Deadline day in teacher talks?

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Deadline day in teacher talks?

This is deadline day in the teachers strike, but getting information on the status of contract talks, or even if contract talks are taking place, is hard to come by.

BCTF spokesperson Rich Overgaard will only say

“We’re still in a blackout.”

A Ministry of Education spokesperson says,

“There are no updates at this time.”

Neither side was commenting on the weekend.

The union has said there had to be a deal by the end of the day or they’d strike all summer.

The government has said there had to be a deal by the end of the day or it would withdraw its 1200-dollar signing bonus.

The head of Vancouver School Board hasn’t given up hope that a deal can be done.

Speaking on CKNW’s Bill Good Show, Patti Bacchus says today is make or break day for the negotiations, and if there there is going to be a deal, it would happen today.

“It’s a terrible situation right now to have hanging over everyone as we go into summer break. I have to be an optimist being in my role as a school trustee in BC. I think it’s not impossible. The pressure is there and I hope that it’s resolved.”

Bacchus says the School Board is still working on interpretting the Labour Relations Board’s ruling on summer school.

She says it is so narrow they are not even sure if it applies to any students interested in summer school.


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  1. A good faith bargained settlement has never been the Liberal government’s objective in this round of negotiations. Consider the asinine “bad faith” LRB rulings which make Public Education a joke and everyone working in Public Education less efficient: teachers, administrators, trustees and, worst of all, students.

    No, here there is only clear evidence of more clumsy Liberal “invalid and unconstitutional” initiatives for the five BC Supreme Court judges to ponder in October. These very same Liberal labour “strategies” were cited in BC Supreme Court Judge Susan Griffin’s February 2014 decision as evidence of bargaining in bad faith!

    If a settlement was never the Liberal government objective, what was? Surely their goal could not have been to endlessly waste provincial revenues in costly litigation or to destroy the ability of all Public Education workers to deliver a quality classroom experience to their students.

    • Pretty damn hypocritical of your Union.
      The BCTF requested the Essential Service designation at the LRB, in Apr./13. After years of fighting it, now it is them who want it back.
      Then on top of all this you complain about the fairness of the Board you knew would be applying the laws that go with it.
      Just another double standard by the BCTF. Everyone is unfair to you.

    • So Mike, as someone in a previous thread asked, how come they can settle with every other public sector union, but the bctf. Maybe you teachers should look within your own leadership because I think that’s where the problem lies and has always been, or maybe you just think you’re better than everyone else.

      • I too wondered that. Why can every other union reach and agreement with the same government so efficiently but not the BCTF? And where is the money for what the BCTF is proposing suppose to come from? Questions all avoided just constant yelling of what is desired.

  2. I’ve got an idea. Let’s see how many times we can re-write this same story today and then give all the same comments as 2 hours ago, yesterday and the day before. Is there any thing new here?

  3. Nice to hear someone else, especially one who is affected, to comment as I did on the LRB decision-that the ruling was very narrow and convoluted (my words).

    Hardly what I would consider a win by the government which expected a ruling that would exert great pressure on the BCTF.

    Interesting interview with Mark Thompson of UBC and a member of the Arbitrator’s Association of BC. Unlike some media, he was not judgmental.

    My interpretation-The pending appeal of Judge Griffin’s decision overhangs this negotiation and CS and CC will not be resolved until the courts deal with it first. Just as I suggested in earlier posts.

    So CS and CC should be set aside.

    • So that begs the question, why haven’t they? It’s plainly obvious (to lots of folks I would imagine) that these two sections are the cause of the deadlock. So lets weigh in on possible reasons. My guess is neither side wants to back off their positions, period.

      • Strategically, it would serve the BCTF well not to enter an agreement that is not keeping to the spirit of the contract language ordered restored by justice Griffin.

        Having said that, it begs the opposite question: Why should the BCTF engage in any discussion which would assist in any manner the government’s appeal of her decisions. With Justice Griffin’s decisions in it’s back pocket, the BCTF has nothing to lose. If the government wins its appeal, the BCTF loses.

        And once the CS and CC issue has run its course through the judicial system, there will be clarity-either way and it won’t matter what we think of it.

        I understand that many will disagree with me but that’s what I would do if I were in the BCTF shoes. I’m only looking at it from a bargaining perspective. Better to leave it for another day and hope the judiciary agrees with it.

      • Principles, Peter! Teachers are concerned about class size and composition. That will not be resolved in October – if I were still in the cabinet, I’d be frightened silly.

  4. Michael, the Government wanted a strike???
    Was it not your Union that took a strike vote before all your demands were even on the Table, and you have the gall to say the Government wanted the strike?
    Would you call that Bargaining in good faith, taking a strike vote before your employer even knows what you want?
    Give me a break. In fact give us all a break.

  5. The next time your 16 year old asks for a ferrari after receiving his driver’s license, you as a parent may laugh and ignore him. If the boy then accuses you of not bargaining in good faith, giving him credit for creativity. Ask him what his terms are for the signing bonus and massage therapy while you’re at it.

  6. The most hilarious thing is the LRB’s ruling on summer school. How comical is it that administrators can hardly interpret the ruling, and they aren’t really sure if anybody truly qualifies for summer school. Why wouldn’t the LRB just say “NO” to summer school.
    If only 6 kids in the province qualify, (and people, don’t freak on me, if 12 actually qualify and i said 6, I can just see the responses now); just say “NO” .
    Does the LRB get paid extra if they work double time to formulate a really complicated ruling, that takes days to figure out.
    But hey everybody, “Summer School Is On”, and somehow, both sides are claiming victory. Too funny – LOL

  7. I notice that not one single BCTF member has explained why the BCTF, after years of fighting the Essential service designation, went to the LRB and requested the designation.
    It seems to show that they only want what they can’t have. How much of their money was spent fighting the designation?
    The other thing that is amazing is how little Teachers really know about what their Union is doing, as it appears only the exec. is aware of this. Although, one could see why they don’t want their members to know.