Fassbender repeats: Deal can be done by September

Vancouver, BC, Canada / (CKNW AM) AM980

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.

 

Comments

  1. Ironically, “He says he doesn’t want to violate an ongoing media blackout, but …”. The but is telling. He has already been receiving a copious amount of air time and thus is breaching the agreement. This is not about making “deals”. Deals are for buying cars. This dispute is about educatators standing up for our childrens’ right to quality, publically-funded educaiton. CC and F want a two-tiered system. This complex issue requires critical thinking skills in order to navigate the plethora of rhetoric spewing from these so-called leaders. I want my kid in school Spet 2 for the year he is meant to graduate. No way in hell would I be taking $40. even if it were offered to parents of teens as well. And no way will I register him for private education. I support quality, public education. It is in our charter people. The earthquake info on this same report is a red herring meant to distract from the issues at hand. Damn, I’m mad.

      • I so agree! We need a revolution!
        Why on earth is he breaking the blackout?
        And the idea of a 2 tiered system is absolutely ridiculous! I can’t believe the government want’s to coporatize us.
        I can’t believe the cr@p that they spew so the less educated can’t see through their attack on education. As a parent of a special needs child, I support the teachers who are trying to help our kids, and I’m furious with this government.
        There are no deals. It’s all force by a government that has lost touch with what the people want. Or who just don’t care because they, like Christy, can afford the private system.

      • Yeah, solidarity. I guess your union sisters in Surrey who are going to be teaching kids from their homes and bagging the $40 per head didn’t get the memo…

    • I so agree! Why on earth is he breaking the blackout?
      And the idea of a 2 tiered system is absolutely ridiculous! I can’t believe the government want’s to coporatize us.
      I can’t believe the cr@p that they spew so the less educated can’t see through their attack on education. As a parent of a special needs child, I support the teachers who are trying to help our kids, and I’m furious with this government.
      There are no deals. It’s all force by a government that has lost touch with what the people want. Or who just don’t care because they, like Christy, can afford the private system.

  2. Mr. Fassbender , parents are outrageous! Do not make it worse.
    It is NOT rocket science that we need a some brilliant high IQ, like Einstein, to form a formula to negotiate. What are politicians for? To negotiate. If you do not have anyone in your office or you do not see such competence in yourself , PLEASE resign. Public education is as important as drinking water! The latter is for body the former is for the soul. Never will our kids forget the damage you have caused nor will they forgive you. Make a good name for yourself!

    • I am not a huge Fassbender fan, but he is just the puppet here. As long as the mental midget “Trixie Clark” is running the show, things will continue to fall apart.
      She needs to go. I would love to see how quickly this problem could be resolved if she totally stepped aside. It is way too personal for her !

    • Since when is “Here’s the bottom line and we’re not giving you what you’re demanding” not negotiating? I’d disagree with you and suggest when this is finally done, BC education will be much better off. Mr Fassbender is acting and speaking perfectly appropriately.

  3. I thought there was supposed to be a media blackout? Seems as though Mr Fassbender has chosen to lift it and CKNW, Global, CBC, etc have helped him out with that.

  4. I’m confused….did he not indicate that he did not want to violate the media blackout and then proceed to, uhm, violate the media blackout?

    This song and dance, smoke and mirror routine of Mr. Fassbender is as offensive as it is tiresome.

    Seismic upgrades? Really? Are you going to offer us free ice cream on Fridays next?

  5. Seriously…. Is there not a media blackout? What does the government have to say about their idea of a BLACKOUT. This is an absolutely embarrassment for CANADA…. people around the world must be shaking their heads in disgust at the BC Liberals and their inexcusable take on the VALUE of public education

  6. Saying that he doesn’t want to end the media blackout by speaking to media is ridiculous! Fassbender and the current BC Liberals figure-headed by their pretty but poisonous C CLARK, take note: the BC public is not impressed by your bribe, we are not wooed by Asian ventures, we are outraged at your personal and party operating expenditures, and completely behind our teachers legal right to a fair and nationally equitable contract. A contract that does NOT tack on special-needs workers as a salary benefit; they does NOT increase class size, and does NOT ruin the future of the kids of BC with union-busting tactics. Children are not collateral damage, teachers are invaluable, and parents and voters see right through your smoke and mirrors. Wake up BC! General Strike, because if teachers go…the others follow!!

