Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Vince Ready to the Rescue! Teacher's deal ratification vote Thursday; schools should open next week.

Marathon bargaining sessions using the Vince Ready method, that of lack of sleep, shuttle diplomacy and realistic observations, provided British Columbia parents with a final sigh of relief on Tuesday.

The lengthy push to the finish line which started over the weekend, culminated in the early hours of Tuesday morning as Mr. Ready delivered the framework of a six year contract for labour peace in the schools (one year retroactively).

A negotiated settlement that could provide a buffer from further labour woes for at least the next five years.

Pending ratification, the successful conclusion to the negotiations sends notice to public school kids across the province that summer vacation is indeed now officially over.

With an early morning flight to Toronto on Tuesday to catch (perhaps to negotiate a deal with Beelzebub to guarantee the Maple Leafs a Stanley Cup) Mr. Ready, packed away his cape and was off to the airport, leaving the BCTF representatives and those of the provincial government to provide the details on the negotiations in afternoon press conferences.

While parents wait for news from School District 52 as to when the Schools in the District will reopen ( website link here ) here's a quick look at some background to the agreement.

Some of the reported key points from the settlement that is up for ratification include:

A salary increase of 7.25% over six years.

105 million dollars from the provincial government to the BCTF to cover retroactive grievances, with the BCTF Executive committee to decide the fairest way to share that money with its members.

A 400 million dollar Education Fund for the hiring of specialist and classroom teachers over the course of the six year agreement. Money that will be allocated to hire BCTF bargaining unite members.  It's estimated that will add some 850 additional teaching positions through the life of the agreement.

The Provincial Government withdrew their Article E80 demand as part of the recent bargaining process.

Improvements in prep time for elementary teachers, as well as an improvement to the dental and extended health benefits program for BCTF members.

Comments on the tentative agreement from Premier Clark, Education Minister Fassbender and negotiator Vince Ready (audio)

BCTF Press Conference with Jim Iker (video)

With this final chapter of this three act drama set to play out, those inclined to review the last five months of turmoil in the education sector can go back through our archive on the dispute since last spring.

Act One ( The Spring and Summer )

Act Two ( September up to the deal, includes links to twitter discussions on the dispute )

Some of British Columbia's top observers on education and some of the province's most influential journalists have focused on the tentative agreement.

Their observations providing for the most concise review of the developments of yesterday, a cross section of  their work on the topic can be found below:

Vaughn Palmer-- Tried-and-true Ready method yields a breakthrough
Michael Smyth-- It's a disgrace our kids were used as weapons to achieve the inevitable in teachers' deal
Gary Mason-- B. C.'s teachers are the losers in tentative deal
Keith Baldrey-- Teachers to vote on tentative deal on Thursday: the details (video)
Les Leyne-- End of strike should start new focus on helping kids
Tom Fletcher-- Off to school, and back to court for BCTF
Janet Steffenhagen-- BCTF and government reach tentative deal; school could resume as early as Monday
Katie Hyslop-- Premier Clark: Six-year deal will 'reset' relationship with teachers
Tracy Sherlock/Rob Shaw-- B. C. schools could reopen by Monday after 'historic' deal reached with teachers

As we did during the course of the dispute. We will offer up an archive of items of note, updated through the day on the path towards the ratification vote of Thursday and the return to the classrooms, should the deal find acceptance from the BCTF membership.

Those items can be found below:


September 25-- Teacher dispute lacked a good set of rules

September 24-- Clark expects case will go to Supreme Court

September 23-- Prince Rupert teachers, school district welcome return of classes
September 23-- School is back in session! Full of day of studies starts Tuesday, as does full school zone speed enforcement  NCR

September 22-- BCTF made gains despite mistakes
September 22-- First day at school after teachers' strike an emotional moment for many
September 22-- Teachers' strike strategy was like 'a chess grandmaster playing a Grade 8 kid' 
September 22-- BC Libs Drove on with Fundraisers during Teachers' strike

September 21-- B. C. teachers return to work emotionally bruised
September 21-- Back to school and lessons learned
September 21-- B. C. teachers strike fosters engagement from students and parents

September 20-- The secret meeting that broke the B. C. teachers' impasse
September 20-- B. C. teachers get ready to start school Monday
September 20-- Back to school, here's your first exam, kids
September 20-- What Makes Us Unequal? Class in the classroom
September 20-- Remarkably clean ending to bitter dispute
September 20-- The teachers, at least, are glad to be back in school

