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Bargaining Bulletins

Bulletin #2 – May 30, 2019

When bargaining began in January, the BCTF and the BC Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) expressed the desire to arrive at a deal before the expiration of our current Collective Agreement on June 30th. 

At this point, that hope is somewhat dimmed as BCPSEA has recently tabled more concessions.

Getting a good deal by June 30th requires teachers to turn their mind to bargaining, and seek ways to build pressure at the table.

Getting informed and signing into the BCTF Members’ Portal is the first step.  The recently tabled E.34 is arguably more egregious than the first group of tabled concessions.

The next step to build pressure at the bargaining table is to reach out to our NDP MLAs and Premier John Horgan.

BCTF has created a weekly or biweekly updated form-email to help build this pressure.  Participating in this simple action will direct attention of your NDP MLA or Premier John Horgan to BCPSEA’s efforts to bargain away supports restored to students through the Supreme Court of Canada decision.  We urge VSTA members to send an email every time we get the notification from the BCTF. This action is simple and only takes a moment.

Minister of Finance Carole James has publicly stated that “no one around the table is looking for concessions,” and that negotiators were looking for “positive change for kids” and teachers. We have to ask, what table is Honorable Carole James talking about?  There is no question that at our bargaining table, BCPSEA is looking to reduce class-size and remove composition language and to reduce non-enrolling ratios. 

We want a signed deal by June 30th, and to achieve this goal we must do the political work now. VSTA is also working with VESTA on a campaign to lobby our NDP MLAs directly.  Further, our PAC reps will also be informed and will be asked to relay our concerns to parents regarding the concessions and how these proposals will affect their children’s learning conditions.

Getting a good deal for teachers is the goal of our BCTF Bargaining Team.  Our team is strong, and they are stronger with our support. Teachers must get informed and take actions to increase the pressure at the table.  

Bulletin #1 – May 10, 2019

Our current Collective Agreement expires June 30, 2019 and provincial bargaining has been underway since January.

The provincial bargaining team needs our help. 

BC Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) has made proposals that would undo all that was gained through our court win on class size and composition and non-enrolling rations.  Teachers are encouraged to sign into the BCTF Members’ Portal to review the proposed language, but to remember that the specifics of these proposals are confidential and are not to be shared publicly or with non-BCTF members.

Getting a good deal by the end of June requires a collective effort. 
We encourage members to contact their NDP MLA or the Premier (if you don’t have an NDP MLA) to ask government to turn their mind to proposals at the provincial bargaining table.  Email your MLA directly and ask them if they are aware of the concessions put forward by BCPSEA or use the BCTF’s form letter emailed to you by the BCTF. 

The BCTF bargaining campaign slogan is “Our kids and their teachers: WORTH INVESTING IN”.  You can see the advertisement on the Facebook page, and we encourage you to share it on your own Facebook page.

Local Table

Vancouver Teachers’ Federation (VSTA and VESTA) are meeting regularly with representatives from the VSB to bargain local proposals.   Items discussed at the local table are indicated as Appendix II items of the Public Education Labour Relations Act (PELRA). Generally Appendix II items are known as non-cost items. 

Despite the recent tension at the provincial table, we are pleased to share the productive and positive tone of our local negotiations.  Earlier this week we were able to sign off on improvements to our Post and Fill Language.  An update on local and provincial bargaining table will be provided at our VSTA AGM on Tuesday, May 14th 4:00 PM Tupper Auditorium. Further to bargaining updates and other business, elections for our In-House Table Officers and Executive Committee will take place.   We hope to see you there!