Parents ask government to agree to mediation with more than 11,000 signatures

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Parents ask government to agree to mediation with more than 11,000 signatures

Dozens of parents have delivered a petition with more than 11,000 signatures to the BC legislature.

Mother Jordan Waters says the group wants the government to join the teachers’ union in mediation.

“I am disillusioned with our government and their unwillingness to make public education a priority. I think it’s really short-sighted and they don’t see how investing in children is investing in our economic prosperity in the long run.”

Teachers have set up picket lines in a few Lower Mainland school districts, in a run up to the first day of class, set for Sept. 2.


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  1. It is not the Government. It is the BCTF.
    Go to the BCPSEA website and find out what is really going on.
    Also, it is not the Government who doesn’t want to go to Mediation, it is the Mediators themselves who are saying No. Both Ready and Justice Kelleher.

    The BCTF has not moved at all. They were well aware long ago that the Government (Taxpayers) were almost at their limit. The BCTF knew they had to come down somewhere close to what the other public sector workers received before Mediation was possible. So what do they do? Sit around all summer and now that summer is over want someone to solve Their problem.
    And don’t go on about its for the Kids. Read their demands, and the Governments proposals. Then tell me they are out for the Kids.
    What have the Teachers accomplished by being on Strike that could not have been don’t while doing their well paid jobs?

    • BCPSEA as the neutral truth? You have got to be kidding?

      Did it tell you that the Liberals are classifying supports for special needs as a teacher “benefit”?

      Did it tell you that the only significant stumbling block is BCPSEA’s insistence on the opt-out clause for the Appeal Court ruling? In simple terms, it wants the BCTF to agree that, despite having been found TWICE to have illegally removed class size and composition terms from bargaining that it wants the BCTF to agree that should it be found –for a third time — to be required to reinstate those terms that the opt-out clause will allow it to ignore it.

      It wants the BCTF to agree to the Liberals’ illegality as a condition of mediation.

      • Putting Teachers in charge of Class size puts the Teachers in charge of the entire education budget (given that by far the largest expense in the education budget is teachers salaries).

        Also the courts find the government did something wrong by removing legislation that gave Teachers control over that education budget.

        As a voter and a taxpayer, I just don’t think we can afford to let the Courts hand Teachers control how our tax dollars are spent. Some things are just wrong. As the parent of two children, I think it is wrong to fight this battle every few years where the only losers are the children and the taxpayers who have to pay the “signing bonus” teachers always demand and get to cover their time off. Taxpayers and children also lose with these regular strikes so that Teachers can get a ridiculous list of benefits that no-one in the private sector enjoys, from eyewear and fertility drugs to massage and maternity leave.

        Ultimately the teachers will lose of course, since taxpayers and children have been abused so frequently and to the degree that even good hearted little old ladies want them to be taken out behind the woodshed and given a spanking for being so greedy. – Rob

    • Let’s say that someone breaks into your house and steals something valuable from you (perhaps some family heirlooms). Clearly an illegal action.

      That person is found guilty and ordered to make restitution but refuses — twice — to do so.

      Then the thief goes to Court and insists upon a condition of any further discussions around restitution that you must agree to a clause that they can opt-out of any future decisions. It won’t even discuss returning or replacing the heirlooms (in whole or in part) unless you sign that condition.

      The thief wants you to legalize their illegal actions before they will face a third judgement on their actions.

    • Dwight, it seems like after every Education news story, you are quick on the email button to burn down the teachers’ union. Do you actually know the issues? The BCTF have significantly lowered their wage demand so that they are almost on par with government’s desires. The issue is class composition and size. The teachers are the only advocates for special needs students next to the students’ parents. Know your facts. Prior to Christy Clark as Minister of Education, the BCTF took NO PAY WAGE increase in exchange for class size and composition. Then the Liberal government ripped up that contract. Greedy teachers? And as for “well-paid teachers”…they are the 2nd worst in Canada in a province with the highest cost of living.

      • Ken, read the demands before shooting off. Your wage demands are still over 14%, plus $150,000,000, in signing bonus. $3000. for massages. free Fertility drugs, prep time etc.
        Show me where I am wrong.I have certainly showed my facts, show us yours.

