Vancouver teachers have a rich and complex history of bargaining in education. The information below highlights some of the key aspects that we hope will support your decision making through this next round of bargaining.
SPLIT OF ISSUES
Education bargaining in BC is divided into two parts or tables: Provincial and Local. Appendix 1 of the collective agreement defines what is frequently referred to as “The Split of Issues”. The division of issues is determined by legislation called PELRA (Public Education Labour Relations Act), and can be found in LOU 1, Appendices 1 & 2, starting on page 45 in the PROVINCIAL COLLECTIVE AGREEMENT (bctf.ca). LOU 1, itself, is bargained at the opening of provincial bargaining, and as such, any possible changes to locally bargainable issues will not be able to be bargained until the next round of bargaining.
- are bargained by the BC Public Schools Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) and the BC Teachers’ Federation (BCTF).
- i.e. generally involves money.
- all cost provisions are deemed as provincial issues. Cost provisions includes all provisions relating to:
- salaries and benefits,
- workload, including class size restrictions, and
- time worked and paid leave
- are bargained between the local school district and the local union, so in our case the Vancouver School Board and the Vancouver Teachers’ Federation (a joint team representing both VEAES and VSTA members).
- i.e. non-cost items
- example language bargained locally:
- posting & filling of positions and job-sharing,
- unpaid leaves,
- staff committee and staff meetings, or
- access to information
Locals engage with their members in setting both their local and their provincial bargaining priorities, usually through a mix of surveys, school visits, and committee discussions and motions. The VSTA, as an individual local, is surveying members and conducting school visits to gather provincial bargaining priorities that the Council of the Association will discuss and recommend to the Bargaining Conference. The VSTA, as a joint member of the Vancouver Teachers’ Federation bargaining unit, will, in conjunction with the Vancouver Elementary and Adult Educators’ Society (VEAES), bring joint local bargaining objectives to a VTF AGM for ratification at a time before the local bargaining table opens on November 4, 2024.
The BCTF holds a bargaining conference to determine issues for provincial negotiations. Each local, as per the member guide stipulations, sends a delegation of members who debate, deliberate and decide our provincial objectives along with colleagues from every local in the province. Information about this conference can be found in section G of the BCTF members guide.
Local priorities to this round’s Bargaining Conference are due by March 4, 2024. The conference itself is on May 22-23, 2024.