Wednesday, June 4, 2014

LRB rules docking pay of teachers is legal; BCTF to vote on potential full scale strike next week

The much anticipated ruling on docked pay provisions of the current BC teachers' dispute was delivered by the Labour Relations Board on Wednesday.

A five page review that ruled that the move put in place by the Public Sector Employers Association (Government)  has been ruled as legal, meaning that teachers that are involved in rotating strikes across the province will continue to have their pay docked by ten percent.

You can read the ruling from the LRB here.

The final line of that ruling delivered the response to the BCTF challenge and set the tone for the remainder of the events for today.

 "In conclusion, the BCTF's application is dismissed" 

A short sentence that provides the definitive answer for now on the issue, but one which clearly won't be the last word on the topic.

In a Wednesday afternoon press conference, BCTF President Jim Iker addressed that topic with a short comment, advising that he was disappointed that such a punitive measure as the docking of pay was being allowed to continue and that the BCTF would seek further legal counsel on the ruling.

Beyond the topic of the LRB ruling, Mr. Iker outlined the path ahead for his membership, first thanking them for their work on the picket lines and engagement on social media to raise awareness of the BCTF  position on the issues.

He also provided the BCTF review of the state of negotiations and what the BCTF called the Government's lack of movement on the main issues of concern.

He observed that with no progress at the negotiating table, report cards will not be able to be completed in full and field trips, school concerts and other activities will continue to be affected.

Mr. Iker then outlined the next steps for the BCTF. Advising that the time has come to exert maximum pressure on the employer.

He offered up the timetable for the next week, which will see teachers asked to vote on the next phase of the dispute.  An escalation of events which will find the membership casting ballots on the prospect of further labour action, up to and including a full withdrawal of services.

If given the mandate to proceed, that decision could see a full scale strike at all public school's across the province within the next two weeks.

That vote will take place on Monday,  June 9 and Tuesday, June 10.

Full scale strike action, if approved by the membership would take place within three working days of notice being provided to the employer.

In the meantime, rotating strikes will continue next week, students and parents will learn when their local schools will be affected when the schedule for that rotating labour action for June 9-13 is released tomorrow.

You can review Wednesday's presentation to the media here.

The full text of the BCTF announcement can be found here.

You can find more items on the ongoing labour dispute from our archive page, which is updated on a regular basis.

As well,  the discussion on education issues is ongoing through social media, with twitter feeds #BCTF and #BCED providing for a range of comment and opinion.

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