B.C. teachers' union and provincial government fail to reach eleventh hour labour deal

Dec 19 2017, 10:57 am

The B.C. Teachers’ Federation and the provincial government have failed to reach a deal in their negotiations.

A full-scale, province-wide teachers’ strike beginning tomorrow appears to be imminent.

In a statement issued this morning, B.C. Education Minister Peter Fassbender said bargaining went on all weekend until breaking late Sunday night, with plans to continue Monday.

Fassbender added: “Specifics around proposals will be shared when appropriate, but I can say that BCPSEA tabled a significant, affordable and creative set of proposals to help end the stalemate, get kids back in school and create long-term stability for parents, students and teachers. BCPSEA worked hard to put its best foot forward.

“They tabled a comprehensive settlement that includes an improved wage offer and commits to realistic and flexible solutions to address class composition.

Fassbender says what the BCPSEA has put together is fair for teachers, taxpayers, and “the 150,000 public-sector workers who’ve already reached agreements.”

Right now the goal is to have an agreement in place by June 30.

In a press conference that began at 10 a.m. today, BCTF President Jim Iker offered remarks about the current state of the negotiations.

Iker counters Fassbender’s claim that bargaining was actively taking place over the weekend:

In terms of the details of the offers and counter-offers, CTV reports Iker “said the union reduced its salary proposal to eight per cent for a five-year deal, while the B.C. government reduced its wage offer from 7.25 per cent to 7 per cent.”

And a bit more about the money:

Currently it appears there will be no talks today, and the matter of summer school not yet addressed.

The BCTF on what’s next:

More to come…

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