New proposals coming in teacher talks - Kamloops This Week
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New proposals coming in teacher talks

New proposals coming in teacher talks

Negotiators for the B.C. Teachers’ Federation and school districts are meeting on Friday, Aug. 8, 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 it’s the first meeting of full bargaining teams in more than a month, noting 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.”

Fassbender wouldn’t comment on the new proposals, except to reiterate 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 — classes are set to begin on Sept. 2 — 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.

The 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.

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One comment

  1. I find this whole strike ridiculous and am tending to side more and more with the government everyday the strike continues. Can a teacher or someone in the know please explain this to me. The BCTF loves to say how this is all for the kids and how horrible their working conditions are. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there is room for improvements, but I’ve worked it out to under 38% of their demands will be going back into the classroom. The rest will be going into teachers pockets. I didn’t include the wage increase in my calcs because I feel they are warranted. So 37.5% of the demands are going to class size and composition. This is a joke in my mind.

    I’m so tired of hearing from teachers that if you don’t side with the BCTF you are an idiot and not educated in the matter. The BCTF needs to get educated and come back down to reality if they believe the province should go into a deficit in order to meet their ridiculous demands.

    I’m sure the BCTF would have more support (at least mine) if they were in fact doing this for the kids.

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