    • Unfortunately, the results of May 2013 indicated that, sadly, yes, the electorate of BC is wooed by Christy Clark’s photo-ops and made-up prosperity dreams.

      This strike has been provoked, in part, because it conveniently distracts the public and the media from realizing that the “jobs, jobs, jobs” only exist for TFW (deal signed 3 weeks ago) and that the “Debt Free BC” has in fact increased by 33% in the few short years she has been in power.

      Of course, for Clark, it is also very personal.

  7. And on and on it goes, with no end in sight. It’s like the song that never ends, and it goes on and on my friend ….

    Perhaps they should all find some “emotional intelligence” and come to a resolution, instead of inciting angst in parents and students. Teaching our children what? Nothing positive, that is for sure.

    CC and the Liberals really need to depart … sooner rather than later (and no I am not a teacher or a BCTF’er – I don’t like the BCTF either, but at least they are not running to the media and breaking the media blackout deal).

    • Just received this message from my child’s school re: school reopening for September …

      August 21, 2014

      I am writing to provide you with an update on the provincial labour dispute, which has unfortunately remained unresolved over the summer. We know this has created a high level of uncertainty for parents, students and schools across the province.

      At the close of the 2013-2014 school year, the BCTF and the government remained at an impasse with respect to negotiating a new contract. Although we remain hopeful that the two parties, with the assistance of an outside mediator, will find a way to reach a negotiated settlement, it is possible that schools may not open as usual on September 2.

      A decision on school opening will likely not be made until Friday, August 29 to provide both parties with as much time as possible to reach a negotiated settlement. We anticipate that there are two main possibilities that may be present for the beginning of September:

      1. If there is a settlement, we expect that all schools in the West Vancouver School District will open on September 2.
      While schools may open on time, we anticipate some disruption in regular instruction, as course scheduling for students and timetables, particularly at the secondary level, may need to be resolved. However, we will do our utmost to provide as much stability as possible and return to normal operations quickly.

      2. If there is NO settlement, teachers may continue their strike action in a variety of forms and we may find our schools behind picket lines. It is also possible that a provincial lockout of teachers, imposed in June and lifted over the summer, could be reinstated. Once we have more information on these various possibilities and their effect on our regularly scheduled school opening, we will communicate this out to parents as quickly as possible.

      The safety and security of our students continues to be our highest priority. While schools will remain open, unionized staff will not cross any picket lines that may be present. We would again encourage parents to keep their child(ren) at home and seek alternative childcare arrangements.

      Again, we are hopeful that this dispute can be resolved before Tuesday, September 2. This is a frustrating and disappointing time for everyone involved, and we are very concerned about the effects on our students. We have an outstanding public school system in British Columbia, and will work diligently to ensure students get through the year successfully once the school year gets underway.

      Parents are encouraged to consult our website at http://www.sd45.bc.ca and follow local media for any changes that may be announced over the coming days.

      Sincerely,

      Chris Kennedy
      Superintendent of Schools

      • I do not care if they settle or not, and get these multicultural programs out of the school system Kennedy, taxpayers should only fund basic Canadian education and high priority on learning English skills, if these ethnics want these programs they must pay for it separately away from our schools

  8. Parents, teachers, aunts, uncles and anyone concerned about public services and democracy in general: Write this man and Christy Clark a letter and tell them to negotiate with teachers by bringing funding to restore supports for students. That is the only way a deal can be reached. He has not negotiated at all. There is no mediation because he and the premier refuse to mediate without preconditions. That is not mediation!
    Premier@gov.bc.ca Christy Clark
    Educ.minister@gov.bc.ca Peter Fassbender
    Teachers and students need your help!