September 19-- Details on Prince Rupert's back-to-school released
September 19-- The B. C. teachers' contract that just might last
September 19-- B. C. teachers ratify six-year contract
September 19-- B. C. schools back to normal on Monday
September 19-- Strike ends as Teachers Accept Contentious Contract
September 19-- Three Labour Lessons from the Teachers' Strike
September 19-- What the deal means for B. C. classrooms
September 19-- Fassbender hopes B. C. teachers, government can repair relationship
September 19-- Kids going back to school sat 86 per cent got 'yes' to teachers' new six-year contract
September 19-- 86 per cent of B. C. teachers vote "Yes" to new six-year contract

September 18-- Former Victoria teachers' rep call for 'no' vote on tentative contract
September 18-- What to expect Thursday as B. C. teachers vote on the tentative agreement
September 18-- B. C. teachers debate tentative contract ahead of vote that could reopen schools
September 18-- Mood far from upbeat as B.C. Teachers got on "best (deal) we're going to get" 
September 18-- B.C. teachers set to vote on tentative deal, but strong voices urge rejection
September 18-- It's decision day in B. C. teachers' labour dispute with provincial government
September 18-- Some teachers prepared to plug their noses and vote 'yes' on BCTF tentative agreement
September 18-- BCTF reaches back-to-work agreement with government
September 18-- Joanna Larson plans to vote "no" today on the tentative teachers' deal to end the teachers' strike (audio)

September 17-- A Peek into BC's Proposed Teacher Deal
September 17-- A settlement funded by strike savings
September 17-- Union leader Jim Sinclair weighs in on deal
September 17-- So you thought the B. C. school dispute was all settled? Not quite
September 17-- Comparing B.C. teachers' demands with the tentative agreement
September 17-- B. C. teachers should seize the moment and end strike, says legal expert
September 17-- B. C. teachers debate tentative deal ahead of vote that could reopen schools
September 17-- BCTF letter outlines tentative agreement
September 17-- BCTF execs recommend that teachers ratify tentative agreement
September 17-- Iker and Clark on What Deal Means: A study in contrasts
September 17-- Raeside's View of settlement (political cartoon)

September 16-- BCTF touts deal in email to members
September 16-- BCTF and government reach tentative deal; school could resume as early as Monday
September 16-- Teachers to vote Thursday on deal; hope for schools to open Monday
September 16-- BCTF executive recommends six year teacher deal
September 16-- B. C. schools could reopen by Monday after "historic" deal reached with teachers
September 16-- Full text of communication to teachers from the BCTF
September 16-- Premier says tentative teachers' agreement wouldn't require tax hike
September 16-- Premier Christy Clark calls tentative six-year teachers' deal "historic"
September 16-- Premier Clark praises "historic" teacher deal
September 16-- Province says teachers' deal won't mean higher taxes
September 16-- B.C. Teachers to vote Thursday to end strike after tentative deal reached (video)
September 16-- Tentative Deal poised to end B. C. teachers strike
September 16-- Back to class? Next steps for B. C. teachers and students (video)
September 16-- Province likely made first big move to reach tentative deal in teachers dispute: analyst
September 16-- Significant dates in B. C.'s long, troubled relationship with its teachers
September 16-- Tentative agreement reached in B. C. Teachers strike
September 16-- Tentative agreement reached in B. C. teachers strike
September 16-- When will kids be back in class?
September 16-- Major breakthrough: B. C. teachers reach tentative deal with government
September 16-- Prince George Teachers rep hoping for a "Fair Deal"
September 16-- Tentative deal reached to end teacher strike
September 16-- Prince Rupert educators remain on good terms
September 16-- Parents relieved a tentative deal has been reached in the teachers dispute
September 16-- B. C. Teachers and businesses seize upon social media to push their messages
September 16-- BC Teacher strike over, says union: deal reached
September 16-- BCTF to vote Thursday on tentative deal
September 16-- Tentative Deal reached between BCTF and government (video)
September 16-- B. C. Teachers reach tentative deal to end strike, union says
September 16-- Tentative Deal Reached
September 16-- B. C. teachers, government reach tentative deal to end strike
September 16-- B. C. teachers' strike deal reached: Union and Liberals reach tentative agreement

For items of note on Education on the North Coast see our archive page here

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