This weeks column for 24 Hrs Vancouver: Union proposal a fair one to settle this debacle.

Last Friday, British Columbia Teachers’ Federation president Jim Iker called for the province to agree to binding arbitration to reach a resolution in the ongoing dispute with the government.

Iker proposed that all matters of compensation, benefits and preparation time should go to arbitration, leaving the matters of class size and composition, currently before the courts, to remain with the courts.

If the government had agreed, the BCTF would have called a vote of its members to return to work and get kids back into classrooms. On Saturday, Education Minister Peter Fassbender rejected the offer, saying preconditions would tilt the process in the teachers’ favour.

With the rejection of this proposal, this government has again shown zero interest in bargaining in good faith – something they have already been harshly chastised for earlier this year in a ruling by Justice Susan Griffin.

In the days before Iker’s proposal, Premier Christy Clark took to the airwaves in her own press conference that was not only inflammatory and provocative, but many also say was inaccurate. It took less than seconds for reaction from teachers, parents and press alike to discuss whether she had simply been poorly briefed or deliberately tried to once again provoke the BCTF.

Read Brent Stafford’s column here.

This was followed by more outrage when politically charged, anti-BCTF comments posted by government employees to the government-run Twitter and Facebook accounts for the BC Education Plan appeared – an action some say violated the government’s code of conduct. The comments were partisan in nature, and inappropriate for a government site.

These kinds of tactics don’t constitute good-faith bargaining on the part of the government and are indicative of another campaign to turn public opinion against teachers. There is no interest in mediating a real settlement because the government is asking teachers to agree to E80, a clause that would have them give up the ruling the court has already given on class size and composition…

READ the rest of this weeks column, Brent’s response, comment and vote at

13 thoughts on “This weeks column for 24 Hrs Vancouver: Union proposal a fair one to settle this debacle.

    1. Having seen this at work and how effective and organized they are,it’s a force to be reckoned with as much as it is denied. I had quite the discussion with a BC Young Liberal over this, who denies the BC Young Liberals have anything at all to do with any of the digital influencing….


  1. The rejection of the binding arbitration proposal is 100% damning of the govt. Nothing is more illustrative of bad faith than that. Iker-the-unlikeable finally played a winning hand and, because it is ‘house rules’, it still lost. The government should have been humiliated by their decision to reject it and a court will weigh that decision very, very heavily in all matters in the future. It is stupid. It does not serve the taxpayer and it sure as hell does not serve the students.


  2. For the moment – setting aside the merits of either side [although I’m sympathetic to the Teachers], for me the real issue is to ask the question “Who do you trust?”.
    Can this Liberal Government be trusted?
    Are there any MLA’s who have an opinion outside of the dictates of Princess Photo-op and her sidekick the Cameraman?
    Where is the high-school teacher Don McRae from the Comox Valley in all of this?
    If the Liberal Government had an economic plan to fairly return to the citizens of BC the true value of our resources, we would not be arguing over funding.
    We have the best politicians money can buy.


  3. Maybe it’s time to be in the “good faith” zone Ms Clark and Mr. Factbender instead of the spiteful, vengeful one you are in now? Claiming to be people of faith and attacking teachers personally through the actions of the Ministry of Education “digital Influencers” prove that you are only charlatans.

    Manitoba teachers use binding arbitration for their contracts. Not one strike in 50 years. I guess Mr. Factbender and Ms Clark don’t believe in doing the right thing for the public school children of BC because in their religious leanings power replaces everything else. They believe in “suffer the little children” but forgot what comes next after the start of the line. Shame on both of you for treating the children of BC and their parents with such great disdain. I thought religious people are supposed to have higher standards. Boy am I being proven wrong with you two – obviously don’t practice what you are supposed to whatsoever.

    Iker is one step ahead of Chrusty and her clown Factbender this morning. Asking teachers to vote to return to classes next week if there is binding arbitration is brilliant. It puts the ball back into Chrusty’s court now. If she says no, it will prove once and for all the spiteful vindictive person she is.


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