  9. With a forecasted $358 million *surplus* you can afford to give the BCTF everything they are asking for and still have about $140 million in the bank at the end of the year. There is absolutely no need to negotiate anything. That’s MY money you are holding, and I want you to start funding schools! They need books, they need furniture, they need *heat* in the winter – all these things have been cut because the province has *refused* to fund negotiated teacher wage increases for last several rounds of bargaining. When the special needs schools were closed, we were assured that these students would receive support in the regular system and the rest of the students would not suffer. That is *not* happening. Put SEAs back in the classroom to fully support those kids who have been integrated so that teachers can *teach*!

    • Why? I have no problem having the government put more money in if it directly helps students but beyond the increase levels accepted by the other unions I see no reason to add to the BCTF’s wage, benefit and pension package. And for more money to work, administrator and teachers at local schools can’t be allowed to remove funding assigned to specific children to be moved to other parts of the school. It wouldn’t get fixed if money can be taken from those that require it. They are not qualified to make decisions like that.

  10. Seriously? The BCTF is the only party who can comply w a MEDIA blackout??? Where is the integrity and good faith in both this Government AND the media?

  11. Media blackout means media blackout. Why is Christy allowing Fassbender to open his mouth? This is purely a ploy to keep the Liberal teacher bashing agenda before the public. How will Vince ready punish Fassbender for speaking out of turn?

  12. This is outrageous! Why is CKNW enabling this crook to violate a media blackout??? He clearly has no intention of bargaining fairly since he can’t even play by his own rules!

    • The Media sharing this story just further angered the public in regards to the Libs, so it is all good.
      I have to defend CKNW, quite a few of the media companies are Liberal friendly and will not report any negative stories on Trixie and her friends, that isn’t the case with CKNW.
      As for Global and a number of others, so much for “Freedom of the Press”, they continuously handcuff their writers.
      Global is the worst, they gave Peter Fassbender 5 minutes every morning back in May and June, while they would only share 5-10 seconds of any of Jim Iker’s press conferences. No wonder so many are brainwashed by watching Global.

  13. What he’s saying: I don’t want to violate a media black out.

    What it means: I will make my points to the media but avoid answering questions by citing a media blackout.

    What he’s saying: An agreement must be reached at the bargaining table.

    What it means: We will continue to throw up roadblocks to negotiations to create more labour unrest and dissatisfaction with public education in BC.

    What he’s saying: We need to decide what education will look like in the future.

    What it means: We want to reform public education without interference from its greatest defenders: teachers. By starving the them and their union, we reduce opposition to our plan to create a two-tiered education system wherein public school grads swing hammers and paint walls and private school grads design buildings and own property.

    What he’s saying: We will not negotiate a settlement.

    What it means: We do not care how long this strike goes on. If your kids lose a few months of school, that’s the price you must pay so we can achieve our goals.

  14. How can a deal be negotiated at the table when the government never comes to the table? It’s like trying to talk to a brick wall!! Pointless. Pathetic . Shameful.

  15. Good, then let’s get on with it! Teacher demands need to be, with the exception of class composition, brought way down. Teachers should consider the long term contract offer – it only makes sense! Government needs to abide by the October ruling and provide teachers with a little bit more than being offered to date. Both parties – the focus needs to be on getting the schools open really soon!

  16. Mr. Fassbender,

    how is displaying your face in the media continuously NOT violating the media blackout? May I suggest you get back to negotiating? My son is extremely excited to start kindergarten this year, and I want him in school the first week of September thank you very much. I met his teacher-to-be in June and she is a dedicated, hard-working, firm-but-fair young lady, exactly the kind of teacher my son needs to learn important social skills to become a contributing member of our society. Also, in case he needs learning support down the road, and because my nephew can’t speech-language therapy beyond kindergarten, and because my niece needs a full-time EA because of minimal social skills (but of course doesn’t qualify for one due to her ‘category’), please provide the funding the teachers are asking for in order to increase learning specialist teachers.

