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.”

 

Just Posted

Province announces $2.5-million boost to increase tourism in B.C.’s resort towns

Changes to RMI funding are bringing more money to places like Harrison and Tofino

Rossland moves forward on single-use plastic bag ban bylaw

Bylaw given first reading at last council meeting

Premier Horgan talks jobs and opportunity at Castlegar mill

Upbeat visit brings message of hope and co-operation among Kootenay forestry players

Recycle major appliances for free in Kootenay Boundary

Free service begins May 1; Refrigerant appliances not included at Greater Trail regional landfill

Gas venting from tanker at Castlegar rail yard posed no danger: officials

Argon gas discharged from a CP tanker car on Friday, April 19.

VIDEO: Killer whales hunt for seals in Vancouver harbour

Bigg’s killer whales feed on marine mammals like seals, sea lions, dolphins and even other whales

Struggling B.C. adoption agency elects new board that intends to keep it open

The previous board announced that Choices would close May 31

Drug decriminalization report welcomed in East Kootenay

Provincial report recommends decriminalizing people who use illicit drugs, shift focus to treatment

New flight service an ‘angel’ for medical patients

Angel Flight East Kootenay will fly medical patients to Kelowna or Vancouver

Vancouver man, 19, charged in human trafficking case involving teen girl

The 16-year-old girl was reported missing and later discovered in Vancouver

Amber alert issued for 5-year-old Ontario boy

Ethan Montes is believed to be in the company of his mother, 47-year-old Juliet Mohammed

Family dog stolen from Kootenay backyard

RCMP appealing for information on pregnant Karelian bear dog missing from Elko, B.C.

Blaine, Wash. inn owner, charged with smuggling people into B.C., granted bail

Robert Joseph Boule ordered to turn away anyone indicating a plan to enter Canada illegally

Most Read