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Old 06-25-2013, 03:32 PM   #1
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BC Education Minister Suspended Talks between BCTF and the Prov Gov again

BC presses ahead with long-term teacher contract | News1130

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BC presses ahead with long-term teacher contract
Education Minister Peter Fassbender to overhaul the bargaining process
The Canadian Press and News1130 Staff June 25, 2013 12:40 pm

VICTORIA (NEWS1130) – Education Minister Peter Fassbender has suspended talks between BC’s public school teachers and the negotiating arm of government as he overhauls the bargaining process.

Fassbender has scrapped the mandate of the BC Public School Employers Association, which represented government in talks with teachers, and replaced it with a single negotiator.

Peter Cameron will now lead a provincial team working toward a 10 year deal with teachers and the BC School Trustees Association.

The change means five months of contract talks between the BCPSEA and BCTF have been halted, although Fassbender says work done to date will “inform” his ministry’s future positions.

He also says, the pause in talks is only temporary and is a necessary step toward the teachers’ federation desire to bargain directly with government on provincial issues.

However, he says before negotiations can resume, all sides must create a road map toward a 10 year deal, something the BCTF is already on record as opposing.

BC Teachers Federation calls today’s move a surprise

Susan Lambert says the two sides were making progress in bargaining.

“Talks at the table were actually productive, we were signing off on clause language and having respectful negotiations. The process of bargaining is not broken, what is broken is government’s refusal to adequately fund the system.”

While the union has come out against a proposed 10 year deal, Lambert now says she’s not opposed to the idea as long as the terms are right. ”We, as much as anyone else, want stability and peace in the classroom, but we also want conditions under which we can effectively teach. We cannot abide a locked in decade of deteriorating conditions.”

As for what parents should think as they head into the summer break – Lambert is urging them to get involved in the discussion by contacting their local politician.
I entirely agree with one of the comments -- Crusty Clown is looking to bully the BC teachers again. She will force an unfair contract down their throats, with zero increases for the first few years, and menial increases afterwards, when the Liberals-led economic boom is supposed to take place. Then when the promised economic boom doesn't happen, she'll blame external economic factors for the down turn, cancel the teacher's contract unilaterally, replace it with more zero increases because the province obviously can't afford those funding increases by then.

(And should the economy take off by some stroke of miracle, Crusty will claim the 10 year contract is already in, and that the BCTF needs to respect a contractual agreement that has been forced down their throats in the first place.)

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Old 06-25-2013, 03:38 PM   #2
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Fassbender... Thank gods he's out of Langley and now in a job that's held on average of... what, 9 months? Maybe this means his political career will soon be dead.

The BCTF has already gone on record stating that they have no intentions of negotiating throughout the summer, so I don't really see what the big deal about temporarily suspending talks is.
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Old 06-25-2013, 03:58 PM   #3
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The BCTF has already gone on record stating that they have no intentions of negotiating throughout the summer, so I don't really see what the big deal about temporarily suspending talks is.
The annoying thing is how the education minister is replacing the government representative with a single negotiator while things were going reasonably well between the BC Public School Employers Association and BCTF. Why would anyone ever want to do that?

The repeated emphasis to push for a 10 year contract is also dumb. With the way the economy is now (at regional, national, and global levels), there is simply too much volatility for any sane party to lock themselves into a 10 year contract.
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Old 06-25-2013, 04:01 PM   #4
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This "10 year contract" thing is bull shit. That alone is enough for me to smh.

Loving the way this puts "Families First" Crusty....
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Old 06-25-2013, 06:02 PM   #5
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politicians politicking

waste of everyone's money - just offer a 'fair' deal, with cost of living increases year on year to go along with milestone bumps.

be fair, decrease the need for a strong union, everyone wins
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Old 06-25-2013, 08:50 PM   #6
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LOL, Assbender...... bend over and take it up the Fass.

Sadly, nothing is going to happen until it gets ugly. Governments, especially this one, will stir shit until people get uber upset, then when they know they've hit saturation point, they'll back off a bit and wait for the right opportunity to look like heroes.

Also, on a side note, July 10th is Crusty's byelection. I'm hoping people will send a message by not voting for her. She will most likely win, but if numbers are low, it sends a bit of a message.
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Old 06-26-2013, 07:59 AM   #7
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If they don't like the contract, they'll just strike again.

Who cares.
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Old 06-26-2013, 09:07 AM   #8
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If they don't like the contract, they'll just strike again.

Who cares.
From what I remember, in the past few years' worth of negotiations, negotiators on the BCTF side has been very reasonable. It was always the Liberals government that played the part of the bully.
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:24 AM   #9
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^^ Yup fair..