        • Dwight, the 14% was lowered down to something like 7 % in 4 years which is 1% off the government’s wage offer. That lowering happened about 2 months ago. Yet, BC teachers will still make $20 thousand lower than teachers in Alberta and Ontario–ranking them 2nd lowest paid in the country. And while the massages and drug plan may have bad optics, it is a drop in the bucket of the contract demands. You make a good point, though, Dwight. I will concede it. Demanding higher massage packages and sick days is ridiculous. But your focus on those issues is like looking at the Wall Street milking of America (and the World) and focusing on union employees as the reason for economic collapse. Apples and oranges.

          • but those “benefits” are one of the not the main issues on this settlement. 100% top up while on long term disability? no way, massages, no way, fertility drugs, no way, 100% top up of maternity leave, no way. The wages yes are reasonable, the class sizes yes need to be address for the ratio of special needs vs regular is not fair. It is the benefits that are outrages and I think (I could be wrong) if you drop those benefits, things would be close enough for Ready to step in. Until then no he can not

          • @Janis While I agree the benefits were bungled by BCTF, I will bet you dollars to doughnuts that even in BCTF drops those items Govt will not negotiate.

            They want that E81 clause in the agreement so they can avoid having to deal with the courts over Class Size and Composition. Without teachers signing off on that clause, a deal will not get done.


    • Are you the education minister? The government has stalled and stalled and has no intention to end this strike, yet! The BCTF has moved where do you get your information from Fastbender? You do know that this Government has broken many laws against unions since 2001 and will keep breaking laws that you support. Your Integrity check shines brightly. parents are getting piss off and not at the teachers who just happen to be the BCTF. Recall will come.

    • Where is the love?
      Kids today are struggling. I have been teaching for 30+ years and I have never seen so many kids with self-regulation issues. It’s not just the ‘special needs’ kids that are causing challenges in over sized classes, it is so many other kids who cannot get along with each other.
      We were so lucky to grow up playing outside with kids in our neighbourhood, we played until we got hungry!
      There are many theories as to why this is happening. Could it be that parents both have to work? Violent video games? Parents are afraid to let kids play outside (remember Michael Dunahee?) so they don’t learn naturally how to get along?
      We need to acknowledge that kids need help. Let’s do some research and come up with strategies that can help teachers to help their students. Compassion, kindness, empathy and self-awareness are a good place to start!
      Where is the love?!!

      • Nicely put Barb. I am sure if it was approached on a problem solving basis, it could be done. I do not know anyone who would not like to see that happen.
        But not rigid rule in a CA. And it would be the Teachers and Principle. Not the BCTF. They are a Union, what are they doing regarding any of the manning of a school?
        Thats our problem. We allowed them to get to much control of Management rights.

    • Dwight for your edification -

      Education is not a Liberal Priority – this strike proves it. The Liberals are derelict in the duty by imposing policy conditions and settlement conditions respecting the current court of appeal action – both are inappropriate in labour negotiations – that is why the mediators have declined.

      I’m not absolving the BCTF – but it’s duty is to it’s members, not the public. In contrast, the Liberals have a duty to uphold the law as set out in the School Act. Their politicking with this issue is irresponsible.

    • exactly, a mediator can not step in when there is miles between them. Neither side has given an inch. And with the HEU standing by to watch what happens, so are taxpayers.

      • I think so too.
        It’s funny though, when the few devoted Ikerites hear his droning in the background, they somehow become deaf to any other opinion expressed – yet unable to effectively dispute it. I can’t see him hanging on much longer though. His enthusiasm (such as it was) and believability is fading fast.

        • hmm….disagree with Ron, Dwight and get called blind followers of “Gen. Ike” or “ikerites”….are in we back in Middle school? Most teachers have Masters degrees and have worked outside of teacher before joining the profession…definitely brainless devotees to the demi-god, Ike.

          The union may not hang on, but I would second guess a teacher’s resolve if they feel they are in the right.

  2. Dwight it was Christy who said no credible mediator would get involved. Yet 2 have been involved. is Liberals who have been undermining the process. Liberals want an escape clause so they don’t have to restore contract, want a longer agreement for BCTF so they bargain after other other public sector unions. Don’t forget big one…it was a judge that say the cabinet documents that showed bad faith bargaining…do you think Liberals have changed.

