results? Even the NDP might have supported it as well.

      • Ron_26, this is the result of idealism; no grounding in practicality. You are absolutely correct; the issue of class size composition could have been a matter of a public awareness campaign, rather than through a strike. If a strike was imminent, it could have been called in late September.

        • It’s just quick idea. You call it idealism, I call it a little bit of creative thinking – something the BCTF has never demonstrated. The rest of the contract could have easily been dealt with last September.

          • Yes, negotiations could have been bifurcated. Immediate resolution of benefits and wages, and deferral class size and composition pending resolution of the Court of Appeal decision, or earlier if suitable agreement was made.

      • You agree with Dave that teacher’s will lose money, and they will; however because of that and because they are standing on principle I disagree that this hurts the profession. When the dust settles and the courts have made their final decisions, it will be the government that looks bad not the teachers.

        • It already has hurt! Everyone. This whole mess has been blown far out of proportion by the BCTF and fostered so many negative comments we wouldn’t have heard before, and those feelings won’t go away quickly (if at all) on either side. Even many teachers are becoming more fed up with their own union’s political actions. Although the “principle” may have been honourable to many, it has taken a back seat to the name calling and foot stomping. The government has acted just as it promised.

    • Right, …. the problems inherent in class rooms today have been underscored by this strike. I doubt that the Liberals care though – Look at the ignorant comment of Murray below.

  4. If Education is an essential service, it is so because the absence of it would cause economic hardship, NOT because the lack of it would cause anyone immediate or life-threatening harm. If teachers are to be treated as well-educated babysitters, then the government needs to properly address the issue of activities that are called “extra-curricular” and volunteer. Teachers have a legitimate claim to say that if they are expected to do these extra activities, then they should be paid extra accordingly.