Tuesday 9 September 2014

September 9, 2014

Have your say and vote tomorrow

Every BCTF member will have the chance to vote tomorrow to support the BCTF Executive Committee’s recommendation calling on BCPSEA to drop Article E.80 and enter into binding arbitration. Teachers would return to work once the government agrees to this process, meaning that schools could reopen promptly.

Support for binding arbitration is picking up speed throughout the province. Mayors, counsellors, school trustees, the NDP, and affiliated unions of the BC Federation of Labour are also calling on the government to enter into binding arbitration as a fair and practical way to resolve this dispute.

Each local will be conducting the vote in the way that suits them best. Some locals have decided to take ballot boxes to the picket lines while others will conduct the vote at local offices. If you are unsure of the voting arrangements in your community, please contact your local president for more information. Every vote counts, so please take the time to have your say.

Public sector unions write to Premier Clark: Stop using our settlements as fodder for your rhetoric

BC public sector unions are sending a message to the Premier that they stand in solidarity with BC teachers and are urging her to accept the proposal for binding arbitration.

 “The Premier is attempting to use other settlements in the public sector to create a divide among workers in the province,” said BC Federation of Labour President Jim Sinclair.  “This tactic is not only an insult to working people in BC, but it also shows how little the Premier understands and respects the collective bargaining process.”

The letter states:

This set of negotiationslike every other table in the public sectorhas unique challenges and opportunities. Each union goes to the bargaining table to address their own specific needs; we strongly support the BCTF in determining their own path and negotiating for a fair collective agreement that ensures quality education for all of the children in BC.

We have each negotiated our own collective agreements. For those who have settled, wage increases and benefit improvements varied from sector to sector. They all have unique features and each path to settlement was different.

We urge you to immediately stop attributing your refusal to bargain critical issues with teachers because you want to be “fair to other public sector workers.”
If you want to be fair to all public sector workers, send the outstanding issues to binding arbitration as proposed by the BCTF and remove E80 from the bargaining table.

Our unions stand in solidarity with BC teachers in their efforts to win a fair collective agreement and improve educational resources for BC’s children.

Read their letter in full here.

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