    • Your comment is quite reasonable but you’re addressing it to the wrong person. It’s the Iker that brought on the strike keeping our great teachers home. It’s the BCTF that is demanding to say how education is to be done with NO responsibility to the BC electorate and NO clue how all the lofty demands will be paid for. Iker doesn’t even care about the “how” – just “give us what I want”. I sure don’t want the whole government caving to a self-serving militant union that won’t stop at class size and comp and neither do a growing number of teachers. Are you really sure you do?

  17. The ONLY reason that the Liberals have not legislated the teachers back into work is because the Appeal to the SCBC is in October. It is kind of hard to appear before the court and appeal the decision that you have negotiating in bad faith in order to legislate when you’ve just done that.

    Rest assured, the Liberals have been negotiating in bad faith all along.

    What else do you call (1) dismissing BCPSEA’s board in May 2013 and replacing them with one person (Peter Cameron), (2) dismissing all of BCPSEA;s earlier progress, (3) appointing to the LRB the former Assistant Deputy Minister of Labour (Richard Longpre) who helped draft the illegal Bills 27 and 28, (4) refusing to move on any terms of negotiation, (5) negotiating in the media when BCPSEA and BCTF had agreed to not do so, (6) provide misleading “facts and figures” with respect to the costs of the proposals ($2 Billion anyone?), and (7) insist on an Opt-Out clause should the BCSC Appeals go against them?

    How do any of these indicate that they actually WANT to have a negotiated settlement?

  18. I am appalled at Fassbender’s interpretation of “media blackout” or does the blackout only apply to the BCTF? This media blitz seems to be more unfair bargaining practices. Voters of BC recognize sleazy politics when we see it.

    • It’s not a media blackout of EVERYTHING within the Ed Ministry, it’s a blackout of details surrounding the current contract negotiations. Get it? I can try to make it simpler if it’s not defined enough.

      • Ron you sound really frustrated and worn out. I told you that it is a full time defending the Libs. You should take a week off and recharge, go out and get some fresh air, it will be good for your mental health.

        • Sure I am frustrated. This same fight has been going on for over 40 years. You aren’t frustrated? A week off won’t change a thing. The union has had 2 whole summers off and look where that’s left us.

          I’m not supporting the Liberals nearly as much as I’m attempting to show that the BCTF is completely focussed on destroying EVERY government’s control of our education system since the SoCreds. No wonder so few people vote – but the majority of those that cared enough to cast a ballot have supported these Liberals loud and clear – even though so many on this site said they didn’t have a hope.

          All I want is to look back on this whole fight as a bad memory. Let’s hope for a negotiated settlement soon.

  19. I am outraged with this government’s approach to the so called bargaining with the teachers. Every move the gov’t makes is in bad faith… they are trying to dismantle our public education system and move to a two tiered system (private school for the elite, and poor quality education for the rest). As taxpayers, we see through their moves and it is time to scream and shout to make this government wake up and see that education needs to be funded properly. My kids are sharing text books because there’s not enough to go around. They are in overcrowded classrooms. Even paint is rationed out sparingly for art… there’s certainly not enough for every child to paint a canvass. ENOUGH! We want a negotiated settlement NOW… one that puts children first. That’s exactly what the teachers are asking for!!

  20. It is interesting to note that while Fassbender spouted no words that could be construed as a violation of a media blackout, he should have been more forthright. His body language and what he did not say is what we should analyzng. His body language and what he did not say undermined any credibility.

    He again reiterated the government’s hard-line position which hasn’t veered from the usual talking points on balanced budgets and unaffordabiity. From day 1, he has said that the government will not move from that position and a negotiated settlement is only possible if teachers capitulate completely to the government’s demand.

