BC Teachers Headed Back to Mediation
Tuesday, September, 17, 2019
The initial mediation attempt for the BC Teachers’ Federation to resolve a contract dispute recently wrapped up, but neither side is giving up on the possibility to process could be used to resolve the issues. The mediator suggested both parties return on September 23rd to give it another try. In the meantime, teachers have headed back to work without a contract in place.
Following the mediation attempt, the BC Public School Employers’ Association, the group negotiating on behalf of teachers, confirmed on its website that no resolution had been reached.
According to the post, “Mediation between @bctf and government team end with no deal, so teachers go back to work Tuesday without new contract. #BCPublicSchoolEmployersAssociation reports talk on hold because two sides got too far apart and mediator wants to meet again on September 23rd.”
Members of the union received an email explaining the time between the end of the initial mediation attempt and the end of September meeting gives both sides a chance to work on their proposals. She also stated that the current administration is “trying to roll back provisions on class size and composition restored by the Supreme Court of Canada after a long legal battle with the former provincial government.”
In her opinion, the break in negotiations will give the local teachers’ associations time to hold meetings and update everyone on the current status of things. There is currently no vote on job action at this time. She also wanted to point out those staffing ratios for specialist teachers are at risk.
According to the mediator, a resolution was not possible in the first go-round because there were “too many outstanding proposals between the parties.” He further explained that both sides have the right to negotiate a resolution on the issues.