Statements from BCTF & Govt re: current situation

Minister of Education Peter Fassbender issued the following statement today:

“Today veteran labour mediator Vince Ready determined that the parties are too far apart for mediation at this time.

“I’m very disappointed for students, parents and teachers. What should be a time of excitement and anticipation will instead be marked by frustration and uncertainty.

“I wish I could tell British Columbians when students will be back in school. But right now, I don’t see any quick or easy solutions.

After two days of work with Vince Ready, it has become clear that the government is not
prepared to find a fair settlement that will get BC’s students and teachers back in classrooms. The BCTF team tried to kick start meaningful talks by dropping some proposals entirely and reducing others substantially. In total, our moves today reduced our package by $125 Million.  Unfortunately, the government did not indicate they were willing to make any meaningful  moves in return.

Vince Ready has left talks

“Vince Ready has left talks between the B.C. teachers’ union and the provincial government in Richmond, B.C., saying the sides are too far apart to come to a resolution anytime soon.

“I don’t see a resolution here before the start of school given the positions of the parties. They are a long, long ways apart,” the veteran mediator said.

He has been working as a facilitator since Thursday, when talks resumed after a summer of stalled negotiations.

Veteran mediator Vince Ready said Friday night that the parties in the teachers’ dispute were far from a resolution. On Saturday he walked, saying there was no need for him as the two sides were too far apart. (CBC)

Ready said he was trying to “establish some kind of a meaningful framework for mediation.”

But, the two sides’ positions on wages, benefits and class composition remained “a long ways apart,” he told reporters as he left a building that had housed the talks on Saturday just after 5:30 p.m. PT.

There had not been enough movement between teachers and their employer for him to justify staying involved, he said, adding he couldn’t imagine anything would develop over the weekend that would allow classes to start as scheduled on Tuesday.

Ready said the next steps are up to the negotiators working for the B.C. Teachers’ Federation and for the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association.”


Raw interview with Vince Ready:

From Prince George Citizen: Schools Out, What Now?

While negotiations continue between the government and its teachers various Prince George groups have stepped forward with plans for next week.

Judy Russell’s Enchainement Dance Center is presenting Let’s Hang!, an extended day camp for elementary school-aged children. There are two high energy camps designed to keep children motivated and active while waiting for the school dispute to end. Program A is for children from kindergarten to grade 3, and Program B for grade 4 to 7. The programs are supervised by qualified Enchainement staff and offer quality movement training, crafts, and active games. For more information and to register call 250-563-2902 or e-mail

The Family Y has just opened up another 24 spaces to accommodate children from ages five to 12 years old, with 96 in total. Day camps drop off starts at 7:45 a.m. and goes 6 p.m. in Prince George. There are also another 12 spaces available at the Vanderhoof YMCA. Lynette Mikalishen, director of childcare, invites older children to make use of the rec room where there’s several activities geared for children and youth like a climbing wall, video games, games tables and a play area.

The Two Rivers Gallery is offering creativity day camps for those in Grades 1 to 7 during the strike and there are 20 spots available. The program starts at 9 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m., with drop off at 8:45 a.m. and pick up at 4:30 p.m.

“Children will be drawing, painting, print making and going outside to play, as well as playing games in the gallery,” said Carolyn Holmes, director of public programs at the gallery.

Exploration Place was able to offer 20 spots for day camps during the strike but they have already been filled.

Both branches of the Prince George Public Library will offer family gaming activities. At the main branch there will be a ping pong table, table games, puzzles, and a Wii, found throughout the children’s section, while similar activities will be offered in the multipurpose room at the Nechako branch.

“We just want people to have fun family game time out of the house,” said Andrea Palmer, the library’s communications coordinator. “Of course, everything is free. We get asked all the time to put on more programming (during teachers’ strikes) and the problem is we are not licensed to care for children so we can’t put on a day camp for kids. As long as parents are on site, there’s always something going on at the library when kids are out of school.”

Additionally, had link sent by Canadian Parents for French:

Saturday’s Updates

Fascinating article on special needs in the classroom:

“School districts in British Columbia are holding off telling parents the start of classes will be cancelled next Tuesday amid fresh negotiations aimed at stopping the teachers’ strike.”

Mediation update:

“Mediator Vince Ready met with the teacher’s union and the employer into the evening Friday after agreeing to stay involved for a second day of talks.

Ready indicated the two sides in the B.C. teachers’ strike are still far apart, but said it was worth convening the bargaining teams to see if progress could be made.”

“Mediator Vince Ready will once again be speaking with both the BCTF and the school employers association Saturday afternoon.

Talks involving the teachers union and the government ended for the day at around 10:30 p.m. Friday night.”

BCCPAC August 2014 Newsbytes sent out

August was a busy month for BCCPAC – An emergency DPAC Summit meeting was held on August 16th. The press release below was issued as a result of the coming together of DPAC leaders throughout the province.
Additional related media with board insight can be found below.
BCCPAC Press Releases and Media Presence 
BCCPAC August 17th DPAC Emergency Summit Release
BCCPAC Barganing Structure and Call for Mediation
BCCPAC Vice President Ayesha Haider on Global News

Vice President John Puddifoot on CBC Victoria
Notice to Members
Secretary Posting

BCCPAC has an immediate opening for Board Secretary;
The job of a board member is time-consuming and very rewarding. It is a significant opportunity to explore and influence issues in education that affect our children. You will meet committed parents from all over the province as well as educators from the partner groups, Ministry of Education and political leaders. You will require organizational, communication, and leadership skills to be effective in your role.  Board members are well placed to promote the parent voice in education in BC and are responsible to influence educational policy at the provincial level in support of BCCPAC’s constitutionally defined purposes.

