Pay cuts to escalate with teacher strike action

The B.C. government is getting ready to cut teachers' pay by 5%, offers $1,200 signing bonus for deal by end of June

Peter Cameron

Peter Cameron

The B.C. government is offering teachers a $1,200 signing bonus and reducing its proposed contract length from 10 years to six.

The latest proposal was presented Friday to the B.C. Teachers’ Federation by Peter Cameron, chief negotiator for the province’s 60 school districts. The bonus is contingent on settling the dispute before the end of the school year.

Cameron also informed the union that it will begin cutting teachers’ pay by 5% if teachers continue to refuse to perform some of their duties. That will be imposed “soon” and the union would have to apply to the Labour Relations Board if it wants to contest it, Cameron said.

If the BCTF moves to rotating strikes around the province, the pay cut would increase to 10%.

The B.C. Public School Employers’ Association has dropped its plan to start billing the union for the cost of benefits, estimated at $5 million a month, opting for the pay cut in an effort to persuade the union to stop its phase one strike action.

There was no change to BCPSEA’s latest general wage proposal, a 6.5% increase over six years. BCTF president Jim Iker earlier termed that a “lowball offer” that B.C.’s 40,000 teachers would be unlikely to accept.

Cameron said the government’s wage offer is consistent with settlements with other public sector employee groups. He estimates the union’s latest proposal is a 15.9% increase over four years. That is “not in the ballpark” of other public sector union settlements, he said.

The BCTF estimates its wage demand at 13.25% over four years, including cost of living increases.

The new term length is a small modification of the earlier proposal, which was for a 10-year deal with wage negotiations to reopen for the final four years. That proposal would have meant the BCTF couldn’t strike after six years if they didn’t accept the wage extension, because they would still be under contract.

Iker said the 10-year term was never workable, and after 16 months of Premier Christy Clark’s promises, he’s pleased to see it off the table.

Unions representing 47,000 health care workers announced Thursday they are recommending their members accept a five-year settlement that includes a 5.5% wage increase. Workers in hospitals, residential care facilities, emergency health services and supply and logistics will begin voting on the settlement next week.

The BCTF began work-to-rule action in April, refusing supervision outside classrooms and communication with school management. A March strike vote gives the BCTF a mandate to begin rotating strikes at any time.

 

Just Posted

A seniors housing complex proposed for Cedar Hill Road in Saanich was supported by council after a public hearing on May 12. (Rendering by Jenson Group Architects)
New 85-unit seniors housing development gets green light from Saanich council

Four-storey rental complex would be located on Cedar Hill Road

Kenny Podmore, here seen at Sidney’s cenotaph in November, says he feels for the veterans after organizers had to cancel an event acknowledging Victory in Europe (VE) Day for the second time in as many years because of COVID-19. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
North Saanich event marking 75th anniversary of VE-Day cancelled

Sidney resident first planned event for May 9, 2020 moved to May 8 before being cancelled

Individuals and businesses are encouraged to bring their unwanted electronics to Tillicum Centre May 14 to be shredded, recycled or donated. (Black Press Media file photo)
Greater Victoria residents can shred, donate electronics safely

Vancouver Island Better Business Bureau hosts event May 14 at Tillicum Centre

Scheduling popular summer events like the Canada Day celebrations is difficult due to the pandemic. (File - Sooke News Mirror)
Sooke summer events schedule clouded by COVID

Public health guidelines hamper plans

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Queen Elizabeth II and Clive Holland, deputy commonwealth president of the Royal Life Saving Society, top left, virtually present Dr. Steve Beerman, top right, with the King Edward VII Cup for his drowning-prevention work. Tanner Gorille and Sarah Downs were honoured with Russell Medals for their life-saving resuscitation. (Buckingham Palace photo)
Queen presents Vancouver Island doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup at virtual ceremony

Former UFV Cascades wrestling coach Arjan Singh Bhullar is now the ONE heavyweight champion after defeating Brandon Vera via TKO in round two on Saturday in Singapore. (ONE Championship)
Former UFV wrestling coach wins MMA championship

Arjan Singh Bhullar captures ONE heavyweight title, first Indian origin fighter to achieve honour

Astra Zeneca vaccine waits for injection in a Feb. 3, 2021 file photo. A Langley man has become the second B.C. resident to suffer a blood clot following an injection. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
B.C. man required emergency surgery after AstraZeneca vaccination

Shaun Mulldoon suffered ‘massive blood clot’ after jab

Chilliwack’s Kile Brown, performing as drag queen Hailey Adler, dances and lip syncs in front of hundreds of people during the inaugural Chilliwack Pride Barbecue at the Neighbourhood Learning Centre on Aug. 24, 2019. Monday, May 17 is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of May 16 to 22

International Day Against Homophobia, Talk Like Yoda Day, Sea Monkey Day all coming up this week

Most Read