BCTF and Vancouver School Board react to daycare payout

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

The President of the BC Teachers’ Federation says he’s trying to stay optimistic that schools will be open again in September but after today Jim Iker says it’s tough.

“Well it’s surprising that they seem to be putting more energy into prolonging their lockout rather than agreeing to mediation so we can get a deal this summer.”

Iker says he’s still holding out hope for mediation.

“I’ve always said as long as both sides are talking that’s a good sign and what we need to do is get government to agree go into mediation we know Justice Kelleher has dates available in August.”

Iker says it doesn’t give parents, teachers and kids much optimism.

“It’s unfortunate that they made an announcement that indicates schools will not open in September rather than making an announcement that will ensure we can get a negotiated settlement by going back to the bargaining table.”

The chair of the Vancouver School Board says parents want their kids in school in September not daycare handouts from the province.

Patti Bacchus says this might just be a bargaining tactic from the province to put pressure on striking teachers.

Bacchus says Boards of Education might lose out if the savings goes to offset parent’s daycare costs.

“We have been advised that we get about 20% of any savings. There would be some surplus that has built up. Ideally any money in the education budget, in my opinion, should go into the education system. There is a lot of need there. It might help to go toward the final settlement but i certainly sympathize parents are in a tough spot.”

Bacchus says parents would rather know their children will be in school this September.

“That kind of funding parent might help some parents with child care costs but what I am hearing from parents is it is hard to even find the child care. That may offset some of the pain for some but I would like to see the focus on getting this resolved and getting back in school and any savings going back into the education system.”

She says the province should be focusing on getting a deal done before September.

However Bacchus adds she has not seen much action from the two sides to get back to the bargaining table over the summer.


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  1. I have payed school taxes for 45 yrs, and have no kids. This money is for educating kids, not day care. Why should I have to pay for someone elses day care , so they can go to work. Where is the ms clark anyway. I am also paying her to get the job done. shame on you Ms Clark. Bob

  2. Ridiculous idea from a desperate government. They smell a defeat in the October court case and are lamely trying to squeeze the teachers and bully rather than negotiate in good faith. Shame on the BC Libs!

  3. The Government needs to break the BCTF to the point that they are ready to sign off on on class size/class composition issue.They should just come out and say it.
    The payout of $40/day is the foreshadowing for a middle of October start up for public schools. It is nice that the Government is paying out parents for the inconvenience, but I wish they would just come out and specifically say what their agenda is.
    And teachers out there need to wake up, the writing is on the wall. If you haven’t gone out and picked up a summer job, you should get on it right now. If you think school is starting in September, you better give your head a shake.
    Some teachers I have talked to have picked up summer jobs, but most still feel that there will be some deal done by the first week or so of September. Wakey, Wakey teachers !
    Christy Clark’s Personal Vendetta against teachers is just getting geared up.

  4. Everything Robert @ 4:56 pm said. Plus I have paid for a few more than 45 years.
    If you can’t afford you little darlin’s than is this day and age you don’t have to have them.
    When my kid’s were growing up I certainly didn’t expect all the other tax payers to pay to baby sit my kid’s. Guess I was just born far too early!!!!!!!

    Robert. Lets see what the entitled ones have to say about this. After all, some of them have paid taxes for probably four to five years. So they should get lots back from “THE GOVERNMENT” AKA us litt5le tax payers!!!!

    • I agree completely. I’ve paid taxes for years and when my kids were small and I went to work no one paid my daycare and I was a widow at a very young age with young children. But the joke on this one is they are going to pay EVERYONE with a child under 13 this 40 bux a day even if they have a stay at home parent or friend or grandparent looking after their kids who they don’t have to pay. They can spend the money on whatever they like and it’s a lot of money. Wish someone would pay me that kind of money after paying heavy taxes all my life and now I am a senior citizen trying to get by. Absolutely stupid idea!!! Get the teachers back to work asap no matter what it takes but don’t pay the parents.
      What a dumb idea!!!!

  5. What a wonderful idea and could these “daycare” students also get a little fake report card to go along with their $40, and maybe a colour by number worksheet of our proud Premier smiling brightly?
    Hey this is British Columbia, when it comes to public education anything is possible; where are those BC Supreme Court Appeal Judges when we really need them?

    • “where are those BC Supreme Court Appeal Judges when we really need them?”

      She (please note the singular) is awaiting the judgement of her superiors to see if she made the right decision.

  6. Two mediators have already told the BCTF that they are not going near this dispute with a 10 foot pole. What is he hoping third time lucky. Get reasonable like the other provincial government unions and we will get a deal and kids will be back in school.

