Teachers Calling for Binding Arbitration to Get Kids Back to School and Address Class Sizes
This morning BC Teachers’ Federation President Jim Iker called on Christy Clark’s government to agree to binding arbitration with Vince Ready.
Binding arbitration means a union gives up control over negotiations to the arbitrator, and the members have to live with the arbitrator’s decisions for the duration of the contract. It’s a significant show of good faith from the BCTF, and a move that no union would ever take lightly, including MoveUP. The proposed compromise is especially remarkable in light of history: BCTF has never before suggested binding arbitration.
The biggest sticking point in bargaining has been provincial government’s E80 proposal. E80 is an attempt to negotiate their way out of the two court decisions that ruled government had illegally stripped teachers of the right to bargain for better class sizes and class composition.
The BCTF is asking for binding arbitration to address the issues of wages, benefits and prep time, and that both parties agree to leave matters related to the court rulings on class size and composition before the courts.
In the press conference Iker said, “[Government] must drop E80 and negotiate a new fund that will provide meaningful improvements to students’ learning conditions in the interim…The status quo isn’t good enough…Two days ago Premier Clark called class composition her number one priority. Parents and teachers will hold her to that.”
Iker said if the BC Public Sector Employers’ Association and government agrees, the BCTF will immediately take a vote to end the strike and get kids back into classrooms.
You can help.
Please put pressure on the government to accept this fair and reasonable offer of binding arbitration so schools can re-open without teachers being forced to give away the right that has been reaffirmed twice in court to advocate on behalf of their students in bargaining.
- Call your MLA. Go to http://leg.bc.ca/mla/3-1-1.htm and enter your postal code to find their contact information.
- If you are on Twitter, tweet your support of binding arbitration at your MLA. A full list of B.C. MLAs on Twitter can be found here: https://twitter.com/COPE378/lists/mlas/members.
- If you’re in the Lower Mainland, please make every effort to come out to the rally today at 5 p.m. at Canada Place (see link for details).