He says he doesn’t want to violate an ongoing media blackout, but Education Minister Peter Fassbender has confirmed there’s still no plan to legislate an end to BC’s teachers dispute.
“Clearly, we want a negotiated settlement at the table.”
Fassbender says he’s confident a deal can be reached before classes are scheduled to resume September 2nd.
“We are not rushing to legislation. We want a negotiated settlement. My message to teachers, to parents, is we want to solve this at the table.”
Even so, he’s refusing to disclose when, or if, bargaining will pick up.
Fassebender also announced the creation of a new office aimed at speeding up upgrades to ensure schools are safe if there’s an earthquake.
Peter Fassbender says five projects are already underway, but more than 20 are still in the works.
“We actually have been having great success with school districts throughout the province on moving projects ahead under the same kind of criteria.”
Of B.C.’s 69 school districts, he says Vancouver needs the most help. It eats up a third of the nearly $3 billion committed to seismic upgrades.
Vancouver School Board Chair Patti Bacchus says today’s announcement has blind-sided trustees because Fassbender has suddenly changed an agreement that was reached in May.
“What they’re asking for is for us to sign off on an agreement that has Vancouver School District staff actually, partially reporting to government –senior government bureaucrats actually having voting governance roles in the recommendations that come out of the Vancouver School Board.”
Bacchus says she agrees kids’ safety should come first, but she’s not sure the board will approve the new office by Fassbender’s Aug. 29 deadline.