3 year contract called for:

15% wage increase over 3 years (5%/year)
Increased paid prep time
Improved benefits
Additional leave
An additional 6 discretionary leave days per year to care for a sick friend or relative.

They are working with govt sure, but I'd like to point out that their salary is based on 10 months of work, not 12 months like the rest of us.
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:41 AM   #10
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In all honesty, the teachers did play the length of contract game the last time. They agreed to, and signed a 1 year agreement. Why? Because they hoped that after one year, they would have a new pretty face across the table from them.

So the Liberals want to play a game. The game is, "I want the teachers to fuck off".

Now why they are pushing for 10 years, when 5 will do I have no idea. It fucks them off until after the next election, unless we're being positive enough to feel that the next election should be in the bag as well. It probably is...if they couldn't win this one, the next one isn't going to be any easier. But I digress.

I always like the government negotiation tactic. I like to call it, "something shiny"

Years ago(like 20) back east where I lived we had a cable ferry that crossed the river. For 50 cents, you took a 7 minute ride and skipped an hour of driving around to the nearest bridge. Then word came out that there was discussion of removing the ferry.

OMG!

Suddenly, our local MLA and MP are on the case, and all the usual neighborhood loudmouths go into action. There is a heated meeting in the firehall, and songs are written by our local guy with a guitar that writes stupid folk songs. Seriously. I lived at a place where that happens.

Ultimately, through a result of a collaborative governing effort, the ferry is saved. Now it only costs $2.50 per trip and runs half as often so you need to wait an hour.

And everyone is happy.

How happy would people have been if they didn't first discuss removing it all together?

It's the same thing with the teachers. If you make the fight about a 10 year contract, or some other issue...people will more than happily accept the real concessions without even fighting. They will happily accept them because it could be so much worse.
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:49 AM   #11
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^^ Yup fair..

3 year contract called for:

15% wage increase over 3 years (5%/year)
Increased paid prep time
Improved benefits
Additional leave
An additional 6 discretionary leave days per year to care for a sick friend or relative.

They are working with govt sure, but I'd like to point out that their salary is based on 10 months of work, not 12 months like the rest of us.
So, if you want to work 10 months of the year instead of 12, what's stopping you from doing that? In fact, becoming a teacher is not that hard: 4-year university degree in anything and another year or two in a B.Ed program. Not hard and not expensive. Some of my colleagues from high school became teachers and they were hardly superstars growing up. It's not hard.

I'm getting tired of the argument that if someone else is getting something more than what I'm getting, then they should be knocked down to my level so that we all suffer.

With that said, you couldn't pay me 6-figures to be a teacher nowadays.
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:58 AM   #12
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^^ It's not the point of knocking them down, they say their propositions are fair. Yet there is no reality behind their demands.


And personally, I'm gaining experience to go freelance in my field of work.
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Old 06-26-2013, 11:02 AM   #13
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^^ Yup fair..

3 year contract called for:

15% wage increase over 3 years (5%/year)
Increased paid prep time
Improved benefits
Additional leave
An additional 6 discretionary leave days per year to care for a sick friend or relative.

They are working with govt sure, but I'd like to point out that their salary is based on 10 months of work, not 12 months like the rest of us.
Thank you for conveniently presenting a one-sided look at the demands, and leaving out other background details and context.

I will not mention how BC teacher salaries rank among the bottom 1/3 across the country, with Alberta easily paying their teachers $10k - $20k more, and Ontario, which is mid pack, paying $3k - $15k more.

I will not mention how Crusty Clown (then education minister) stripped the BC teacher's collective agreement of guarantees for smaller class sizes and services to students with special needs. Nor will I mention how BC teachers were legislated by the Liberals to be an essential service, which is the only one of its kind in the world (S.Africa is apparently looking to legislate the same thing, but I would not consider S.Africa to be a first world country.)

And most important of all, thank you for not even mentioning how the Liberals government has entirely ignored its own class size laws, and making impossible demands on teachers to deal with special needs students (of which they are not trained for) because the Liberals have severely slashed funding for that type of special needs support.

The only thing unreasonable about the BCTF's contract demands were their 2 weeks paid time off to care for someone sick / dead, or something along those lines. But that one got shot down by the general public fairly quickly.

And I don't see people in the private industry complaining about them getting their annual bonuses, which effectively bumped their salaries from 12 months' worth of pay to anything between 12.5 to 14 months. Yup, thank you for not mentioning anything about that, but decide to focus on how teachers are "only" working 10 months.
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Old 06-26-2013, 11:07 AM   #14
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Melloman: Are you privy to the analyses produced by both sides on what is the value of their work?

Freelance isn't easy, but I commend you for getting your feet wet. I'd love to become a consultant myself one day, but I gotta pay the dues first. At the end of the day, in my experience, you're paid what you're worth regardless of whom you work for.
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Old 06-26-2013, 11:13 AM   #15
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Thank you for conveniently presenting a one-sided look at the demands, and leaving out other background details and context.

