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.

 

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

Just Posted

Victoria Police Department vehicles outside the headquarters building. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria police investigating sudden death in Beacon Hill Park

Police, paramedics responded to a report of an unresponsive person early Wednesday

Victoria’s Swartz Bay terminal. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries offers cheaper, prepaid fare options

Ferry service preparing for busy terminals when travel restrictions are lifted

Dozens of reports of sexualized violence against a former employee of downtown Victoria restaurant Chuck’s Burger Bar were posted online in January. A police investigation is ongoing. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Chuck’s Burger Bar closes its doors after sexual assault allegations

Victoria police investigating reports of sexual misconduct, assault by former restaurant employee

The application proposing to rezone Western Speedway was passed by Langford’s planning, zoning and affordable housing committee Feb 8. A petition has since been started by residents of Trudie Terrace, hoping to stop the proposed residential portion of the development plan. (CBRE Victoria)
Petition opposing Western Speedway development proposal gains steam

Save Thetis Heights Neighborhood petition aims to stop extension of Trudie Terrace

This dead fir tree is one of many in Mount Douglas Park. Nine dead trees will be removed from the Douglas Creek site starting March 8 to make way for the construction of a new pedestrian bridge. (Photo courtesy Jason Clarke)
Nine dead, hazardous trees to be removed from Saanich park ahead of bridge construction

Felling begins March 8, minor trail interruptions expected in Mount Douglas Park

COVID-19 vaccines were available at a site on East Pender in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside Feb. 25. (Twitter/Sarahblyth17)
Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside residents offered $5 after getting COVID-19 vaccine

It’s an effort to ‘incentivize people to engage,’ says B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix

(Black Press Media files)
B.C. teacher transferred then suspended after students report feeling ‘scared, nervous’

Authorities found that teacher did not create inviting, respectful environment for students

FILE - Dolly Parton arrives at the 61st annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 10, 2019, in Los Angeles. The Grammy-winning singer, actor and humanitarian posted a video on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, of her singing just before getting her COVID-19 vaccine shot. Parton donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee for coronavirus research. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
‘Vaccine, vaccine’: Dolly sings ‘Jolene’ rewrite before shot

The Grammy-winning legend turned 75 this year

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland speaks about the Fiscal update during a news conference in Ottawa, Monday November 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
COVID-19: Wage and rent subsidies, lockdown support to be extended until June

Chrystia Freeland says now is not time to lower levels of support

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

The victim of the homicide on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning was 17 years old, and was stabbed in the incident. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Duncan homicide victim was 17 years old

RCMP report that teenager was stabbed

Most Read