Province spends as much as $335,000 on social media in BCTF dispute

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Province spends as much as $335,000 on social media in BCTF dispute

The provincial government is spending up to $335,000 on a social media campaign promoting its side in the labour dispute with the BC Teachers Federation.

Education Minister Peter Fassbender is defending it: “Because we need to direct parents to (website) BC Parents Info, and we want them to go to that site, not only to get the latest bargaining updates, but also to know where to go to register for the educational support fund.”

The campaign includes promoted Tweets and an information website for parents. Fassbender notes the union has spent some of its members dues on ad campaigns as well.


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  1. I bet there is not one financial institution in B.C. that would give a BC Teacher static over a missed mortgage payment or 2. Picket the school(private) where Snookum’s kid goes. Make a stink. Shut down some major roads and bridges. These kids will be voters, one day, many sooner than realized. In 3 years, grades, 10-11 will be voting, and they are the most vulnerable, what with trying to maintain good grades, scholarships, etc.
    Why doesn’t the government, simply give the teachers, the identical contract as Ontario teachers. Cost of living is much the same. The important thing is, get the kids back in school. Fastbender should resign, he is spineless, taking Snookie’s directives, like a puppet. Take Cameron with him.

    • This type of answer is simply a spout out of someone who is incredibly ignorant. You want to pay the teachers more, with the ‘me to’ clause, do you want to pay the nurses more, and the rest of the unions. Gordon Campbell was forced to resigned over higher taxes- HST. Christie took over. Everyone expects her to lose but she promised to be responsible with the taxpayer money. She got voted in – with her team – including Fassbender.
      For all the ignoramus who wants to give the BCTF their demands- where is the money coming from? More taxes?
      - he/she who wants to pay more taxes please stand forward!!!
      In addition to the existing benefits and pay, what is the teachers looking for?(forget the class size and composition). This is the part that is about the teachers and affordability. If the teachers wants more – they are crazy!!!!
      If not, drop that and discuss – class size and composition only. Then it would be more credible when they said it is about kids.

      • Speaking of ignorance….over $300 million surplus this year and wasting the tax payers money on advertising. It’s one thing to lie like they do it’s another to make us pay for it as well. “she promised to be responsible with the taxpayer money” another broken promise by the Liberals. All they do is deflect and spread propaganda. Do I agree completely with what the BCTF are asking for? Nope. But this government is a sham – one that lies and breaks the law. No government should be above the law. Family first Christy? How was first day at school for your kids? The rest of us can’t afford private school. Make some concessions and I’m sure the BCTF will as well.

      • Know what you are talking about. If all of your information comes from the government statements you must realize it is all spin. Christy even had completely false statements in her press conference about what the teachers had asked for in benefits, just to make them seem more greedy. Their wage demands have dropped significantly and are around 6% over 5 years while the government is offering around 5% for 6 years. Not too far apart. The government keeps on adding things like the cost of adding new teachers to meet class room size targets and composition targets to the wage number to inflate it.

      • Love the irony regarding “ignorance.” As affirmed by Jim Sinclair of the BC FED yesterday- there are NO “ME TOO” clauses AT ALL (let’s remember that extra “o”) between the BCTF and ANY public sector union in BC:
        “This is absolutely not true. There are no unions with “me-too” agreements with the BCTF.
        There is no obligation by the government to give any other union, including the BC Nurses Union, what the teachers settle for. In fact, in a previous round of bargaining, the first to settle was the BCNU, which received a 6% wage increase. But this same government felt no obligation to give it to any other union, including teachers, who all got no pay increases.” -Jim Sinclair
        Just another in a long string of Liberal lies and excuses. Be a critical thinker and check the actual FACTS. (I won’t bother correcting the rest of your grammar since I am on strike, but you might want to think twice before casting that first “spout of ignorance” stone.)

      • BC Federation of Labour President Jim Sinclair issued a statement yesterday to clarify the “me too ” myth:

        “For the Record: There has been much discussion about other union’s signing what are known as “me-too” agreements. This happens when a union signs a deal but says if another union gets a larger increase, they get that as well. A number of articles, including again this morning in Gary Mason’s column in the Globe and Mail, have suggested unions have signed “me-too” deals tied to the BCTF collective agreement.

        This is absolutely not true. There are no unions with “me-too” agreements with the BCTF.
        There is no obligation by the government to give any other union, including the BC Nurses Union, what the teachers settle for. In fact, in a previous round of bargaining, the first to settle was the BCNU, which received a 6% wage increase. But this same government felt no obligation to give it to any other union, including teachers, who all got no pay increases.”

      • There are no “me t” clauses. They are a myth mentioned by these “influencers” but they do NOT exist. Jim Sinclair has publicly stated as a representative of all other unions that here are no “me too” clauses.

