BCTF appeals to Premier Clark to meet, help find compromise solution
The BCTF has written to BC Premier Christy Clark requesting that she meet directly with us to find the compromise that will resolve the stalemate in collective bargaining.
It is clear that the process imposed on us by Bill 22 will not result in a respectful collective agreement duly negotiated in good faith and signed at the table.
Therefore we’ve taken the unusual step of appealing directly to the Premier to help take a new approach and work together with teachers to find a compromise that works for schools, families, and teachers.
We reached out to Education Minister George Abbott prior to the passage of Bill 22, but unfortunately that outreach was ignored. We need government to show the political will to end this school year on a more positive and respectful note. Teachers have already shown that we are prepared to be reasonable, that each and every one of our bargaining proposals is negotiable. We are willing to compromise, but government needs to meet us half way.
Teachers are looking for a fair and reasonable negotiated contract, and we have positive ideas for long-term solutions to the broken bargaining structures.
Now we are appealing directly to the Premier to work together to find a solution and begin next year with optimism and respect for public education.
The full text of the letter to Premier Clark is below:
The Honourable Christy Clark
Premier of British Columbia
PO Box 9041 STN PROV GOVT
Victoria, BC V8W 9E1
Dear Premier Clark:
The Representative Assembly of the BCTF has authorized me to call on you to meet in direct discussions in an effort to reach a resolution to this protracted round of bargaining.
In the past, legislation to impose terms and conditions on teachers’ employment has damaged working conditions and collegial relationships in schools across the province. If this process were to be repeated, it would do nothing more than to increase tensions and further exacerbate the efforts of teachers and administrators to continue to deliver the world class educational experiences that students need and parents have come to expect.
Clearly it is in the best interests of all parties to avoid the potential damage to public education in our province that a long and festering dispute would do.
The issues of class size and composition, salaries, benefits, hours of work, specialist teacher ratios, and caseloads are of the utmost importance to our members. Our members also believe we must find, in a new bargaining structure, a solution to the dysfunction of the current bargaining relationship.
We are asking you to meet with us directly to take the first steps together in restoring fairness and effectiveness to teacher bargaining in British Columbia.