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 6:00 a.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

City of Port Alberni ponders future of uptown train station

Developer interest in heritage building prompts discussion on uptown revitalization

Join a food asset mapping focus group in Port Alberni

Learn about food mapping heritage in Port Alberni and Clayoquot Sound

Somass River sockeye fishery estimates cut in half

Local fisheries closed; poor ocean survival a prime suspect

‘Lightning’ hits Sproat Lake for annual regatta

Alberni Valley Regatta Association hosted sixth annual races

Port Alberni track and field athletes excel at BC championships

Pair brings home titles in javelin, hammer throw

VIDEO: B.C. MLA Michelle Stilwell takes first steps in nearly 30 years

‘It actually felt like walking. It’s been 27 years… but it felt realistic to me’

Report of dead body in B.C. park actually headless sex doll

This discovery, made at Manning Park on July 10, led police to uncovering two other sex mannequins

Grand Forks fire chief found to have bullied, harassed volunteer firefighter: report

WorkSafeBC, third-party human resources investigation looking into allegations complete

Dog recovering after being drenched in hot coffee, B.C. man charged

Man was taken into custody, charged, and released pending a court date

Taekwondo instructor, 21, identified as B.C. bat rabies victim

Nick Major, 21, an instructor at Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville

Science expedition to Canada’s largest underwater volcano departs Vancouver Island

Crews prepared for a two-week research mission to the Explorer Seamount

B.C. shipyard to get one-third of $1.5 billion frigate-repair contract

The federal government has promised to invest $7.5 billion to maintain the 12 frigates

15-year-old with imitation gun caused ‘dynamic’ scene at Nanaimo mall

No one was harmed in Monday’s incident, say Nanaimo RCMP

Worried about bats? Here’s what to do if you come across one in B.C.

Bat expert with the BC Community Bat Program urges caution around the small creatures

Most Read