Vancouver Elementary School Teachers' Association - Local bargaining can work

    VANCOUVER, March 15 /CNW/ - Local bargaining between the Vancouver
Teachers' Federation (VTF) and the Vancouver School Board concluded Thursday
    The VTF bargaining team has been meeting with the employer at the local
table since last June. The VTF represents the K-12 public school teachers
working in Vancouver, including the Vancouver Elementary School Teachers'
Association and the Vancouver Secondary Teachers Association.
    Of the objectives that were approved by the VTF membership, the majority
were considered to be "provincial matters" under the local/provincial split of
issues as per the current framework imposed by legislation in 1994. Despite
this, we teachers brought our full set of objectives and some language for
these "provincial matters" to the local table regardless.
    Vancouver teachers' position is that there are many, many items of mutual
concern that can only be dealt with at the local table. In teachers' view, the
provincial-dominated bargaining structure is not one that serves Vancouver
teachers nor our employer very well. Needs specific to the Vancouver school
community are being left unaddressed - or are being dealt with generically at
the provincial level without consideration of the local context.
    Consequently, Vancouver teachers are very disappointed that there is not
movement by the provincial government to move back towards full local
bargaining, and that school districts are not making the same arguments.
    For this round, however, local bargaining for the K-12 system in
Vancouver has concluded within the range of "local matters" both parties were
willing to discuss.
    Ratification of this new language by K-12 teachers will take place in
early April.

For further information:

For further information: Glen Hansman, VESTA President, (604) 873-8378

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