I will not mention how BC teacher salaries rank among the bottom 1/3 across the country, with Alberta easily paying their teachers $10k - $20k more, and Ontario, which is mid pack, paying $3k - $15k more.


And I don't see people in the private industry complaining about them getting their annual bonuses, which effectively bumped their salaries from 12 months' worth of pay to anything between 12.5 to 14 months. Yup, thank you for not mentioning anything about that, but decide to focus on how teachers are "only" working 10 months.
actually in my field of work in the private sector pay in the lower mainland is quite below par compared to other regions. i attribute it to the fact that people are willing to take it to live here so employers take advantage of it. not every industry in private sector gives bonuses...and if they do, wouldn't bonuses are performance based?
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Old 06-26-2013, 11:27 AM   #16
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actually in my field of work in the private sector pay in the lower mainland is quite below par compared to other regions. i attribute it to the fact that people are willing to take it to live here so employers take advantage of it. not every industry in private sector gives bonuses...and if they do, wouldn't bonuses are performance based?
I agree that we certainly need to take those things into consideration, and that is why the highest paying teachers are found in their northern territories. For the most part, I simply want to bring up the other side of the argument. BC (not just Vancouver) is a nice place to live in. But is it nice enough to warrant being ranked in the bottom 3rd across the country? For the record, I don't have an answer to that. But when you look at it that way, the 15% wage increase demand suddenly doesn't look so out of place anymore.

The demonizing of teachers from the media and the government doesn't look so convincing anymore once you start looking into the details. That was the whole message that I want to get across.
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Old 06-26-2013, 12:20 PM   #17
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A lot of places pay more for their teachers - such as Alberta, NWT, Nunavut, etc - because there's a huge demand for it. They need to pay more to attract people.

If you look at some of the differences between Vancouver, and Toronto - they're only off by a few percent. As well - a lot of the salary grids that are released by the BCTF only show a very small portion of the salaries. They will choose the ones that make them look the lowest. BC actually has a higher minimum salary (compared to ON) for teachers that have just graduated - but you won't see that published by the BCTF. Yes - the rankings will change as you get more qualifications, or seniority - but it's not so cut and dry.

While I agree that some of the classroom conditions aren't up to par, I don't think that Teachers are underpaid. I have many friends who are teachers that agree with that.

Remember that many teachers are paid their base amount for 10 months of work. If they choose to work summer schools - they'll make even more money.
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Old 06-26-2013, 12:44 PM   #18
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I am not a high school teacher myself, and I don't necessarily think giving BC teachers a pay raise is that high up on the priority list. I just don't find their contract negotiation demands to be unreasonable for the most part, and I certainly don't agree with the media and the provincial government demonizing and bullying them.

The most critical portion that I have probably mentioned at least a few times in various RS threads is -- the provincial government really needs to channel more funding to education, with respecting class size laws and providing the necessary special needs support being their top priority. If that means hiring more teachers and support workers, the provincial government needs to man up and cough up that money.
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Old 07-31-2013, 07:10 PM   #19
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So, this just happened:

(CKNW AM) AM980 | The Province replaces BCPSEA Board with an administrator

I tend to run more socialist than not, so its not shocker that I expect the Liberal Gov't to play hard ball.....but this...this is outrageous!
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Old 07-31-2013, 07:25 PM   #20
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Both parties (the employer and employees) are supposed to enter negotiations in good faith.

How can forcefully replacing the BCPSEA Board in the midst of the talks be considered as acting in good faith?
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Old 07-31-2013, 07:30 PM   #21
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yeah, im not going to lie....i find this pretty shocking. i'd like to hear how the gov't is justifying this.
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Old 07-31-2013, 08:33 PM   #22
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I don't know how much wage increases will do, but I know one thing that will help BC's education system immensely: Dismantling BCTF.

I remember one year when education funding was cut. I asked for help on my physics homework after school. My teacher said "sorry, BCTF forbids me to help you after school, I'll get in trouble if I get reported" This also happened for my chem teacher too.

I know these teachers well enough to know that they wouldn't mind helping me, so I know that it wasn't an excuse because they didn't like me. The idea that teachers being chained down just because of some hotshot union leaders think they can use me as their bargaining chip is just deplorable.

After school sports and activities were forbidden unless they were approved by the union, most of the time it required that the teachers be compensated with overtime from the school boards pocket. One of my teachers wanted to start an after school rugby team and was willing to put his own spare time into it (since school board budget was limited), but the BCTF didn't like it and it was shutdown before it even began.

Apparently these so-called 'funding cuts' also cut the teacher's freedom to devote their spare time to helping students or after school events.

