Veteran mediator re-engages in teachers’ dispute

Vancouver, BC, Canada / News Talk 980 CKNW | Vancouver's News. Vancouver's Talk
Veteran mediator re-engages in teachers’ dispute

A significant development in the ongoing teachers dispute.

According to the BC Teachers Federation veteran mediator Vince Ready has re-engaged with both sides about possibly stepping into the dispute.

The BCTF says Ready met with both the teacher’s union and the BC Public School Employers Association August 13th.

The union says Read has openings in his schedule this month.

Ready said no thanks when he was first asked to step into the dispute saying publically he was too busy.

Justice Stephen Kelleher then came on deck as mediator but both sides are now thanking him for his time.

There is a media black out as the two sides engage in last ditch efforts to get a deal done before school starts September 2nd.

The full statement from both BCPSEA and BCTF is below:
“Early in the summer, the parties met for exploratory discussions with Mr. Justice Stephen Kelleher. BC Teachers’ Federation President Jim Iker and Peter Cameron, BCPSEA chief negotiator, want to express their appreciation to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of BC for making Justice Kelleher available to assist the parties. They also want to express their appreciation to Justice Kelleher for his assistance, particularly given his demanding schedule.

Over the summer, discussions continued between Jim Iker and Peter Cameron, leading up to last Friday’s face-to-face session of the two bargaining teams.

Following that session, at the request of the parties, Vince Ready indicated his availability this week and later in August. The parties then asked Mr. Ready to engage with them in exploratory talks. Following telephone contact with the parties last weekend, Mr. Ready met separately with the parties on August 13. Mr. Ready agreed to monitor the situation, and to resume exploratory talks or commence full mediation when he believes it will be productive.

The parties agreed that they will not engage in public discussion pending further discussions with Mr. Ready.”


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  1. Tell me it is not so.

    You mean Vince Ready, the well-renowned mediator/arbitrator whom the insiders predicted would not go nearer to the BCTF than a 10-ft pole now will?

    Darn… I guess I’ll have to rely on more knowledgeable and reliable insiders in the future-there should be better sources than what was claimed.

    If Vince Ready steps in to help, it will speak to his unwavering professionalism. There will be hope.

    Mind you-even if he doesn’t (get involved), Mr. Ready has my vote.

    Clearly someone read the polls which indicated that the $40 per day per U13 child plan went over like a lead balloon.

  2. It would seem that the BCTF are moving away from their various demands within their last proposal to increase the cost of the education that didn’t improve the system for the students. I wonder if they are still demanding 50% control over the placement of new teachers?

  3. The key phrase is that he states that he may “commence full mediation when he believes it will be productive”. The government needs to convince him that his involvement will not be productive.
    Let’s face it, he won’t lean 100% toward the BCTF and he won’t lean 100% towards the BCPSEA. Even if his mediation ends up leaning 85% towards the government on salary, class size, class composition and benefits; the government will still need to reject his proposal under the current funding for public education. That kind of rejection will make the government look like public enemy number one. Ready’s involvement is a lose-lose situation for the Libs.
    The government needs to have the BCTF give up and completely sign off on trying to improve class size and class composition, it just costs too much money to improve those conditions.
    Now that teachers are softened up financially, the government should offer them a $5000 signing bonus to give up on trying to improve the learning environment. That bonus will not cost much more than what has been saved through the lockout/strike savings. And it will spare them the financial catastrophe they will be hit with when the Supreme Court hands down its “Appeal Ruling”.
    Regardless of moral conviction, teachers that are getting closer and closer to facing financial ruin, will have no choice than to throw in the towel.
    At first this sounds like a terrible solution, as the needs of students in the classroom continue to be neglected, but it gets kids back to school.
    If a 5-6 year contract is signed, nobody has to worry about this turmoil for quite a long time.
    It doesn’t address the needs of kids in the classroom, but that is clearly not a concern of this government!

