The 2006 Annual General Meeting adopted bargaining motions and objectives.
Then BC Liberal Finance Minister, Carole Taylor, offered a one-time signing bonus of $3,700 per teacher if an agreement could be concluded by June 30, 2006. Minimum term for the agreement was four years.
On June 7 and 8, 2006, teachers overwhelming voted yes in a province-wide strike vote to back their demand for a fair and competitive salary increase.
A special meeting of local presidents on June 22 unanimously rejected the employer's June 20 proposal, giving the bargaining team a tremendous vote of confidence. Local after local also unanimously rejected the proposal. Teachers, parents, and the public faxed the premier, insisting that teachers be treated fairly and respectfully.
An agreement-in-committee was concluded with BCPSEA at 9:30 p.m.on June 30, 2006, and details are highlighted in the settlement summary. Members ratified the five-year agreement on September 8, 2006. The settlement included a 16% salary increase over five years, and a $4,000 signing bonus for each individual teacher.
The contents of the agreement did not constitute a final version at the time due to a number of disputes between the BCTF and BCPSEA. The disputes went before arbitrators Irene Holden and Vince Ready, and their rulings were included in the final common provincial articles.
“Congratulations to members for their commitment, unity, and tremendous support for their bargaining team,” says Jinny Sims, BCTF president. “Together we have achieved significant gains for our profession.”