B.C. Teachers' Federation reaches tentative agreement with public school employers
The B.C. teachers' labour dispute may soon end.
That's because the B.C. Teachers' Federation and the B.C. Public School Employers' Association have announced a tentative collective agreement this evening.
Both parties must submit the settlement to their members for ratification.
According to a BCTF news release, there are "no improvements to class size and composition" in the agreement.
In April 2011, a B.C. Supreme Court ruling determined that the B.C. Liberal government under Gordon Campbell violated teachers' constitutional right to collective bargaining by ripping up an existing agreement and taking away their ability to include these issues in contract talks.
“After a long and difficult round of negotiations, we were compelled into this process under threat of huge fines and further punitive legislation,” BCTF president Susan Lambert said in the release. “We have been able to achieve some modest improvements but, above all, we succeeded in getting government [to] take its concession demands off the table."
She added that the settlement was reached "in order to prevent government from imposing a contract that would further erode teachers’ hard-won rights and do more harm to students’ learning conditions".
The BCPSEA teacher collective-bargaining bulletin states that the tentative agreement extends from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2013.
Both parties have agreed to renew Section 27.4 of the Education Services Collective Agreement Act, which includes the maintenance of amalgamated salary grids.
According to the BCPSEA, the agreement is within the Public Sector Employers Council's compensation mandate, which requires a net-zero increase in the overall cost of the contract.
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