Another B.C. The labor strike begins to be felt after teachers have rejected the recommendations of the mediator hired to negotiate a new contract with their employer.
On November 1, mediator David Schaub submitted a report to the BC Teachers Federation (BCTF) and the BC Public School Employers' Association (BCPSEA), revealing a "mismatch" between the two reaching an agreement.
The report, released Friday, recommends that teachers accept BCPSEA's latest offer that a three-year contract provide for a two per cent annual wage increase.
Both offerings are consistent with the province's sustainable services mandate, which limits wage increases to 2% per year and has been used to enter into agreements with almost a quarter of a million other public servants.
It also recommends not to change the wording of the contract with respect to class size and composition, while requesting that a $ 25.6 million fund be spread over a contract period of $ 25.6 million. three years to help solve problems in the workplace.
Both parties had until Friday at the end of the day to decide on Schaub's recommendations. But the BCTF said its representative assembly had already rejected the terms, asking for more time to negotiate in order to address key concerns.
BCTF worries about teacher shortage
"Low teacher salaries in British Columbia Recruitment and retention has become a major issue for our province, which is now facing a crisis of teacher shortages," said Teri Mooring, president of the BCTF. in a statement.
The BCTF said it needed to hire nearly 400 new teachers and was having trouble attracting candidates because of the salaries of BC teachers, who, according to Mooring, are the lowest in Western Canada.
The BCPSEA said Friday in its own statement that it had canceled the vote on Schaub's recommendations, despite their acceptance in principle and their willingness to use them as the beginning of a long-term solution.
Alan Chell, chairman of the board, said the BCPSEA was "surprised and disappointed" by the BECFA's rejection of the report.
"In our opinion, this is a missed opportunity to work with the mediator to create a path forward," said Chell.
"Although the mediator's recommendations did not represent BCPSEA's preferred approach, the board felt it would provide the public school system with the stability of manpower needed while we were trying to work with them." the BCTF for the duration of the agreement in order to remove the structural impediments that prevent productive negotiations. "
Keith Baldrey on teacher negotiations
The teachers have been without a contract since June and have been negotiating a new one for 67 days, of which 16 have been supervised by Schaub.
The Schaub report agrees that B.C. teacher salaries "stagnate" and "fall well below the inflation rate", resulting in the current shortage of teachers.
The report also notes teachers' concerns that the provincial bargaining mandate is an obstacle to resolving the problem, as well as the BCTF's call for certain contractual issues to be addressed at the local level.
The BCTF submits that the BCPSEA asked Schaub to submit its report shortly after the submission of its last offer to teachers, rather than waiting for a counter-offer, which the federation calls "a normal part of the process. trading backwards ".
"The public positions of the BCNDP government in favor of teachers and public education have been at odds with the actions of employers at the table for months," said Mooring in his statement.
"The B.C. Cabinet needs to give the employer new market orders and put new funds on the table to get a deal that works for teachers and students. "
Global News solicited comments from the Ministry of Education.
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