Teacher contract legislation next week

B.C. Education Minister George Abbott announced Thursday that he intends to introduce legislation next week to end the

  • Feb. 29, 2012 11:00 a.m.

By Robert Mangelsdorf

Black Press

B.C. Education Minister George Abbott announced Thursday that he intends to introduce legislation next week to end the ongoing teacher job action, and impose a contract.

The decision comes after the release of a report by assistant deputy minister for industrial relations Trevor Hughes stating a negotiated settlement between the B.C. Teachers’ Federation and the government’s bargaining agent, the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association would be unlikely.

B.C. Liberal house leader Rich Coleman said the legislation could be presented as early as mid-week, but the debate on the provincial budget would take precedence until next Thursday unless there is an emergency situation.

The BCTF had proposed a three-year contract that would see teachers given a 15 per cent increase over that span. BCTF estimates the contract will cost an extra $300 million per year, however BCPSEA pegs that number at upwards of $500 million in the first year alone.

Abbott wouldn’t give specifics about the terms of the teacher contract he plans to impose, but said it would conform to the Liberal government’s net-zero mandate of no wage increases for public sector employees.

“We have three-quarters of public employees, with 100-plus contracts negotiated with the net zero mandate,” Abbott said. “We have to proceed on that basis.”

Abbott said he was disappointed and saddened to impose the contract, but said he felt he had no other option.

“Teachers will be upset, but in some cases they will be relieved,” he said. “The union leadership will take a dim view of it, but I will not let a dispute among adults affect kids.”

Teachers across the province have been doing essential service only since September, refusing to meet with school administration or complete report cards. Teachers have been without a contract since June 2011.

 

Just Posted

Fort St. James businesses get into the Christmas spirit with decorating contest

Northland Automotive Ltd. won first place in Fort St. James Chamber of… Continue reading

Couple selling fake jewelry in Fraser Lake, say RCMP

A man and woman have been defrauding local residents, offering fake jewelry for sale

Gitxsan forming cross-sector salmon management team

Nation again declares closure of fishery in territory for 2019

Editorial: The Speaker shouldn’t be an MLA

Time to re-evaluate the Speaker position

Man caught on camera allegedly trying to defraud ICBC

Auto-insurer warns B.C. drivers to record info after crashes

‘People talk about deep sadness:’ Scientists study climate change grief

Some call it environmental grief, some call it solastalgia — a word coined for a feeling of homesickness when home changes around you.

As protectors abandon Trump, investigation draws closer

Cohen was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison for an array of crimes.

Senate delays start of sittings in new home, delaying start of broadcasts

The Senate and House of Commons are moving into temporary homes for the next decade as a result of long-planned and badly needed renovations to the Centre Block.

UK leader seeks EU lifeline after surviving confidence vote

EU leaders gather for a two-day summit, beginning Thursday, which will center on the Brexit negotiations.

French police try to catch attack suspect dead or alive

Local authorities increase death toll to three, including 13 wounded and five in serious condition

BCHL’ers blanked by Russia at World Junior A Challenge

Canada West loses battle of the unbeaten teams in the preliminary round

Second Canadian missing in China after questioning by authorities

Michael Spavor, founder of a non-profit that organizes cultural-exchange trips to North Korea, “is presently missing in China”

Cannabis gift ideas for this holiday season

Put the green in happy holidays, now that cannabis is legal in Canada

Most Read