    • It would be most unfortunate that the teachers may have wasted their financial resources by going on strike motivated by “moral conviction” instead of their right of association and their right to bargaqin working conditions (CS and CC). In this world “moral conviction,” per se, has very little value and legitimacy and gets no one anywhere.

      If teachers throw in the towel and let the government off the hook on the pending appeal, and that is a real possibility, the BCTF may as well fold its tent completely and go away. The BCTF and the teachers, in my opinion, are at a crossroad. Worse still, they are at the Alamo.

      My take is that the BCTF may be desparately searching for a way out-to reach a settlement so that teachers and kids can return to school, achieve some favourable change in CS and CS without jeopardizing their court challenge of legislation stripping out contract language wrt CS and CC.

      This court challenge and government appeal will be watched with great interest by every government and union in Canada. The final decision may alter the ground rules affecting every collective agreement. Accordingly, I believe it is in the public interest to ensure that since this issue involves charter rights (perceived or otherwise), it should receive final clarification and a ruling by the judicial system-the SCOC if necessary.

      I agree the BCTF should or may want to throw in the towel but may only succeed under conditions imposed by the government which you described.

      Interesting times ahead.

    • Al . . . you are too hard on them . . .
      It’s only been THREE different govts, 30+ years . . . FOUR different BCTF Presidents, ALL from the hard-left. To say these folks are Luddites would be an understatement . . . as enrolment numbers drop they want more money, more teachers and fewer work days . . .

      Time to make BCTF membership Optional, let the BCTF collect their own dues from their members so they can actually appreciate how much the circus costs them.

      • Yep. When I was a teacher we were asked which union we wanted to join. I said, “The teamsters!” I feel the BCTF are just a bunch of pansies who think that a strike is in weeks. If you don’t like the cost of education, try ignorance. It is huge in the 3rd world. Must be good.

        • Kind of understand why you no longer teach – you struggle to make sense! What does your comment mean? Give me something to work with here man! Listen Jay, I make it a rule to never drink and facebook – you may wish to apply this guideline to commenting on threads like these.

        • Well….I did 33 years in the classroom. I am now in my 60s and retired. I always enjoyed the classroom experience. It was all the BS that took place outside of the classroom that I hated. I still feel the BCTF is a union of pansies who measure strikes in weeks and not months. I think the government will wait out the strike and the teachers should be prepared to work with that tactic. Yep…. that means cashing in the RRSPs.

          In 1988 the Vander Zalm government separated the teachers from the administrators and the BCTF was just a one of a number of choices the teachers had as a bargaining agent. I was opposed to it at that time as I felt (rightly) that the government was out to subvert the collective bargaining process and the teachers would lose real income as a result of statutorily imposed settlements.

          The strike/lockout process only works if there is no 3rd party affected by the strike/lockout. Worker goes on strike and loses income/owner locks out and loses income. One knuckles under to minimize financial pain. Kids and parents are the unwilling participants in the teacher/government negotiating process.

          I think there may emerge a strong movement to decertify the BCTF. Watch out for what will emerge next. The BCTF Executive have seriously underestimated the government. The next contract will be negotiated with a comfortable strike fund. The government will not settle for any kind of arbitration process as the past 15 years has served their political agenda so very well.

      • More name calling and same old lack of imagination comments! I keep waiting man! Not sure fewer work days are an issue. Where do you get your info from and why do you have such difficulty with processing? Again, one intelligent suggestion, just one – good luck Dale!

        • Another non-comment comment from Rick . . .

          What would you call increased Bereavement leave Rick?
          Especially for a “Friend” . . . could you meet a friend in the Sun or Province on the obit page? Only the BCTF would draft such nonsense.

          You criticize Jay . . . and then criticize others for being critics?

          • Increased bereavement? Seriously? Sure – teachers are hoping their family members croak so they can get more time off. I have not issues with critics, it’s the name calling and constant put downs without anything to substantiate the comments. As for Jay, fight your own battles man! Still waiting Dale…