Students walk out of class in Nelson as the latest teacher dispute disrupted B.C. schools in June.

Government won’t stop September school strike

Imposed settlements don't work, so don't expect one if strike drags into September, B.C. finance minister warns

VICTORIA – The B.C. Teachers’ Federation had better not expect an imposed settlement to keep the beginning of the school year from being disrupted, Finance Minister Mike de Jong said Tuesday.

Every other union in the public service has been able to find agreements within the government’s balanced budget mandate, but the teachers’ union might be expecting a legislated settlement as has taken place in the past, de Jong said as he presented the public accounts that show B.C.’s budget balanced as of this spring.

“You cannot send negotiators into a bargaining session with other public sector workers, hammer out agreements that include very modest settlements, and then because another group decides to make a little more noise, provide more, because you are taking from one group in order to satisfy the demands of another within the context of a balanced budget,” de Jong said.

The BCTF strike for the last two weeks of June saved the provincial treasury about $12 million a day, while year-end studies and exams were disrupted. The two sides haven’t communicated since early July, when B.C. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Kelleher said they are too far apart for mediation to be effective.

Education Minister Peter Fassbender said the BCTF has to reduce its demands, in particular improved benefits he said represent an additional $225 million a year. Those include increases to preparation time, pregnancy and parental leave, extended health and dental care and substitute teacher compensation.

De Jong said the lesson of imposing settlements is that they haven’t worked.

“Every other sector of the public service is able to negotiate an agreement,” he said. “What is it about this one area, and is it the expectation that the government will step up and simply legislate an agreement? I hope that’s not the expectation, because that’s not the plan.”

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Highway 1 to close near Revelstoke for avalanche control

Road is expected to remain closed between 2:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.

Grizzlies beat Rockets in close game

Andy Siegel Special to the Review It was a packed house high… Continue reading

RCMP to review fatal Field train derailment investigation after evidence points to ‘cover up’

The derailment, which occurred on Feb. 4, 2019, killed three men from Calgary

JustIN: Okanagan artist teases new tune with mom

Justin J. Moore Music is releasing a new duet starring opera singer mom for a good cause

60% of Canadian workers would take a pay cut for better mental health support: survey

Survey found 77% of workers would leave for better wellness initiatives

Southern resident orca L41 considered missing and feared dead

The orca was last spotted in August 2019 when photographed in western Strait of Juan de Fuca

‘I am so sorry’: Stolen Baby Bear statue reunited with Mama, Papa Bear in B.C. town

Culprit left it near the Henry Road roundabout in Chemainus with a note attached

Compost comeback in North Okanagan

City of Vernon councillors approve $27K Compost Bin Pilot Program Phase two

‘Critically low’ caribou population prompts wolf cull in the Chilcotin

Itcha-Ilgachuz herd numbers down to 385, from 2,800 in 2003

Former Shuswap resident killed in Alberta accident was expectant father

Geordie Murray described as ‘wonderful husband, brother son and friend’

Off-duty B.C. Mountie takes down would-be ice cream thief

Suspect attempted to steal Dilly Bars from Dairy Queen location on Sunday

Most Read