    And this is not negotiating in public in violation of an agreed-upon media blackout? Anyone versed in negotiations will see through this charade. Of course, when either party-the government-outlines its bargaining postion, it is bargaining and violating the media blackout agreement. Full Stop.

    • Ah. Now you’re analyzing “body language” and “what’s not said” from a snippet of some interview? How foolish is that? How can your own made-up theory of “what someone didn’t say” or “how they looked when they didn’t say it” possibly add anything real to the discussion?
      I can’t wait to hear about what I didn’t say. No doubt I will.
      Full stop indeed.

          • Dan, for a moment there, I thought you might be onto something.
            But if you read over Ron’s responses they are well-written, and although “Ron_26″ is very Liberally biased and completely frustrated at this time, they still indicate that “Ron_26″ is an individual that has a proper education. So on that note, I have concluded that “Ron_26″ clearly CANNOT be Christy Clark.

        • There are plenty of us that agree with Ron, don’t kid yourself.

          We may not be as vocal as some of you on a message board but we let it be known when we voted at last election. Wasn’t it shocking that the Liberals won? We are quiet but we are here.

      • Ron I can’t see you, but your body language screams loudly of pure fatigue, brought on by trying to defend your beloved Trixie and her friends. Ron, this isn’t healthy anymore. This is my way of holding an intervention for you. I am providing you this once in a lifetime opportunity to just turn off your computer and get well. My gift to you.
        I am not asking you to vote NDP next time, but I am really worried about you. Hang in there.
        SIncerely
        Your friend
        Corman.

      • If we do not hear what you didn’t say, we would all agree that it would a good thing….I agree with you 100 percent! I take that as a promise-can you keep it?

        Everything you already say is a form of noise-often referred to as negative feedback….

      • Ron, you are just wasting your time.
        He actually sees body language in a still picture?And knows what people are ‘really’ saying, even if they are not saying it.
        Then you have those that support such a stupid statement. Goes a long way to understanding why the BCTF/NDP are incapable of negotiating a CA, doesn’t it.

  21. How DARE you have Peter Fassbender on so he use this as just another opportunity to bash teachers? This man has done nothing to indicate the Liberals are even interested in settling this dispute let alone settle it in time for school to start Sept 2. He is the Minister of Education and he should be doing everything in his power to support kids and the work teachers do, not spending time and money on useless programs. Wasteful and negligent of his duties. In my opinion he has lost the right to hold public office. He should resign. And the media should stop giving him opportunities to break the blackout.

    • Get a grip Leanne . . . read it again . . . he said NOTHING about the so-called negotiations. How do you negotiate with a group that just wants more money, less work, more time off . . . . but they are doing it for the kids . . . lol

  22. Again I ask the people I have entrusted with my money Please Do Not give in to the BCTF.
    The teachers do NOT deserve another increase. They say they have taken benefits in lieu of wages in the past. If that is true then how about giving back some of these benefits in a deal for higher wages.

  23. In the final analysis, despite the noise made by Ron -26, the staunch defender of Fassbender, he is not a factor. It’s not only his comments that are totally irrelevant; he, himself, is totally irrelevant and he is soooo obnoxious. Honestly, he really gets my blood boiling and I get so mad….for at least 1 nano-second. LOL!!!!

    The judical system will decide the final outcome in this dispute. Whether the government stripped teachers of their rights enshrined in the constitution will be decided by the SCOC regardless of what the BC Appeals Court rules.

    But back to the discussion. All clear and open-minded posters have correctly decided that Fassbender violated the media black-out and have backed up their opinions with facts.

    Hence why is Ron-26 still in denial? Perhaps It’s time, he moved on….sooner than later…..

    • He’s irrelevant yet he gets your blood boiling?

      And the Iker broke it by bargaining in a statement to the media today. Just as during other blackouts Iker released documents at were on the table.