    • Like it or not the Liberals are our government and Christy Clark is our Premier. BCTF has been offered a good contract and they refuse to sign punishing their teachers and the public at large because they have a very political axe to grind. This is not about the kids it is about the BCTF determined to fight the last election long since over. They have absolutely nothing stopping them from agreeing to a very generous offer and leave the class size and composition to the court on appeal. That would put everybody back to work where they belong and end this nonsense. All this action planned by the BCTF clearly shows their aim is force the government ( Taxpayers) to pay double what the other public sector unions have settled for, a very RICH benefits package, equally rich signing bonus. In this day when enrollment is declining , yet funding continues to be increased every year, the BCTF hardly has a case that they are hard done by. They need to get over themselves and get to the negotiating table and sign a contract.

  3. Hasnt everybody figured out Dwight out by now. comments on exactly everything . But never has his facts straight. Just likes to chirp!!! Dwight do your homework Sir!!

  4. Maybe this 11.000 signed petition by parents might get the government to the table but im not holding my breath. I think what the liberals real agenda is here is to bankrupt the BCTF at any cost!!

    • It would appear to me it is the BCTF who aim to bankrupt all of us. Were they not just floating the idea we ALL need to pay 3% MORE in taxes to pay for their contract.
      And that, more than anything else, answers just exactly why they will not sign a contract. They want it all. Most make much more than the average family of four and it is from their taxes they expect to enrich themselves even more than they already have while their own colleagues have had their jobs eliminated for lack of enrollment in certain areas. Somebody is drinking their own bathwater and it is not the government.

  5. ok Careen ;) whatever you say. You and Dwight are both ignorant and misinformed. You two should get together talk about the world’s problems. You seem to have all the answers. Idiots!

    • Well, Jess you are going to have do much better than”you and Dwight are both ignorant and misinformed.” THAT does not constitute a viable alternative view.
      Chapter and verse. You don’t agree, and that is fine but you fail to say why you disagree and have yet to make your case. Actions always speak louder than words and the actions of the BCTF and lack of action as well tells a tale all it’s own.
      They do EVERYTHING but what they are mandated to do: Negotiate a contract in the best interests of their members. But it is clear their real agenda is opposition to the government. OK, I get it, they don’t like the outcome because they were counting on the NDP getting in as government. Spent all their money trying to achieve that and then had nothing for their members strike pay. Got a large donation from the Ontario Teachers Union to carry on. Not smart. Not foresighted just political. This announcement about their planned actions this week says it all. Politics trumps the best interest of their members and the children and parents whose lives are upended constantly by their petulant and irresponsible demands.
      And before you come back with 11,000 signatures, I call that paltry in comparison to the number of parents in children in this province who are directly affected by this travesty of a union. They are playing politics period. FIRE THEM ALL and start with IKER!

    • Show us where we are wrong on our fact, Jess.
      Or are you just chucking crap around. The Union really does keep you out of the loop don’t they. Typical no answer response, attack!
      Show us Jess, or are you everything you accuse us of?

  6. Eleven thousand signatures out of how many total parents with school aged kids in this Province? A mere pittance. Hope the Government stands firm. They can keep the schools closed until December then run a full eight months with no breaks to make up the year. Kids are more adaptable than some of the people on this blog give them credit for. They’ll recover. Besides, the high schoolers can work all this fall and make some coin.

    • Too right, Murray. Hope the government stands firm too. But, the school should be open and to effect that the government could pull a Reagan. He fired every Air Traffic Controller in the nation and hired others to do the job they refused to do.
      Just before this all came to a head, over 650 teachers in Coquitlam lost their jobs. I am sure they and others would be more than willing to step in. And if this keeps up decertify the BCTF!

      • LorAx: The BCTF is doing a great job of destroying Public Education all on it’s own.
        The government is US, the taxpayer and most taxpayers have had enough of their taxes going to a militant union determined to engage in politics to the detriment of their rank and file and to the entire province of parents and children to attain their ends. The portion of our taxes that are set aside for Education should never be squandered to appease a politically motivated union determined to force a government to it’s knees at the expense of everyone in the Province.

  7. Was this petition made public and available for every parent in BC to sign? I sure hope not. Thinking of the population of BC, 11,000 it’s rather pathetic. BC teachers alone (many being parents) outnumber these results 4 to 1 – no doubt a terrible disappointment for organizers. Perhaps they should have had a booth at a certain Kamloops Convention Centre last week. Or did they? No wonder most petitions have so little effect. Maybe if they had not politicized it as as blatantly as it’s being presented here, it might have had some numbers that could be taken somewhat seriously.

    This makes me think that the BCTF has much lower public support than they like to think they do.

  8. Now that were broke, we can probably expect these public union fights to play over and over again for the next decade or so.

