New proposals coming in teacher talks

Education Minister Peter Fassbender expects "new concepts" from both sides in long-running labour dispute this week

Education Minister Peter Fassbender

Negotiators for the B.C. Teachers’ Federation and school districts are meeting Friday for the first time since schools were shuttered by a strike in late June, and Education Minister Peter Fassbender expects new proposals from both sides.

Fassbender said Tuesday it’s the first meeting of full bargaining teams in more than a month, and the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association has some “new concepts” to bring to the discussion.

“We’ve already demonstrated our willingness to move on some key elements,” he said. “We need to see the same from the BCTF. They’ve indicated they’re willing to do that.”

He wouldn’t comment on the new proposals, except to reiterate that the BCTF’s position on benefits and other compensation is not in the “affordability zone” established by other public sector union agreements.

If the strike shuts schools again in September, the government plans to use the savings to compensate parents $40 a day for each child under 13 in public school, to assist with daycare or tutoring costs. Fassbender said there would be no conditions attached to the payout.

“My hope is that there isn’t a nickel available as of September, because schools are operating, teachers are back in the classroom, students are there and there is no further disruption,” he said.

The B.C. School Trustees’ Association has urged the government to direct its $12 million a day in payroll savings from the strike to a fund to address class size and special needs support.

Trustees have also called on the union to moderate its benefit demands, which include parental leave, dental benefits, massage therapy and increased preparation time for elementary school teachers.

BCPSEA has offered $375 million over a six-year contract term to provide extra classroom support, and specified class size limits in the teacher contract, to address key issues in a series of court disputes.

 

Just Posted

Retired Kelowna teacher a YouTube Sudoku sensation

A retired Kelowna teacher has amassed quite the following online by teaching the art of solving a Sudoku puzzle.

Fire started in bedroom of Kelowna home

The fire department was quick to respond to reports of a fire on Fuller Aveune

Three name options for new Lake Country middle school

Central Okanagan school board ready to make final decision

Kelowna church helping people change their lives

Programs exemplify community service ideals of St. Andrews Anglican Parish congregation

Another brewery on tap for Kelowna

Wild Ambition Brewery opened last week in Kelowna

VIDEO: Close encounter with a whale near Canada-U.S border

Ron Gillies had his camera ready when a whale appeared Dec. 7

Manhunt continues for France shooter

Suspected gunman named, had long police record

‘Jurassic Park,’ ‘Shining’ added to National Film Registry

“These cinematic treasures must be protected because they document our history, culture, hopes and dreams.”

Berry: Consider your privacy this shopping season

Kelowna - Big Brother is always watching

B.C. Lions hire DeVone Claybrooks as head coach

Former Stampeders DC succeeds CFL legend Wally Buono

France shooting: 2 dead, several wounded in Strasbourg

A world-famous Christmas market was put on lock down on Tuesday

Canadian warship witnesses possible violations of North Korea sanctions

Crew members on HMCS Calgary took photos and collected other information

Christine Sinclair named Canadian Women’s player of the year again

This is the 14th time Sinclair has been named player of the year

Most Read