      The BCTF wants more teachers in the schools even though their own VP said in June the class size was not an issue outside of classes like band and gym, where they would want more teachers. The composition is an issue but until the BCTF are willing to agree to work on a single set of numbers there’s not much to do. The current system of allowing school administration and teachers to redirect funding from specific kids means the kids that have education plans can have their funding moved to other areas of the school without regard. More money doesn’t mean better help for kids, it’s just more money in the school with no real oversight.

      • Honestly, @D…..if you believed that Ronnie gets my blood boiling…you can’t be serious! I just like to pull Ronnie’s chain. He leaves such a shallow impression that even a snake would feel high and dry.

        I hear that maybe, maybe the Liberals are going to blink and cave-in a little to reach a negotiated settlement. Planned cuts may be in the works such as in the case of the RCMP, to finance this. In reality, both the government and BCTF positions may move closer despite what Ronnie wants. The government is looking at other possible cuts as well. If my sources are correct, there will be a negotiated settlement and the government can still claim that it did not legislate teachers back to work.

        This bit of speculation ought to get Ronnie and some others going. I can’t wait for the name calling to resume. Imagine if my speculation turns out to be even close. Here’s hoping because one teacher I know feels summer holidays will soon be over.

        But then I may be wrong-once in awhile-which is a pretty good record. Like I said, clear and open-mind thinkers have determined that Fassbender violated the blackout agreement. Good enough for me.

        • “clear and open-mind thinkers have determined that Fassbender violated the blackout agreement.” You mean the you and Iker agree.

          The employer has offered funds for composition. One on the stumbling blocks is how it’s allocated. The BCTF was 50% control and no review whether it’s allocation is working. The refuse to get to a fact base system and they refuse to all the professionals to dictate what’s best for children, they want to keep the override option that teachers and administrators have. You don’t see a problem with this?

    • Funny. I just did look-over of the comments and didn’t see one that backed up their opinion with a fact of how Mr Fassbender violated the blackout. Not one. And I even asked. There were lots of frustrations and jabs aimed at government (which is fair enough), but not one fact on breaking the blackout. But then again, I’m not nearly as good at “reading what wasn’t said” as you are.

      • He didn’t violate the blackout here, but came perilously close in other interviews. Vince Ready has demonstrated his ability to find “face saving” common ground – he doesn’t need public opinion getting in the way.

      • Ronnie said: ‘But then again, I’m not nearly as good at “reading what wasn’t said” as you are.’

        And to that, one might add that you are not as good as anyone else…..at anything and everything.

        Now run along…..

  24. Part of the issue that is being overlooked that in the current BCTF set of demands is a 50% control by the union of the hiring and placement of new teachers. The BCTF is demanding $225 million per year for each of the contract to hire new teachers. Based on covering a first year teacher’s wages, benefits and pension that works out to more than 3,000 new teachers per year. The BCTF has made it clear that the placement of these teachers will be based on teacher’s requests and not on specifc numbers related to composition. That would add roughly 15,000 new teachers into the school system by the end of the contract. That would take the current membership of the BCTF from it’s current 41,000 (some part time) to 56,000, that’s more than a 36% increase in the number of teachers. And keep in mind it’s a SEAs that work with special needs kids very few teachers would be used to work directly with kids with IEPs.

    • And Ronnie complains that Insite always analyzes and brings forth arguments to justify his opinions. Having said that, i respect how you have offered your perspective. You obviously put some thought into it. Good to see someone provide input even though others may not necessarily agree. It’s called free speech.

    • Well presented D.
      Can you imagine, if they by some fluke got what they’re demanding, how much more they’d be after next time? Historically, it has never been enough for the BCTF. I suggest this is just the tip of the iceberg and I’ll support any government that knows it MUST steer well clear of the TF’s schemes for more power and stick to traditional and universally accepted union negotiations for fair remuneration and workplace safety – nothing more.

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