Andrew Weaver speaks to a packed house at the Oak Bay Recreation Centre Lounge earlier this year. Weaver is now leading the charge with a petition to pressure the B.C. government to enter binding arbitration with the province's teachers' union.

Andrew Weaver speaks to a packed house at the Oak Bay Recreation Centre Lounge earlier this year. Weaver is now leading the charge with a petition to pressure the B.C. government to enter binding arbitration with the province's teachers' union.

MLA Andrew Weaver launches petition to end ‘schoolyard bullying’ in teachers’ strike

Oak Bay-Gordon Head MLA says binding arbitration is not as risky as province claims

An online petition calling on the B.C. government to accept binding arbitration in the ongoing teachers’ strike is racking up signatures across the province.

The petition, launched Monday by Oak Bay-Gordon Head MLA Andrew Weaver, asks the province to agree to binding arbitration to settle the labour dispute, something Education Minister Peter Fassbender has firmly ruled out. By Wednesday afternoon, the petition had already reached more than 20,000 signatures.

“This tells me people are beginning to recognize the government’s position is unreasonable,” Weaver said.”The government is fear-mongering about how much it will cost to move to binding arbitration, but that’s not accurate because you put forward your best package and both parties have to justify their submissions.”

NDP leader John Horgan also called on the government this week to make the “unprecedented” move to accept arbitration. Horgan said if the government is secure in its belief its wage offer is fair, it should have no concern about the results.

“We’re in uncharted territory, where we’ve had the longest strike in B.C. history, and it’s time we put an end to it,” Horgan said.

Fassbender, however, reiterated his rejection of binding arbitration this week, calling the move “a ploy” by the union.

“Arbitration is not something this government is going to consider,” he said.

Weaver, who has twice been chief negotiator during faculty labour negotiations at the University of Victoria, said arbitration is a time-tested process that won’t throw the province’s finances into disarray, as Fassbender has claimed.

Weaver hopes to garner 50,000 petition signatures over the coming days to increase pressure on the government.

“Education has been my life,” he said. “The hostility the government is showing towards the BCTF is troubling. … It’s putting our next generation in the front lines of a dispute that goes back to 2002 when Premier Christy Clark was minister of education. The government is acting like a schoolyard bully. And you know what, boys and girls: it’s time to grow up.”

-with files from Tom Fletcher

editor@saanichnews.com

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Crews disassemble the iconic red and white KFC bucket from a sign on Goldstream Avenue. (Photo courtesy of Mark Schoor)
Iconic KFC bucket removed from Goldstream Avenue

Popular fast-food chain closes Langford location

One person is dead after a camper van caught fire Thursday morning in Victoria's Beacon Hill Park. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
UPDATED: One person dead after vehicle fire in Beacon Hill Park

Investigation into Victoria death in early stages

Darcy Rhodes (left) says his grandfather’s bonsai trees are his ‘babies.’ (Courtesy of Tamara Bond)
A recently finished $4.3-million taxiway extension at the Victoria International Airport (not pictured) is unusable because of a blind spot. (Black Press Media file photo)
Blind spot leaves Victoria airport’s new $4.3-million taxiway extension unusable

Solution has been put on hold by COVID-19 pandemic, says airport authority

Victoria police are searching for a federal offender who is wanted Canada-wide after his statutory release was suspended. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Victoria police searching for federal offender wanted Canada-wide

Warrant issued after offender’s statutory release suspended

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of March 2

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: How’s your butter?

Recent reports have some Canadians giving a second look to one of… Continue reading

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith stands in front of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float. Photo: Submitted
Grand Forks’ Flying Spaghetti Monster leader still boiling over driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith, head of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of B.C., said he has since spoken to lawyers

A Cowichan Valley mom is wondering why masks haven’t been mandated for elementary schools. (Metro Creative photo)
B.C. mom frustrated by lack of mask mandate for elementary students

“Do we want to wait until we end up like Fraser Health?”

(Pxhere)
B.C. research reveals how pandemic has changed attitudes towards sex, health services

CDC survey shows that 35 per cent of people were worried about being judged

Some Canadians are finding butter harder than usual, resulting in an avalanche of social media controversy around #buttergate. (Brett Williams/The Observer)
#Buttergate: Concerns around hard butter hit small B.C. towns and beyond

Canadians find their butter was getting harder, blame palm oil in part one of this series

Construction takes place on Bamfield Main in early February 2021. (PHOTO COURTESY CTV NEWS)
Ongoing Bamfield roadwork unrelated to planned $30M fix

Construction by Mosaic unrelated to $30M upgrade ordered in wake of fatal bus crash

The Regional District of Nanaimo’s board is forwarding a motion on illegal dumping to the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities’ upcoming annual general meeting. (Kane Blake photo)
Island communities asked to join forces in seeking help fighting illegal dumping

RDN resolution to be forwarded to Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities

Most Read