The outcome wasn’t much in question, but teachers have now formally approved a deal with the province over class size and composition funding.
98.4 per cent of teachers voted in favour of the agreement, which restores language stripped from their contracts by the B-C Liberal government in 2002.
The Supreme Court of Canada ruled late last year that the move was unconstitutional.
The Teachers’ union estimates the agreement will create “thousands” of specialist teacher, Librarian, and special needs positions.
Just how many — and at what cost — will have to wait until september when hiring’s done, says to BCTF president Glen Hansman.
“What school districts will be required to do is do their hiring based on the class size limits, the ratios it set out, how many school counsellors, and teachers in special education, teacher librarians there should be.”
Hansman adds the decision is bittersweet.
“… none of this needed to have happened in the first place. Christy Clark’s legislation when she was Minister of Education was unconstitutional, and a whole generation of kids have gone without the front line supports that should have been there all along.”
The full cost remains unknown, but the province put aside up to $320 million for the deal in last month’s budget.
In a statement, Education Minister Mike Bernier says he’s pleased teachers have ratified the agreement, and goes on to say, “We have a system today that has far more choice and flexibility for students and parents.”
So pleased to hear 98.4% approved and ratified Gov/BCTF deal. Time to move forward and build on success in #bced
— Mike Bernier (@Mike_A_Bernier) March 11, 2017
The full text of the agreement can be read below.