Not only are they pretty ruthless to others outside their union, they are a complete disaster on the inside as well. It's a constant war between the new teachers and those who have seniority. The new teachers are struggling to scrape by while the retired and pensioned teachers gets priority substituting for classes. There are little to no room for new teachers get stable substitute hours let alone permanent spots. So much for letting young and new minds educate the students.

As someone who has grown up and experienced the effects of the BCTF first hand, I'll have to say screw BCTF. I have respect for teachers, but absolutely no respect for the union, it's complete garbage and a parasite on BC's education system.

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Old 07-31-2013, 08:50 PM   #23
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I don't know how much wage increases will do, but I know one thing that will help BC's education system immensely: Dismantling BCTF.

I remember one year when education funding was cut. I asked for help on my physics homework after school. My teacher said "sorry, BCTF forbids me to help you after school, I'll get in trouble if I get reported" This also happened for my chem teacher too.

I know these teachers well enough to know that they wouldn't mind helping me, so I know that it wasn't an excuse because they didn't like me. The idea that teachers being chained down just because of some hotshot union leaders think they can use me as their bargaining chip is just deplorable.

After school sports and activities were forbidden unless they were approved by the union, most of the time it required that the teachers be compensated with overtime from the school boards pocket. One of my teachers wanted to start an after school rugby team and was willing to put his own spare time into it (since school board budget was limited), but the BCTF didn't like it and was shutdown before it even began.

Apparently the so-called 'funding cuts' also cut the teacher's freedom to devote their spare time to helping students or after school events.

Not only are they pretty ruthless to others outside their union, they are a complete disaster on the inside as well. It's a constant war between the new teachers and those who has seniority. The new teachers are struggling to scrape by while the retired and pensioned teachers gets priority over substituting for classes. There are little to no room for new teachers get stable substitute hours let alone permanent spots. So much for letting young and new minds educating the students.

As someone who has grown up and experienced the effects of the BCTF first hand, I'll have to say screw BCTF. I have respect for teachers, but absolutely no respect for the union, it's complete garbage and a parasite on BC's education system.
inb4 someone mentions that union-breaking is completely wrong. Why would the union stop teachers from attempting to help the students they actually care about? There was always after-school help offered by teachers at my high school, but I didn't know that it was a union-reportable offense. Union rules over passion for education is baffling, and like many other organizations locally and abroad, the BCTF is killing their own cause.
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Old 07-31-2013, 08:59 PM   #24
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Normally agree on the union front, but the teachers are getting rammed in negotiations with the government. They get offered the option of: sign what we give you, or we go around and make a bunch of laws and sign that shit for you. See you in a decade, suckas.

The BCTF is fighting a losing battle is what they are doing. I really don;t think they are getting paid big money for what they do.
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Old 07-31-2013, 09:11 PM   #25
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I don't know how much wage increases will do, but I know one thing that will help BC's education system immensely: Dismantling BCTF.

I remember one year when education funding was cut. I asked for help on my physics homework after school. My teacher said "sorry, BCTF forbids me to help you after school, I'll get in trouble if I get reported" This also happened for my chem teacher too.

I know these teachers well enough to know that they wouldn't mind helping me, so I know that it wasn't an excuse because they didn't like me. The idea that teachers being chained down just because of some hotshot union leaders think they can use me as their bargaining chip is just deplorable.

After school sports and activities were forbidden unless they were approved by the union, most of the time it required that the teachers be compensated with overtime from the school boards pocket. One of my teachers wanted to start an after school rugby team and was willing to put his own spare time into it (since school board budget was limited), but the BCTF didn't like it and it was shutdown before it even began.

Apparently these so-called 'funding cuts' also cut the teacher's freedom to devote their spare time to helping students or after school events.

Not only are they pretty ruthless to others outside their union, they are a complete disaster on the inside as well. It's a constant war between the new teachers and those who have seniority. The new teachers are struggling to scrape by while the retired and pensioned teachers gets priority substituting for classes. There are little to no room for new teachers get stable substitute hours let alone permanent spots. So much for letting young and new minds educate the students.

As someone who has grown up and experienced the effects of the BCTF first hand, I'll have to say screw BCTF. I have respect for teachers, but absolutely no respect for the union, it's complete garbage and a parasite on BC's education system.
I've got five friends who are currently teachers, three of which just graduated and have already been assigned classes to teach for next year. I know a lot of new teachers struggle to find even a semi-stable substitute position but it seems like there are more than a few teachers retiring, allowing fresh blood to come in.

That said, all of the new teachers (my five friends, along with a few of their other teacher buddies) all hate the BCTF and how much they can get hamstrung by going over their head. It seems like the ones who are in favour of the BCTF are the old timers.
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