A final deal between the BC Teachers’ Federation and the province over class size and composition ratios is expected to come down next week.
“We’re pretty close, both parties are keen to get this wrapped up,” says BCTF President Glen Hansman.
He says both parties meet three times next week, and there’s a fairly clear picture as to the ballpark final price tag.
“We’ve been estimating just based on what was taken out of the system about $300 million dollars more per year. And while the province hasn’t included a full dollar amount in the K-12 budget, [it] does have a sizeable cushion in the contingency fund.”
In January, a $50-million dollar interim deal was reached to begin the process and hire 1,100 teachers.
Earlier this week, Finance Minister Mike de Jong announced $320-million over three years to cover the province’s obligation to the teachers union, but said that money from the B.C. Budget was a ‘placeholder’.
This all stems from a Supreme Court of Canada ruling which found the province under then-education minister Christy Clark had unconstitutionally torn up teachers contracts in 2002, which included class size and composition bargaining rights.