  2. Explain the logic in that Chris. Did the BCTF force the government to create a partisan website? Is the BCTF paying for advertising that the BCLibs need to counter? Is Fassbender admitting people no longer believe anything he has to say when making the media rounds so they have to find other methods of controlling the message?

    It’s simply your tax dollars paying for partisan advertising.

    • That may be true, but Joe Taxpayer is footing the bill for the gov’t's spin. Then add the cost of the legal team to fight the court cases and appeal. If they lose the appeal, that’s a lot of wasted money plus they have to pay the $2 million fine to the BCTF. The fees can only go higher if they decide to pursue this at the federal Supreme Court. They lost once before at that level in 2007 and had to pay each health care worker $11 K as a settlement. Isn’t budging during negotiations a better path for the gov’t to pursue?

      • So what? Government’s job is to try to keep expenses low = taxes low = lower money demand from the citizens of BC. When did that become demonized?
        When did the citizens of BC become so ignorant? Where is the Faaaannstastic guy – Vander Zalm to explain that – no matter what you spend , someone had to pay. Who wants to stand up first to pay!!!???

        • Here is a bit of history. In 2002 Clark illegally removed $225 million dollars from the education budget and gave corporations a tax break to about that amount. Multiply that by 12 years and you are looking at just under $3 billion dollars robbed from the poor to give to the rich who have really done nothing to support the province with their winnings. Essentially this government you support has balanced its budget on the backs of the children of this province. That is where your money has gone. It is time for it to be paid back.

  3. Is this social media campaign a PR exercise to garner public spport and a case of not playing fair? Is this equivalent to the BCTF taking a strike vote before it tabled its demands?

    Frankly, such strategies do not bother me in the least. In a dispute such as this, expect the unexpected and enjoy the ride. Besides I can’t even remember when the BCTF took the strike vote. Why bring it up now?

    I have questions for Dwight who is still very upset by tha BCTF decision for holding a strike vote when it did:

    Is your nose still out of joint because the BCTF took a strike vote before entering negotiations? I thought from the union point of view, that was a good strategy-very efficient-but not effective as the strike mandate didn’t put any pressure on the government to settle. That’s why we are where we are today.

    So what is your problem? Were your feelings bruised?

    Did the BCTF secure a strike mandate illegaly? Did any court or the BC Supreme court so rule? Twice?

    What law did the BCTF violate by securing a strike vote before tabling its demands?

    And what is the prescribed penalty?

    And can the union appeal the decision if found guilty?

    Can it ask that the penalty be stayed pending an appeal?

    No wonder we don’t have a negotiated settlement when the government negotiators are still smarting according to Dwight because the BCTF took a strike vote before tabling its demands.

    Since you still haven’t got over it, you remind me of Mizaru, Kikazaru and Iwazaru who are oblivious to the possibility that the employer side may be full of it as well as the union. In my mind both parties have much to answer for.

    I’m not asking that you buy my thoughts at all. Just knock off the personal attacks against anyone who disagrees with you.

    Except me- I can counter the nonsense so bring it on.

  4. instead of putting so much money in social media, why did the BC government invest the available fund in education? Investing in education is investing in our province future. Countries around the world are doing it. Why can we in BC?

      • The BCTF strike fund $$ was spend in court- winning (twice) against the Liberals. Besides- what the BCTF membership does with its own financial resources is NOT at all the same as the government using taxpayers dollars for social media at a time it insists that it has spent all of the money it stole from education. That $335,000 could have paid a year’s salary for 8 first year special education teachers.

      • dear commonsense, it seems you might have lost yours. When main stream media won’t report the truth, you are forced to do what you can to mitigate their lies. Here is a question for you to ask. Why does the government need to hire individuals to spin their message?

    • We need to relax when there are bigger issues at play in this dispute. I doubt whether $335,000 will make any dent in the government’s bottom line.

      Enough of the “They did that” blame game on such a trivial matter.

      Look at the fact that the government negotiators are still upset as well as Dwight that the BCTF took a strike vote before tabling its demands ( I didn’t invent that-Dwight had inside information). Can’t understand why anyone should get worked up over that when it had “zero” effect on the government.

      One might justifiably conclude that taking a strike vote prematurely back-fired.

  5. Don’t worry everyone LNG is gonna make us all rich, has Christy forget about the billions and billions that she promised us before the election. So surly she can pay us all more and raise the minimum wage to $20. Gee I wonder if there will be at least one LNG plant before the next election so Christy can do some photo ops.

  6. The people are supposed to tell governments what do to. Governments have no business using the taxpayer money to tell the people what to think, especially partisan propaganda.