In a surprise announcement, Minister of Labour Margaret MacDiarmid has informed the BCTF that she has asked for a report on the likelihood of a negotiated settlement in the current round of bargaining.
The report will be made by Assistant Deputy Minister Trevor Hughes by February 23.
Our bargaining team has worked diligently over the past 10 months trying to achieve a negotiated, fair, and reasonable settlement and will continue to do so.
Throughout this round, government and the employer have offered nothing and simply demanded that we accept major concessions. We recently tabled a revised package in an attempt to reach an agreement. A deal is always possible, but it involves compromise on both sides.
Government could have appointed an independent mediator to help the parties come together, but instead chose one of their own.We are concerned about the independence of this process; having the minister’s assistant deputy as the investigator casts doubt on the possibility of an independent answer to the minister’s question.
We are hoping that there is not a predetermined outcome that will pave the way for an imposed, legislated contact stripping.
Teachers remain committed to negotiating a fair and reasonable settlement that meets the needs of students and teachers.
More details can be found bctf.ca.