This morning, after several days of intensive negotiations, representatives of the BC Teachers’ Federation signed an agreement-in-committee with the BC Public School Employers’ Association. The BCTF Executive Committee is recommending ratification. Teachers will vote on the agreement-in-committee on Thursday, September 18, 2014.
“The tentative agreement will provide new support for students, ensure there are more specialist and classroom teachers in schools working with children, and protect teachers’ constitutional rights as the court case continues,” said BCTF President Jim Iker.
“Thanks to the courageous stand teachers took on the picket lines and the strong support of parents and other unions, BC teachers were able to get new money invested in schools and reach a mutually agreed-to process to deal with any future court decision on class size, class composition, and staffing levels.”
Iker outlined that the BCTF Executive Committee is recommending a “yes” vote on Thursday based on several key achievements for teachers and students in the tentative agreement:
- Several hundred new teaching positions each year as a result of an annual education fund that will be used exclusively for bargaining unit members.
- A mutually agreed-to process to address any future Court decision as well as the removal of the contentious Article E.80.
- A significant grievance remedy fund that will be used as a one-time payment to members and will provide improvements in elementary preparation time.
- Improvements in salary and extended health benefits.
- Fair pay for teachers teaching on call for every day they work.
- There are no concessions.
In announcing the Executive Committee’s recommendation, Iker thanked BC teachers for their commitment, persistence, and courage over the last few months. He also thanked the BC Federation of Labour, the Canadian Labour Congress, other unions from BC and across Canada, the Canadian Teachers’ Federation, as well as teacher unions— especially those in Ontario, parents, community groups, and concerned citizens for supporting and standing in solidarity with teachers.
“BC’s teachers are proud of the stand we took for fairness and improved learning conditions and we were heartened every step of the way by the steady waves of public support,” said Iker.