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.

 

Just Posted

Prosecution in Colin John murder trial wrapping up in Duncan

John on trial for stabbing death in Chemainus in 2016

15 new Indigenous teacher training seats added at Cowichan VIU campus

Thorne said the new Indigenous teacher education curriculum that is planned at VIU

Breakfast with Santa a Ladysmith staple

Nearly 700 people took part in this annual charity event

Christmas comes alive in Crofton

Parade entries light up the night and rain holds off

Upset student causes safety plan to be enacted at Chemainus Elementary School

Child’s behaviour results in students being held in classrooms until order restored

VIDEO: Close encounter with a whale near Canada-U.S border

Ron Gillies had his camera ready when a whale appeared Dec. 7

B.C. Lions hire DeVone Claybrooks as head coach

Former Stampeders DC succeeds CFL legend Wally Buono

France shooting: 2 dead, several wounded in Strasbourg

A world-famous Christmas market was put on lock down on Tuesday

Canadian warship witnesses possible violations of North Korea sanctions

Crew members on HMCS Calgary took photos and collected other information

Christine Sinclair named Canadian Women’s player of the year again

This is the 14th time Sinclair has been named player of the year

B.C. man wants trapping laws changed after dog killed

Louis Seguin’s 10-month-old Australian shepherd died in a body-gripping trap last month

Nearly 8,000 homeless in B.C., first province-wide count reveals

Twenty-four seperate counts in B.C. cities found there are thousands of homeless in all corners of province

Mental health issue suspected after spike belts end Island Highway car chase

Woman in her 30s detained after Tuesday afternoon incident in Lantzville

Most Read