Negotiations 2004 - 2005
Teachers were overwhelmingly united behind the three key bargaining objectives: improved learning conditions, restored bargaining rights, and a fair salary increase, with learning conditions being the top priority.
The Declaration of Teaching and Learning Conditions was tabled as part of the BCTF's bargaining objectives and used in member and public relations activities in conjunction with the Charter for Public Education, and our policy on Professional Rights and Standards of Practice to promote public and parental support and advocacy for public education.
On September 19, 2005, labour minister, Mike de Jong, appointed a fact-finder, Labour Associate Deputy Minister Rick Connolly, to assess the negotiations between the BCTF and BCPSEA. His report , released on September 30th, indicated that both sides were at an impasse and unable to reach a negotiated settlement. The report offered no solutions.
On October 3, 2005, the BC Liberals introduced Bill 12, the Teachers’ Collective Agreement Act, which imposed a contract on BC’s teachers and ordered an end to job action. It mandated zero-zero-zero, and extended the existing contract to June 2006.
On October 5th, teachers throughout the province voted 90.5% to take a stand in protest against Bill 12, and were on strike from October 7th to 21st. The BCTF was found to be in contempt of court for defying the Labour Relations Board order to return to work, and the Federation’s strike fund was frozen. Teachers did not receive strike pay.
During the second week of the strike, the government asked mediator Vince Ready to facilitate an end to the teachers’ strike and he developed recommendations which were presented to the BCTF and government. The BCTF reluctantly recommended the Ready report to its members. Teachers voted 77% to accept the recommendations and they returned to work on October 24, 2005.
Read more about the two week strike and the overwhelming public support for teachers …