A note from your teachers
A report from the BCTF to the members
of the legislative assembly
February 17, 2012
Restoration of support for students and stripped rights
- Teacher`s highest priority is to restore class-size and composition guarantees that were stripped from collective agreements.
- Educational research shows that class size really does matter. Polling shows BC citizens believe class sizes are too large.
- There are still close to 12,000 oversized classes based on Bill 33 definitions.
- Support for students with learning disabilities or other special needs can’t be solved by adding teacher assistant time.
- Learning specialist teachers’ ratios need to be re-established.
- Learning Incentive Fund (LIF) is not a remedy to the Supreme Court ruling that contract stripping was illegal.
- The Learning Incentive Fund does not restore any of the 3,500 teachers cut by Bills 27/28 and does not restore our rights.
- $275 million cut in 2002 equals $336 million today. $30 million in LIF is 1/10 of what is needed to restore 2001 conditions.
An imposed contract is not a fair solution
- Teachers are willing to negotiate a fair and reasonable agreement.
- Teachers have the right to negotiate a collective agreement and have been trying to do so under the rules of the Essential Services provisions.
- It is time for this government to work with teachers to maintain and improve the quality of public education in this province.
- We are willing to consider all options to achieve a negotiated agreement.
- Teachers’ job action is evidence of how frustrated teachers are.
- An agreement, reached and signed at the table, is in everyone’s best interests.
- A legislated contract is more than disrespectful, it is bullying.
- Government’s role and objectives must be to construct a positive climate and a respectful relationship with teachers.
The facts about “suitability” and concessions
- These concessions attempt to undermine the collective agreement that protects teachers from unfair and abusive management practices.
- Concessions are not needed to implement change in our world class education system.
- “Suitability” is subjective and opens the door to bias, prejudice, and abuse. Seniority (with qualifications) is transparent, free from bias, and is grievable.
- Dismissal after one negative evaluation eliminates the “fair practice” opportunity to remediate your practice that is standard in all but the most abusive employment relationships.
- The fair evaluation process in collective agreements are long standing and were mutually agreed to by teachers and trustees.
Seeking fair and reasonable improvements to salary, benefits, and preparation time comparable to other provinces
- Teachers are looking to keep pace with inflation.
- BCPSEA came to the table empty handed with no real mandate to negotiate. A “net zero” is actually a pay cut.
- Local contract benefits have not been adjusted since the early 1990s.
- We are not in a recession. This is a wealthy and prosperous province. We can afford to invest more in schools for students and teachers. Choices are being made (stadium roof, corporate tax cuts, smart meters, carbon taxes on schools, etc.).
- The recent reduced salary package tabled by the Federation, to help reach a settlement, was cost of living adjustment for three years, like MLAs receive, and a bit of catch up in the second and third years (3% per year). We are 9th in Canada. (See tables)
- Other public and private sector employees received raises including school superintendents, nurses, firefighters, police, Telus, Finning, Global TV, and MLAs to name a few.
- Teachers have taken zeros in the past to get better conditions for students and then the class-size and composition guarantees were stripped in 2002.
We are asking for a bit more for teachers, and lot more for kids.