Open letter from Vancouver school board chair to Christy Clark and Peter Fassbender
Vancouver school board chair Patti Bacchus has issued the following open letter:
February 12, 2014
The Honourable Christy Clark
Premier of British Columbia
Box 9041, Stn Prov Govt
The Honourable Peter Fassbender
Minister of Education
PO Box 9045, Stn Prov Govt
Dear Premier Clark and Minister Fassbender:
Last night the Vancouver School Board voted to send you an open letter requesting the following:
- Government direct BCPSEA and its appointed negotiator to immediately begin genuine, good-faith bargaining with the BCTF.
- Government assure all school boards that government will take full financial responsibility for any costs arising from grievances, arbitrations and legal actions against boards that are now not in compliance with their collective agreements with teachers due to the recent ruling of the BC Supreme Court.
- Government provide adequate funding to districts to enable them to be in compliance with the collective agreements that are now back in effect.
- Government restore education funding to a level that enables school districts to restore all service levels to the equivalent of those provided in 2002 (see the VBE’s Restoration Budget that was submitted to government in 2013, attached), adjusted for enrolment and inflation.
- Government make sincere efforts to bargain a resolution for any retroactive claims for board non-compliance with collective agreements due to Bill 28, 27 or 22.
As you know, the decision of the BC Supreme Court against government has put most, if not all, BC school districts in some level of violation of their collective agreements with teaching staff. This is causing an extreme level of uncertainty in our district as we work through the process of getting into compliance with our agreements as quickly as possible.
We appreciate your prompt attention to these requests so we can return to focusing on supporting teaching and learning in our district and ensuring we are doing the very best to meet the needs of all students.
Att: VSB Restoration Budget
c: Vancouver MLAs
All BC School Boards, c/o BCSTA
Steve Cardwell, Superintendent of Schools
Rick Krowchuk, Secretary Treasurer