VANCOUVER, Sept. 2, 2011 /CNW/ - "The BC Public School Employers'
Association is pleased that Arbitrator Marguerite Jackson has directed
the BC Teachers' Federation to remove provincial matters from local
bargaining tables," said Melanie Joy, Chair of the BC Public School
Employers' Association (BCPSEA).
The BC Public School Employers' Association (BCPSEA) had sought the
assistance of the Labour Relations Board given the persistence of the
BCTF and its local teachers' associations 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.
Following the referral of this dispute 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 decision today provides
further direction and timelines for action.
"This issue can be put quite simply," said Joy. "The BCTF and its locals
must remove all provincial matters from local tables. The BCTF must
bring to the provincial table, by September 5, a list of any provincial
matters at local tables that they consider key issues. And further, the
BCTF has to bring any proposals associated with those matters to the
table by September 16."
"This resolves a process dispute that was obstructing bargaining at both
provincial and local tables," Joy said. "If the parties need further
clarity, then we can go back to the arbitrator again. But she has been
quite clear that the BCTF must comply with the existing agreement on
which matters are provincial and which matters are local."
"The BCTF has advised us that they will be working through the weekend
to provide BCPSEA with the information required by the arbitrator. The
BCTF has also confirmed that they intend to meet with BCPSEA on Monday,
September 5, to present the required list at the bargaining table,"
"The BCTF is starting Phase 1 of their strike on the first day of
school. It is imperative that the parties engage in productive
bargaining. The arbitrator's decision will assist that process," said
Joy. "We also hope that the BCTF will return to the table with realism
and focus, and will be prepared to move off of the $2.1 billion of
compensation improvements they currently have on the table. That
represents a 75% increase to teacher compensation, which is not
realistic. We can't strike our way to a settlement — it has to happen
at the bargaining table."
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