B.C. Liberals took away teachers' rights
Re: Christopher Foulds’ column of Feb. 28 (‘What makes the teachers’ union think it’s different?’):
To provide context to the current dispute between teachers and the provincial government, we have to look at the events of the past 14 years.
In 1998, teachers negotiated directly with the provincial government and concluded a settlement that was accepted by the majority of the membership.
It was legislated, but over the objections of the employer, not teachers. That agreement included no wage increases for two years in exchange for working conditions like class size and specialist teacher ratios.
It was the B.C. Liberals that took away these rights in 2002 and barred teachers from negotiating these conditions in the future.
In 2011, these actions were found to be unconstitutional by Madame Justice Griffin of the B.C. Supreme Court in 2011.
We also can't forget that the B.C .Liberals imposed a net-zero contract in 2005 that resulted in a two-week strike.
If the B.C. Liberals impose an agreement on teachers, it would be the third in their three terms without addressing the imposed concessions that the courts found was egregious.
Teachers are coy to accept a net-zero contract when the one negotiated in 1998 was stripped only four years later.
BCTF executive member at large