    • Dale, BC teachers are the 2nd lowest paid in Canada despite leading the country’s highest ranked educational system (third highest ranked in the world!) However, it is not about wages. The two sides are only 1% apart. It is about learning conditions–class size and composition. The government refuses to properly fund education in this province (they pay $1000 less per student each year than the national average). That $40/day they are contributing to daycare could be put to good use by raising BC’s provincial average a little closer to the national one.

      • Dan, first, could you get your facts correct. The two sides are only 1% apart if you are willing to ignore that they are also one year apart. Please remember that when Jim Iker speaks, Jim Iker lies. Also, BC is not $1,000 below the national average for education funding. Again, this is a big whopper that Jim Iker loves to trot out. The figure, from some very old data, was actually $740 less. Still quite a bit, but if we are going to round figures, should we not round down to $500 rather than up to $1,000?

        The key question for you is what are we as taxpayers solving if we toss a few more billion annually towards the whiny teachers, when you have already pointed out that our system is working splendidly? What better student outcomes would you like to see with the increased expenditure of our money.

  7. “Well it’s surprising that they seem to be putting more energy into prolonging their lockout rather than agreeing to mediation so we can get a deal this summer.”

    Is Jim Iker really that stupid or is he simply incapable of expressing the truth? Jimbo, it is you and your whiny members who are withholding services by striking. And, the mediator of you current dreams has already said that he would far sooner poke holes in his eyes than deal with you.

    And anyone with something better than a grade four education already knows what you are going to settle for monetarily, which is the exact same as the other PSU’s. Sorry, Jim, you are going to have to buy your own Viagra and then pay for your own masseuse when you are finished. But, no, you have to lead your pathetically inept members into a prolonged strike that you have zero, repeat, zero chance of “winning”.

    It is such a shame that teachers are so profoundly incapable of independent thought. They really should be able to see that their union has lied to them repeatedly and that they would be far ahead by simply firing the union leadership.

    I have stated from day one of this debacle that the teachers have zero chance of a big raise (that hope died May 14/13), pretty much no hope for smaller class sizes but that they could end up getting some help from more EA’s for class composition. The answer is sitting there plain as could be, but teachers. well, they are not proving to be all that smart now are they.

  8. @Corman Where do you get the idea this move is back-firing? My grandson called me last nite to say it was a great idea and I Totally agree with him. The BCTF and teachers should wake up. Can anyone in the private world go to work and Tell the boss how they are going to do the job?
    I and I think LOTS of people are fed up with this bunch. An above average wage, a benefit and retirement plan we can never even dream about $3000.00 a year for Massages, bars & pubs hiring extra staff for teachers professional days, Enough already.

    • Ummm, @Al, maybe do a little research first before you spew untrue info on the internet – the teachers are asking for $3000/over a 5 year contract for massage therapy. That is $600/year. This would be an increase of $100/year over what they have now. This ask is due to the rising cost of therapeutic massage. Also, this was likely a negotiation tactic; a bargaining chip, shall we say. Thanks for allowing me to clear that up.

  9. Did Patti just say she had been counting on a piece of the strike savings? So she’s been an unappoligetic supporter of the BCTF’s position while new dollar signs paid for by their sloppy decisions were in her eyes all along? Playing both sides of the field may not be the smartest move Patti but maybe no one will notice.

  10. OMG. Read the forums and talk to people, this daycare payout move is not being received well. The only people that find this somewhat palatable, are people that have kids between the ages of 6-12 that are really well behaved and are very strong academically and that have an older sibling to look after them. For them, this is free spending money.

    Here is the list of people that think this sucks:
    1. Taxpayers that don’t have kids.
    2. Parents that have kids between the ages of 13-18
    3. Parents that have kids that have average to low academic ability.
    4. Parents that have kids with learning disabilities.
    5. Parents that have kids that aren’t well behaved and need a break from them soon.
    6. Parents that can’t find daycare.

    BTW. It costs more than $40/day to get sufficient tutoring, to try to stay in the same ballpark as the kids that go to Private School in September.
    This is a huge backfire for the Libs – just start asking the general public what they think of it.
    This contingency plan of paying out daycare, just convinces any remaining non-believers that the Liberals have no intention of bargaining in good faith!

    • Speak for yourself. I am in 2 of your silly categories and I applaud this move to help parents out. I’m sure many groups like the YMCA, city parks or sports day camps, the Vancouver aquarium, Science World, libraries, etc etc will no doubt be ready and willing to fill the gap if needed. This will open up many more options for parents worried about how to deal with the BCTF’s decision to keep kids at home. Hopefully this dispute will be resolved but if not, bravo to the Liberal government for thinking about the kids.

