Tentative Deal reached between BCTF and BCPSEA

B.C. teachers and provincial school boards have reached a tentative deal in a long-running labour dispute.

On Tuesday evening, the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation issued a statement saying that the union’s executive committee would recommend members ratify the deal, saying it included some modest improvements over previous proposals.

“After a long and difficult round of negotiations we were compelled into this process under threat of huge fines and further punitive legislation,” BCTF president Susan Lambert said in the statement. “We have been able to achieve some modest improvements but, above all, we succeeded in getting government [to] take its concession demands off the table.”

Education Minister George Abbott also issued a statement late Tuesday, saying that meetings between the BCTF and government-appointed mediator Charles Jago had helped craft a deal.

“We are pleased that mediation has resulted in a tentative Memorandum of Settlement between the British Columbia Public School Employers’ Association and the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation.” Mr. Abbott said.

“Under Dr. Charles Jago’s guidance, the parties worked extremely hard and made progress on many important issues.

“The term of the agreement runs until June 30, 2013, sets out improved language to manage leave provisions, and is consistent with government’s net zero mandate. In addition, the parties agreed to further discuss and seek mutually agreeable improvements on key policy issues to provide students with the best education possible.”