New proposals coming in teacher talks

Education Minister Peter Fassbender expects "new concepts" from both sides in long-running labour dispute this week

Education Minister Peter Fassbender

Negotiators for the B.C. Teachers’ Federation and school districts are meeting Friday for the first time since schools were shuttered by a strike in late June, and Education Minister Peter Fassbender expects new proposals from both sides.

Fassbender said Tuesday it’s the first meeting of full bargaining teams in more than a month, and the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association has some “new concepts” to bring to the discussion.

“We’ve already demonstrated our willingness to move on some key elements,” he said. “We need to see the same from the BCTF. They’ve indicated they’re willing to do that.”

He wouldn’t comment on the new proposals, except to reiterate that the BCTF’s position on benefits and other compensation is not in the “affordability zone” established by other public sector union agreements.

If the strike shuts schools again in September, the government plans to use the savings to compensate parents $40 a day for each child under 13 in public school, to assist with daycare or tutoring costs. Fassbender said there would be no conditions attached to the payout.

“My hope is that there isn’t a nickel available as of September, because schools are operating, teachers are back in the classroom, students are there and there is no further disruption,” he said.

The B.C. School Trustees’ Association has urged the government to direct its $12 million a day in payroll savings from the strike to a fund to address class size and special needs support.

Trustees have also called on the union to moderate its benefit demands, which include parental leave, dental benefits, massage therapy and increased preparation time for elementary school teachers.

BCPSEA has offered $375 million over a six-year contract term to provide extra classroom support, and specified class size limits in the teacher contract, to address key issues in a series of court disputes.

 

Just Posted

Northwest mobile unit to help those at heart of mental health, addiction crisis

Province, Northern Health unveils new unit in Terrace to bridge gaps in services

Move natural gas pipeline, MP suggests

Coastal GasLink could then avoid opposition

Coastal GasLink violates terms of permit

Tree clearing took place outside Kitimat

Doctor recruiting drive showing results

Crisis point has now passed

Mueller finds no Trump collusion, leaves obstruction open

But while Mueller fully ruled out criminal collusion, he was more circumspect on presidential obstruction of justice

Woman wants Tofino to get a nude beach

“They may enjoy a surf and then walk around naked and just be free.”

New Coast Guard ship crashes into breakwater in Victoria

‘It is fairly unprecedented that it would happen’

Ice climbers scale Canada’s tallest waterfall on Vancouver Island

Ice climbers Chris Jensen, Will Gadd and Peter Hoang made history

Sparks fly as SUV speeds wrong way down Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Fundraising campaign launched for man caught in SilverStar avalanche

In only two days, the GoFundMe surpassed its $15,000 goal

B.C. doctor fined $5,000 for accessing records of woman pregnant with his child

Doctor admits to accessing records of the woman carrying his child

Video service to compete with Netflix, Amazon expected from Apple on Monday

The iPhone has long been Apple’s marquee product and main money maker, but sales are starting to decline

Edmonton judge to rule on whether Omar Khadr’s sentence has expired

Canada’s top court ruled punishment handed Khadr for alleged acts committed in Afghanistan when he was 15 was to be a youth sentence

Most Read