REPORTING · 6th February 2012
The Coast Mountains School District 82 put forward a motion to write the British Columbia School Trusties Association and ask them to contact the BC Government Concerning an intervention by the BC Legislation to put teachers back to work. This motion was made at the Meeting on January 25th.
“Bargaining between the British Columbia Teacher’s Federation and the British Columbia Public School Employer’s Association has been going on for well over ten months and there has been little constructive movement at the table. Phase one of the BCTF strike is having a serious impact on many students and families in our communities and in this province,” read a report provided by the School District.
The report stated while the effects of the labour action, work to rule, by the teachers would be difficult to measure, they were aware that the communication of assessment of the students progress to parents had been interrupted and there is not good communications between professionals in schools.
The report goes on to say administrative, excluded and education staff, who do not have a degree in education, are spending their hours looking after the playgrounds and marking provincial exams. They are now working longer hours to keep up with their work. Principals and Vice Principals are also picking up this slack, to make the schools run smoothly instead of being key leaders in the schools.
Finally, the report says: “The image of Public Education in BC, the backbone of our democratic society, is being made a mockery of by the unprofessional display of ineptness at the bargaining table and by the lack of focus on what really matters in this dispute – our learners.”
The motion was carried but not discussed until later in the meeting. One representative wanted to know why the supervision of children required an educational background. They were told by Chair Art Erasmus that all the supervision, with the exception of noon hour supervision, was done by teachers.
The representative also wanted to know if the unprofessional display and ineptness was by BCTF’s side, the BCPC’s side or both. Erasmus said he could not answer it but trustee Ray Raj stated it was both sides of the table.
Reed Nelson, President of Kitimat Teachers Association asked about the legislation of teachers back to work. The document did not say this, it looked for an immediate resolution to the problem.
Erasmus said there were over 70 days of meetings. This is an attempt to get someone else to solve the problem. Nelson replied wages in Alberta were higher then in BC. Next year, he would experience a $32,000 shortfall compared to teachers in Alberta, the year after, a $35,000 shortfall.
He was concerned there would be teachers leaving BC within the next few years and dealing with this action in the legislature would meet their needs. Raj stated this was an idea go to the Provincial Council for discussion.