New proposals coming in teacher talks

Education Minister Peter Fassbender expects "new concepts" from both sides in long-running labour dispute this week

Education Minister Peter Fassbender

Negotiators for the B.C. Teachers’ Federation and school districts are meeting Friday for the first time since schools were shuttered by a strike in late June, and Education Minister Peter Fassbender expects new proposals from both sides.

Fassbender said Tuesday it’s the first meeting of full bargaining teams in more than a month, and the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association has some “new concepts” to bring to the discussion.

“We’ve already demonstrated our willingness to move on some key elements,” he said. “We need to see the same from the BCTF. They’ve indicated they’re willing to do that.”

He wouldn’t comment on the new proposals, except to reiterate that the BCTF’s position on benefits and other compensation is not in the “affordability zone” established by other public sector union agreements.

If the strike shuts schools again in September, the government plans to use the savings to compensate parents $40 a day for each child under 13 in public school, to assist with daycare or tutoring costs. Fassbender said there would be no conditions attached to the payout.

“My hope is that there isn’t a nickel available as of September, because schools are operating, teachers are back in the classroom, students are there and there is no further disruption,” he said.

The B.C. School Trustees’ Association has urged the government to direct its $12 million a day in payroll savings from the strike to a fund to address class size and special needs support.

Trustees have also called on the union to moderate its benefit demands, which include parental leave, dental benefits, massage therapy and increased preparation time for elementary school teachers.

BCPSEA has offered $375 million over a six-year contract term to provide extra classroom support, and specified class size limits in the teacher contract, to address key issues in a series of court disputes.

 

Just Posted

UPDATE: Accident closes Hwy 22 near Castlegar

Highway not expected to reopen until Sunday.

Forestry workers set to begin job action in Kootenays

Operations in Castlegar, Cranbrook, Galloway, Elko, Radium, Golden may see job action this week.

Métis Flag flies in Trail on Louis Riel Day

Area students, officials and public attend flag raising at Trail City Hall

Early Trail borrowed a couple of names from the U.S.

Place Names: Connection between Trail and Butte, Montana

First Past the Post is the only option

Letter to the Editor by Dieter Bogs of Trail

Trudeau offers to help Pacific islands face climate change impact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the leaders from the Pacific island nations on Saturday during the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea

Price makes 36 saves as Habs edge Canucks 3-2

Late goal lifts Montreal past Vancouver

BC Minister of Agriculture loses stepson to accidental overdose

Lana Popham announces death of her 23-year-old stepson, Dan Sealey

Canadian military’s template for perfect recruits outdated: Vance

Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of defence staff says that the military has to change because the very nature of warfare is changing, particularly when it comes to cyber-warfare

‘Toxic’ chosen as the Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries

Other top contenders for 2018 include ‘gaslighting’ and ‘techlash’

RCMP bust illegal B.C. cannabis lab

Marijuana may be legal but altering it using chemicals violates the Cannabis Act

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

Avalanche Canada in desperate need of funding

The organization provides avalanche forecasting for an area larger than the United Kingdom

5 B.C. cities break temperature records

Parts of B.C. remain warm, at 10 C, while others feeling chilly

Most Read