Premier Christy Clark says she’s ready to sit down and negotiate with teachers over class size and composition.
It’s the premier’s first comments on the issue, since the Supreme Court of Canada issued a landmark ruling yesterday in favour of teachers in their 14 year battle with the province.
Clark says the province was prepared for the possibility of a loss.
“We all want to put more special needs teachers in classrooms, we all want to make sure that classes are the right size for kids, so I’m excited about that possibility we’ve got ahead of us,” she said.
Clark was the education minister in 2002 when the province tore up contracts with teachers, and stripped them of their right to bargain over class size and composition.
At the time, she said parents groups had pushed for the changes, and that the move was based on the needs of individual students.
“We need to stop driving those decisions based on mathematical formulas and contractual provisions that are negotiated at a bargaining table,” she said after passing the controversial legislation.
Today, the premier added that the Supreme Court ruling won’t affect the six-year deal the province negotiated with teachers after 2014’s bitter strike.
“We’re going to sit down and talk about two really important clauses in the contract, the contract stays in place, labour peace stays in place,” she said.