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REPORTING · 14th June 2012
Walter McFarlane
On Monday, May 28th, Local Kitimat teachers began protesting the mediation process between the British Columbia Teachers Federation and the BC Public School Employees Association.

“Over the next couple of weeks, teachers in Kitimat will be demonstrating on the grassy knoll at the old hospital site, the overpass, and Centennial Park to protest the mediation process between the BCTF (British Columbia Teachers’ Association) and BCPSEA (BC Public School Employers’ Association),” wrote Kristine Lewis of the KDTA

She expressed some of the reasons they are protesting is because Dr. Jago has no mediation experience or background and he is mediating between over fourty thousand teachers and the government. He also has no experience with K-12 schools as he has worked in the post secondary field.

Other teachers have been focusing on Bill 22. One teacher commented on how Bill 22 has united teachers who are usually divided.

“Bill 22 directs the mediator to strip the current teacher evaluation process, to take professional autonomy out of professional development, and to strip seniority rights. Mediation is supposed to be about finding compromises, not directed contract stripping,” said Lewis

Lewis also stated the government is forcing a net 0 mandate but are spending $2000 a day to seek resolution.

”We are frustrated that there is no money available to return class size and composition to sizes that were illegally stripped from our contracts, but there is money available for a mediator that has no incentive to find a compromise between employer and employees,” said Lewis. “To an outside observer, this process is not mediation.”