Teachers reach agreement with government

Members of the BC Teachers’ Federation have voted to ratify the agreement-in-committee reached on Tuesday, June 26, 2012.

Members of the BC Teachers’ Federation have voted to ratify the agreement-in-committee reached on Tuesday, June 26, 2012 with the government’s bargaining agent, the BC Public School Employers’ Association.

In a province-wide vote conducted June 27–29, 2012, a total of 21,044 teachers cast ballots and 75 per cent voted yes. The turnout rate was 52 per cent

The results are sharp contrast to those of exactly one year ago today, when teachers voted 90% to launch their “teach only” campaign at the beginning of the school year.

“I doubt you could find a single teacher in BC who is happy with this agreement because it does absolutely nothing to improve the situation in classrooms for students or teachers,” said Susan Lambert, president of the BC Teachers’ Federation.

“It doesn’t address class size and composition nor does it provide a fair and reasonable salary increase for our members, who have fallen far behind teachers in other parts of Canada.”

Lambert noted that the BCTF was able to get modest improvements in terms of most teachers’ benefits, which were extremely outdated, and in some leave provisions.

“However, the most significant achievement is that that we succeeded in getting government take its concession demands off the table,” she said.

The BCTF will also seek redress in the courts for past constitutional violations and to challenge Bill 22, which ordered an end to the teachers’ job action and compelled a mediation process under threat of harsh fines.