    Once upon a time we would get maybe one issue a week. Now we are up to two a day with the nurses ‘demanding’ more money for ICU beds while the teachers ‘demand’ more money for classrooms.

    Let’s take a pool on how soon we get the magic trifecta of the teachers, the nurses and translink all bleating for money on the same day. I’ll give it less than six months.

    Thanks a lot BC public. You could have screamed loud enough for the BC government to get its house in order but you chose not to. We are now broke thanks to the squander bunnies.

    I wonder how long it will be before the public ‘demands’ that we start stealing from our own kids regularly (and, ironically, in order to ‘help the kids’) in order to fund their continued excesses.

    Selfishness is a crime

    And on a final note: Thanks CKNW for opening up the comments again. A short while back all the stories had a closed sign on them. I don’t know if that was a budget decision but I guess a lot of people complained and you listened.

  9. The obstacle to a negotiated contract is the government’s demand that the contract be nullified by the party which loses the appeal-giving 60 days notice.

    The BCTF has to be insane to agree to such a demand knowing that it is the government which will lose in court. At least the parties seem to agree on who will lose.

    Why would the BCTF allow the government to turn a “loss” into a “win”? If the BCTF wins-which it will-it will not allow the government to get up off the floor.

  10. BCTF supported effort to recall the government when they want to raise revenue- harmonized taxes to pay for expenses. BCTF clung to the agreement of desperation from the NDP of Ujjal Dosangh when try to buy votes by offering the unions whatever they want and more 2 months before they were defeated in an election that left them with 2 elected members. BCTF- I challenge you to run a poll of the general population – increase Taxes to pay for your demands? Getting your members and members’ friends and family to ‘sign up’ to get the government to give you what you want is ludicrous. Your package is too rich. There are lots and lots of abundance of teachers. When I, as taxpayer pay for the training of so many teachers, I don’t need to pay for the incredible bonuses to keep the existing teachers. BCTF- let’s be realistic. I beg of you.

  11. Who do you think has been authorised to run this province the gov’t elect or the BCTF??
    I for one hope it is the gov’t elect. Why in H do the teachers turned polititons think they have the right to tell us how and who will run the schools.
    Did the BCTF have a vote on becoming NDP?

  12. Go to the BCPSEA website. It is all there.
    Pay particular attention to the letters sent to Iker. Note the total disrespect for the employer.
    No only that, it appears Iker has again been feeding its member BS, re lock out!
    One can see how well giving the Teachers false info works here by their arguments, or lack there of,posted here.

    • Dwight: I did what you suggested today. I have been there before and read through all the details. I was looking for an update but there really is none except for the fact that the BCTF has NOT budged from their position. And that position is FAR too rich for us as taxpayers to afford. The increase in Education funding has already reached high levels inasmuch as enrollment has been in decline.
      From the letter from the employer to Mr. Iker it seems clear he not only is ignoring the employer he is making rather unreliable statements to the rank and file.
      From reading through the proposals by the employer to the union I have to agree with the employer. If they cave to union demands it means the union RUNS everything. The flexibility the employer needs and should have is tied up completely and would be in the control of the union with arbitrary limits not tied to the reality in the school district or in the classroom.
      Again, this only re-inforces my view that they have power and control as their ultimate aim. Power over the government ( US, the taxpayer) and complete control over every aspect of educational life in each and every school district , even over the decision making process essential in each district made by principals and teachers. When I read the proposals put forth by the employer, especially as regards class size and composition, the employers proposals seem reasonable to me and much more affordable for the taxpayer. It also maintains control where it belongs, in the employers hands at the level they determine and not the union.
      The costs the union is proposing is so over the top as to be completely out of the question. Little wonder there is no negotiation. Rather than softening it’s stance the union is holding to it’s demands and now are out if force to propagandize the entire population toward forcing the government to give them what they clearly cannot and should not have

      • Careen, it is my opinion that we have gave up far to much authority to the BCTF. They are a Union. What the hell are they doing giving them any say in how a school is run.
        I believe that if Teachers were indeed Professional, as they once were, they should be sitting down with they’re “boss” of the school , an they make the decisions. That should be no problem for a Professional. Some Teachers can handle more student, if necessary, and some can’t. Those who feel capable and their “boss” agrees, they would receive extra pay. Those who feel they cannot handle more, fine. But let them decide not the union.
        Anyways, good post!