Members of the BC Teachers’ Federation Representative Assembly have voted unanimously to ratify the Framework Agreement on the 2013 round of collective bargaining reached with the BC Public School Employers’ Association.
“It’s a significant step in the right direction, a productive move that will help facilitate negotiations,” said BCTF President Susan Lambert. “We genuinely hope that the BCPSEA board will also ratify the agreement and that both parties undertake the responsibilities of negotiations regardless of the government’s interference earlier this week.”
The agreement spells out a timeline and other elements to facilitate negotiations and improve communications in this round. The key elements of the agreement are:
- That bargaining will begin on February 4, 2013, and proposals will be exchanged as soon as possible, but no later than March 1, 2013.
- That they will appoint a mutually agreed-to facilitator to assist with all matters of collective bargaining from the outset of bargaining. The cost of the facilitator will be shared equally by the parties.
- That they will develop a common data study to reach agreement on the costing of items brought to the table.
- On the split of which issues would be negotiated at a provincial table and which at local tables.
“This agreement will bring an early and positive start to bargaining,” Lambert said. “And with the good will on both sides that this heralds, we hope to reach a collective agreement before the end of the school year and the expiry of the current contract.”