Shane Woodford | Email news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org
The BC Teachers Federation and the BC Public School Employers Association have reached a tentative agreement to address an often messy, and protracted bargaining process.
CKNW has obtained details of the deal which would see both sides split the cost of a facilitator, who would help the two groups find common ground on each bargaining issue.
If the agreement is ratified it would also see talks between the BCTF and BCPSEA begin early, starting next month, with the goal of trying to reach a new collective agreement before the existing one ends.
To help with bargaining talks the deal would see a comprehensive database put together to cover all collective bargaining matters.
The deal would also see the teachers union and the employer adopt a goal to exchange proposals by the end of March.
Outstanding local matters, in the short term, would also be referred to a provincial table.
If a new collective agreement is not reached by the time the current contract expires a complete issue-by-issue summary of where each side is in the talks will be compiled.
Neither side would comment on the agreement citing the sensitive nature of talks.
The deal has yet to be ratified and both the BCTF and BCPSEA will take the agreement to its respective members for a vote this coming weekend.
The agreement in full is below:
December 13, 2012
Briefing Note: Teacher-Public School Employer Bargaining 2013 Background
Arising out of a conversation at the November BCPSEA Symposium, later that month and continuing into early December representatives of the BCTF and BCPSEA met to discuss bargaining 2013 focussed on whether or not a better model could be adopted.
On December 6, 2012 the parties concluded an agreement (“agreement in committee”) with the commitment to either formally adopt or abandon it. The parties established a deadline of January 9, 2013 to allow for their respective approval processes to be completed.
The agreement in committee contains the following elements:
· An agreement to research, develop and write a comprehensive data resource to assist with informed discussions
· General process timelines: Early commencement of bargaining with a focus on concluding an agreement before expiry
· A facilitator appointed at the outset to assist with all matters of collective bargaining · Report at expiry: If no agreement has been reached by the expiry of the collective agreement, the
facilitator will issue a report to the parties outlining the outstanding issues and the position of the parties on these issues, matters resolved at the table and suggested processes for continued negotiations
· Codification of a revised split of issues · Alignment with the previously agreed upon local matters bargaining processes (Letter of Understanding No. 1).
This model contains many of the elements of the Don Wright report (2004) and Vince Ready’s recommendations (2007) and most importantly is negotiated between the bargaining agents. While this is clearly an advantage one must reflect on structure, process and attitude:
· From Ready (2007): “I have, therefore, concluded that, in the circumstances, it is not the format or process of collective bargaining which will help achieve a collective agreement.”
· From Wright (2004): “Even if fully implemented, these recommendations will not significantly improve the state of bargaining unless there is an attitudinal and behavioral change of both sides.
16 | P a g e· This will require dialogue — a genuine attempt to arrive at mutual understandings — between teachers and the employer group (i.e., government, trustees, and school administrators). The sooner we start on that, the better.”
· From Professor John Anderson (1999): “Unfortunately, although policy makers have legislated changes in collective bargaining structure, and labour relations practitioners are painfully aware of the implications of different bargaining structures, very little is actually known about the forces that influence the choice of alternative structures or about the consequences for the relative bargaining power of the parties, the level of industrial conflict, or the functioning of the bargaining process.”
· Steering Committee Briefing (December 10, 2012) · Briefing note distribution · General note to the field and conference call schedule ·
BCPSEA Board of Directors Meeting ( December 13, 2012) · Conference calls re status (December 14, 2012) ·
Board of Directors Meeting in advance of the January 9, 2013 deadline
· Framework Agreement in Committee: 2013 Round of Bargaining · LOU No. 1
· Making Reasoned Choices...Teacher–Public School Employer Bargaining Structure Options and Alternatives Discussion Resource; BCPSEA December 2012 Anderson, John C. Union-Management Relations In Canada, Chapter 9, page 209, Addison-Wesley Publishers, 1989.
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BCTF/BCPSEA December 7, 2012 6:10 p.m.
FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT IN-COMMITTEE 2013 ROUND OF BARGAINING
Without prejudice to either party’s positions, and without precedence for any other round of bargaining, the parties agree to address the following issues expeditiously in order to promote a constructive framework for the 2013 round of bargaining:
Collective Bargaining Preparation: Data
The parties agree to develop a common data study and report as a resource to assist collective bargaining. The report will include data related to collective bargaining matters, including compensation, working conditions, demographics, and other relevant labour market issues as agreed to by the parties by January 31, 2013.
As required, the parties will engage a mutually agreeable third party to assist with the preparation of the report and related technical issues. The cost of the third party will be shared equally by the parties.
Re-designation of LOU No.1 Appendix 1 and Appendix 2 Matters
The parties agree to amend LOU No. 1 (as per Addendum E attached). Ratification by both parties will be completed by January 31, 2013.
The LOU will come into effect on February 1, 2013, on ratification.
Notwithstanding 4.b of LOU No. 1 Re: Designation of Provincial and Local Matters, for this round only, the parties agree that outstanding local matters may be referred to the provincial table up to June 1, 2013.
Collective Bargaining Process 2013:
The parties agree as follows:
1. To commence bargaining on February 4, 2013, and to exchange proposals as soon as possible within the month, but no later than March 1, 2013.
2. To appoint a mutually agreed-to facilitator to assist with all matters of collective bargaining at the commencement of bargaining. The cost of the facilitator will be shared equally by the parties.
3. If no agreement has been reached by the expiry of the collective agreement, the facilitator will issue a report to the parties outlining the outstanding issues and the position of the parties on these issues, matters resolved at the table and suggested processes for continued negotiations.
4. The facilitator may be retained beyond June 30, 2013 by mutual agreement.
If either party fails to ratify Addendum E, attached, this agreement is void. This Framework Agreement In-Committee will be signed no later than January 9, 2013.
Dated this ___ day of ________________
For the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation
For the British Columbia Public School Employers’ Association