  11. BTW. This move by the government works perfectly for my family. I have two strongly academic kids ages 9 and 11, and an older sister that just graduated who works nights, so they will be looked after during the day.
    So at $80/day hopefully for 2-3 weeks of lockout time in September, that will bring me around $1200.
    That will be sweet. I am already planning a golf holiday for me and some buddies.
    Free golf holiday courtesy of BC taxpayers, all you senior citizens make sure you pay your School Levy, the courses i want to play are top notch.
    I am now becoming a despicable liberal supporter ! If you can’t beat them, you can always join them.

  12. Iker has every right to be upset. After stupidly lead his membership into a strike without a strike fund, Iker and the BCTF are now on their financial knees. Having handed over 175 million in salaries to Clark he’s now going to enrich them further by striking into the fall. To poke Iker in the eye, Clark and Fassbender brilliantly repatriates unused teacher salaries back to the taxpayers which the BCTF will never see. I think if anyone deserves a soothing taxpayer funded massage, it’s poor Jim.

  13. Looks to be a cynical political ploy by the government, but not all that suprising. However, assuming this applies to all parents with children under the age of 13 in the public school system, it must be a nice gift for any teacher who has such children in public school. They can collect the $40 per child, home school their children since they are teachers, walk the picket line for a couple of hours a day, and use the government money to replace their absent strike fund.

      • On principle????
        R u serious???
        Only from the mouth of a “Teacher Hater” would such an absurd suggestion come.
        People with kids between 6 -12 get free tax payer money, whether they be doctors, police officers, oil executives, gas station attendants, and even teachers; it’s a free for all for anyone with young kids.
        Yippee-ki-yay, the more kids the more money.
        All you senior citizens out there trying to squeeze a bit more out of your pension cheque, don’t forget to applaud Mr. de Jong’s brilliant idea.

        • Corman, your unnecessary attack on pensioners and other people with whom you don’t agree (“teacher haters”) misses the point and detracts from the substance of your argument. My point can also be taken as a suggestion that the government miscalculated, at least to this minor extent, as they may have created an unintended consequence of actually providing a benefit to some teachers. You should really try to step back a bit and respond in a more mature and reasoned way if you want people to actually listen to what you have to say. By the wqy, I for one don’t hate teachers as I have two family members, whom I love, who are teachers.

        • Now now Corman, try and keep it together. I have applauded this brilliant idea aleady. Did you miss it? For many parents, yes teachers too, it will be necessary to use for their kids – except you of course you who will just be wasting it for your own golf holiday. But I think I’ll leave mine where it is, …or maybe sneak it under someone’s door that I know could use it.
          Let’s just hope the BCTF hires some brains to get them out of the mess they’ve made so a deal can be reached finally and no cheques will be required.
          And teacher hater? Absolutely not! (Their union? Pretty close to the right word.)
          Senior citizen? Wrong again. I don’t even get where that comes from but I’ll be so darn proud to be one some day.
          So, that didn’t go too well for you again eh? Oh well.

  14. My point with Senior Citizens, is that they should be outraged that this government would so carelessly take their School Levy money they had to scrounge together on such a tight fixed income, and mindlessly throw it away on such an airhead idea as $40/day spending money for parents with kids 6-12 years old. That is just plain stupid.
    It is called being FACETIOUS, most people can see that.
    The bottom line is that this Liberal Govt is ruining this province, and they still have a couple more years of FREE REIGN. Very scary!

    • Boy oh boy. You’re just out to offend our seniors today aren’t you? They really aren’t as naive as you seem to think. I know many who, like me, actually voted for these very Liberals hoping they would govern just as they are doing.
      Oh, and this government didn’t scrounge together anything. It was an unforseen gift from the BCTF and now wisely used for the very children it was originally meant for. How is that scary? Would you be so hostile if it were simply put towards general revenue?

      • Ron, you need to get out of your den and start talking to people. I have talked to dozens of senior citizens about this, and they are choked that their hard earned tax paying dollars will be going toward providing free spending money to parents with kids aged 6-12.
        You are insulting them, by assuming that they aren’t smart enough to realize that this daycare payout thing will be misused by parents.
        Such as going on a Golf Holiday ! ! ! ! ! !

        • Worse yet, I wonder how much of that free tax payer money will go to even more delinquent parents that will go blow it on alcohol and drugs; while their kids surf the internet and play video games all day long.
          Unless the Liberals find some way of properly administering that money (which would take up too much time and too many resources); then it is just another stupid act of mis-managing this province.
          An act that die-hard Liberal Lovers will foolishly defend.

        • I am a senior and I voted for the current government and I support what they are doing in this dispute.
          Taking this saved money away from the teachers and giving it to parents was a brilliant idea. I guess they can forget about a signing bonus.