BCTF touts deal in email to members

About 850 new teaching positions to be created each year, pay increase 7.5% without "cooperative gains" included, union says

  • Sep. 16, 2014 5:00 p.m.

BCTF president Jim Iker

Email from BCTF executive to members urging ratification of today’s agreement:

More teachers, better support for kids, court case protected

By now, you have undoubtedly heard that the BCTF and BCPSEA reached a tentative agreement in the early hours of this morning. The Federation’s Executive Committee is recommending that members vote yes. If ratified by a majority of teachers, the vote will bring an end to the strike/lockout.

BCTF President Jim Iker said there several reasons he and the other Executive Committee members are supporting ratification:

Concession demands are off the table

Your bargaining team has negotiated an agreement that does not contain a single concession. In this day and age of concessionary bargaining, that is a significant achievement in itself.

Among the employer’s concessions that were removed from the bargaining table, one of the most important is BCPSEA’s calendar proposal that would have given school districts the ability to change school calendars without local union approval.

Government withdrew Article E80

Because of all the action and lobbying by teachers, other unions, parents, and concerned citizens, there was tremendous pressure on the government to drop this unjust demand. Article E80 was an attempt to bargain around the Supreme Court decisions, and British Columbians agreed that no one should have to give up their rights to get a collective agreement.

Dollars into a new Education Fund mean more teaching jobs

The proposed agreement provides $400 million for hiring of specialist and classroom teachers over the life of the six-year agreement. Every dollar in this annual fund will be used to hire BCTF bargaining unit members. We estimate that about 850 additional teaching positions will be created province-wide each year for the life of this agreement.

A salary increase for teachers

The proposed agreement includes salary increases of 7.25% over six years. No co-operative gains or other monetary concessions were made in order to obtain this gain in salary.

In addition, the tentative agreement includes $105 million to cover the retroactive grievances. The Executive Committee will decide the fairest way to share this money amongst members.

Prep time and benefits also are improved

Preparation time for elementary teachers increases to 100 minutes per week effective immediately, with an additional 10 minutes in the last year of the agreement. In addition there are improved dental and extended health benefits.

BCTF President Jim Iker’s message to members today:

“From day one, the government tried to paint us as unreasonable people who only had ourselves in mind. Each step of the way, we refuted their arguments and repeated our goal which was to achieve a fair deal for teachers and better support for our students,” Iker said. “It is difficult to reverse 12 years of underfunding and the erosion of public education in one round of bargaining, but we have taken a big step in the right direction.

“Thank you, colleagues, for your commitment, courage, and sustained action over the last few months. We began Stage 1 of our job action in the middle of April, went to rotating strikes in mid-May, escalated to all-out strike in mid-June and continued into mid-September. Throughout all this time, you’ve been an inspiration. Thank you for everything you did and will continue to do to strengthen public education for all students.

“And to our CUPE colleagues: everyday you were with us on the line, supporting us and speaking out for public education. Together we can go back to our schools and workplaces knowing we are stronger because of our day-to-day solidarity during this strike and lockout.

“I also want to thank the BC Federation of Labour, the Canadian Labour Congress, the Canadian Teachers’ Federation and the many other unions in BC, across Canada, and throughout the world for their ongoing solidarity. Not only did you walk our picket lines, help organize and attend rallies, many of you also dug deep into your pockets to ensure that we would have the financial resources to achieve our goals.

“The tremendous community support from so many parents, students, and local businesses also played a pivotal role as more and more British Columbians joined picket lines, lobbied elected officials, and attended marches and rallies. This collective outpouring of solidarity shows that when we act in concert we can turn the clock forward, not back.

“Now I encourage all members to take the time to read the proposed agreement, discuss it with your colleagues, and take part in this important vote.”

More information to come

The full text of the tentative agreement will be available on the BCTF website as soon as possible. Please check the member portal for updates. Your local will be in touch with the details of where and when the ratification vote will take place in your community.

Just Posted

With $4M investment, Camosun College offers first sonography program on Vancouver Island

Starting in May 2020 students from Vancouver Island can pursue a career in sonography

Greater Victoria developer rushes to demolish historic wall before Oak Bay applies heritage permit

Abstract Development punches holes in one of Oak Bay’s oldest stone walls

School district launches survey for George Jay Elementary name change

The Greater Victoria School District wants to take public cues before decisions are made

$775-million wastewater project on track to be completed on time, within new budget

Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins praises public education aspect of project

Regional naturalists cook up four spook-tacular forest events

CRD’s kid-friendly events feature Halloween activites, costume contest, guided walks

Scheer, Trudeau, Singh haggle over potential minority government outcome

If you believe the polls, it appears the Liberals and Conservatives are neck-and-neck

POLL: Do you think the day of the federal election should be a statutory holiday?

Increasing voter turnout has long been a goal of officials across the… Continue reading

Canucks beat Stanley Cup champs 4-3 in a shootout

Leivo nets winner, Vancouver dumps St. Louis for fourth straight win

Campbell River homicide suspects arrested in Vancouver

Two men remain in custody, but have not been charged

‘The more you test, the more you find’: Beef recalls a sign of success, experts say

Despite appearances, experts say a recent rise in major recalls is not a sign of food supply problems

Elizabeth May confirms plan to eliminate fish farming in open ocean pens

Green Party leader stops in Qualicum Beach as part of Island campaign

STRIKE: WFP and USW are back at the table for mediation

“No further updates until either an agreement is reached or one party or the other breaks off talks”

Green Party leader Elizabeth May rolls through Vancouver Island to boost a party stronghold

Mocks media, evokes Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and promises change

Japanese buyer expands wood pellet contract with B.C.’s Pinnacle

Mitsui and Co. increases contract with Interior energy producer

Most Read