Arbitrator agrees with employers' association

VANCOUVER, Sept. 18, 2011 /CNW/ - "Arbitrator Jackson, in her final decision on the provincial-local split of issues, has agreed with BCPSEA and issued clear direction to the BC Teachers' Federation," said Melanie Joy, Chair of the BC Public School Employers' Association (BCPSEA).

"The BCTF has obstructed the progress of bargaining by persisting in presenting provincial collective bargaining matters at local matters negotiation tables, contrary to the existing agreement on what is known as the provincial-local split of issues," said Joy. "Arbitrator Jackson issued clear directions to the BCTF in her first two decisions but again, they resisted complying with the arbitrator's direction. It is time for the BCTF to recognize this final decision and move on with bargaining."

Following the referral of this dispute by BCPSEA to the arbitrator, Arbitrator Jackson issued a first decision on August 28, and clearly stated that the BCTF could not unilaterally delegate provincial matters to local tables, as it had been doing. The arbitrator's second decision provided further direction to the BCTF and timelines for action. The arbitrator's final decision, again agreeing with BCPSEA, was issued September 17.

"Arbitrator Jackson clearly confirmed the existing bargaining framework and the existing agreement between the parties that the BCTF was unilaterally attempting to circumvent," said Joy. "The desire to bargain the same issues 60 times in 60 districts is a strategy the BCTF promoted in order to achieve what it wants. That approach is costly, inefficient, and detrimental to the public education system as a whole. Scarce resources need to be directed into classrooms for students, not wasted at the bargaining table by the union trying to whipsaw local school districts."

"The BCTF is on strike. They need to get on with bargaining and make a commitment to work with us to negotiate a collective agreement so students can learn and teachers can teach without any further disruption to the school year."

BCPSEA is the accredited bargaining agent for the province's 60 public boards of education.

SOURCE British Columbia Public School Employers' Association

For further information:

Deborah Stewart, Media Liaison
BC Public School Employers' Association
Cell: 604.764.2901 |  Office: 604.730.4506  |  www.bcpsea.bc.ca

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British Columbia Public School Employers' Association

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