Students at Trafalgar Middle School in Nelson joined others around the province in a protest walkout Wednesday in response to the latest disruption of their education.

UPDATE: Pay cut upheld in B.C. teacher dispute

One per cent reduction in wage increase proposal for teachers, plus moves on benefits, preparation time

The B.C. Labour Relations Board has upheld an employer bid to cut teacher pay by 10% in response to rotating strikes and refusal to perform some duties outside classroom hours.

B.C. Teachers’ Federation president Jim Iker said Wednesday the pay cut and partial lockout of members is “a punitive action” that is unfair to teachers performing their essential classroom duties.

In response, the BCTF will hold another vote June 9-10 to authorize full-scale strike action. Rotating strikes are to continue next week while the strike vote is held and counted.

“If approved, this would likely mean a full-scale strike within the next two weeks,” Iker said.

LRB vice-chair Richard Longpre dismissed the B.C. Teachers’ Federation appeal of the partial lockout of teachers in a decision released Wednesday afternoon. He said the two sides are free to seek a third-party resolution of the dispute.

Iker said the union is taking legal advice on the LRB decision and may pursue arbitration.

At the bargaining table, the BCTF has reduced its pay increase proposal by one per cent over four years and offered other concessions in a move to end the stalemate that has led to two weeks of rotating strikes in public schools.

In an email to union members Tuesday night, the BCTF executive said the offer “adjusted the Federation’s package in seven areas, including salary, benefits, preparation time and [substitute teacher] compensation.”

The new BCTF wage proposal is a total increase of 9.75% over four years, plus cost-of-living adjustments in each year depending on inflation. BCTF president Jim Iker has estimated that with inflation, the total increase would be 12.75% over four years.

The email to teachers describes no response from the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association.

BCPSEA, representing the province’s 60 school districts, has proposed a 7.5% increase over six years, and recently added a $1,200 signing bonus for an agreement by the end of the school year.

BCPSEA chief negotiator Peter Cameron described the employers’ wage proposal as in line with other public sector union agreements already reached.

The two sides remain bitterly divided over class size and special needs support staff, the subject of repeated court actions since those provisions were removed from the teacher contract in 2002.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP searching for witnesses of an assault

Man found lying along Abernethy Way

BC Liberal Leader talks drug addiction in Pitt Meadows

Drug addiction and public safety a top priority says Andrew Wilkinson

Record number of visitors hit Maple Ridge parks and trails

More than 630,000 people Apr. 1 and Aug. 31

IIO recommends no charges in Maple Ridge police shooting

Kyaw Din was killed by the RCMP during a mental health incident in August 2019

Horgan promises more child care at $10 per day during Maple Ridge visit

Liberals say the NDP has failed to deliver on daycare

Pandemic derails CP Holiday Train

Canadian Pacific will work to get donations to food banks while also producing an online music concert

Vanderhoof’s Brian Frenkel takes on top job in tough times

We can get through this, new local government leader says

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Local councils important, Horgan says as municipal conference ends

B.C. NDP leader says ‘speed dating’ vital, online or in person

Penticton woman sentenced to one year in prison for manslaughter of teen boyfriend

Kiera Bourque, 24, was sentenced for manslaughter in the 2017 death of Penticton’s Devon Blackmore

Increased border enforcement curbs cross-line parties at Peace Arch State Park

Gatherings between U.S. and Canadian citizens ‘a daily carnival’ – resident

B.C. Green leader says NDP abandoning environmental plan

Horgan’s claim of unstable government false, Furstenau says

Most Read