For complete information and nomination form – Click Here

Call for Volunteers

BCCPAC is looking for volunteers when needed to talk to the media on their personal stance regarding current job action. The BCCPAC office receives these requests regularly and as such would like to have an available list of parents willing to discuss their personal point of view. If interested please contact the BCCPAC office directly at 604.687.4433 or

The BCCPAC Board of Directors would also invite any interested members to explore the many volunteer option available to them. Please review the link of available committees – Committee Listings and if interested please submit either an Online Volunteer Form or a Printable PDF

Information and Updates for our Members

This month we have welcomed our new Office Coordinator Marijoel Chamberlain.
For all office queries please contact our Office Assistant;
Jane Scott.
or our Office Coordinator;
Marijoel Chamberlain.
Please note our office hours are:
from 9.00am – 4.00pm Monday thru Friday.

2014 Fall Leadership Conference will be held in Nanaimo, November 21-23. Please check out the conference site for additional updates and information BCCPAC Fall Leadership Conference Website  Current information is being updated regularly.

Memberships received and/or postmarked by December 15th 2014 will give your PAC or DPAC voting privileges at our  2015 Annual General Meeting.
Click here to apply online
Click here for a printable form 

Attention DPACS! New for the 2014-2015 school year. If you will be paying the the fee for your School District members please complete the form below:

  • complete the hard copy DPAC Payment for District Members Form DPAC Payment Form (please note the deadline for the DPAC form only is November 15th 2014).


Anxiety BC
The video was produced by the UBC Anxiety Research Project and AnxietyBC. It was developed to help parents with easy separation during the transition to kindergarten
Click Here to view YouTube Video

Learn Magazine:
Through Learn, the Ministry of Education supports the transparency requirements of the Teachers Act and educates and informs those who hold BC teaching certificates, as well as education partners, about the regulation of the teaching profession. Learn is also a vehicle to showcase educational best practice and innovation and to share Ministry initiatives.

The latest version of Learn magazine is now available on the Teacher Regulation Branch website. This issue offers:


  • Project-Based Learning Turns a Forest into a Classroom: Port Alberni educator Ryan Dvorak combines natural resource management with the Grade 9 curriculum  
  • Opening Doors to Post-Secondary Education: VIU leads the way in minimizing barriers to education beyond Grade 12
  • Learning in Depth: SFU professor Kieran Egan discusses his simple yet radical approach to curriculum innovation

In the Public Interest:

  • Professional Conduct Advisory on Coaching School Sports
  • From the Office of the Commissioner for Teacher Regulation: Discipline Outcomes

In Every Issue:

  • Branch News and Notices
  • In Profile
  • Bits and Bytes

You can also view previous issues of the magazine in the Archives section on the website.

Friday's update

“Parents will need to keep an eye on the media this weekend to find out if schools will be opening Tuesday morning. [Which would be Wednesday in Prince George school district]

“(I)f there is a deal even at the last minute, we will do everything possible to open schools right away,” Surrey’s superintendent of schools Jordan Tinney said in a letter to parents Friday afternoon.

Veteran mediator Vince Ready was scheduled to meet with the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association’s chief negotiator Peter Cameron and B.C. Teachers’ Federation president Jim Iker Friday afternoon.

“Even if we heard about a deal as late as Monday evening, we could open on Tuesday with our normal shortened opening day routines,” the letter states. “We have been informed by BCPSEA that if there is a deal, likely the process and timing for schools opening will be part of those final conversations with the BCTF. We are asking that parents watch the media and our website.” ”

Read more:


BCPSEA statement from August 28th:’%20Association%20Confirms%20Agreement%20With%20Minister’s%20Proposals%20August%2028%202014.pdf


Interesting survey – full summary available here:

Full report here:

August 29, 2014 – A softening of public support for teachers in the ongoing labour dispute between the BC Teachers’ Federation and the BC Government now puts backing for both sides in a virtual tie with days to go before the scheduled start of the new school year.

These are the findings of a new survey, commissioned and paid for by Angus Reid Global, that also show British Columbians have little hope for a deal before schools are supposed to open Tuesday September 2nd, and show parents making alternate plans.


The online survey shows 36 per cent of respondents are most inclined to support teachers in the dispute while 35 per cent back the BC Government. One-quarter (23%) say they support neither side. Support for teachers among parents or direct caregivers to children in school is also split, with 38 per cent taking the teachers’ side over government’s (34%). This represents a softening of support for teachers among parents/caregivers from an earlier ARG poll conducted in June, when they said they supported teachers two-to-one over government (49% to 25%).


Different survey from BC Federation of Labour:

“New public opinion research commissioned by the BC Federation of Labour and released by  Insights West offers very encouraging results for teachers. It shows the general public—and  especially parents—overwhelmingly support teachers in our job action.

“As we head into September, this poll clearly tells us that British Columbians are on side with  BC’s teachers and what they are standing up for,” said Jim Sinclair, President of the BC  Federation of Labour. “The public, especially parents, want the government to respect teachers and invest in public education.” “

More links & updates

Administrative Appointments

Superintendent of Schools Brian Pepper is pleased to announce the following appointments, effective immediately:


  • Kap Manhas – Principal, Kelly Road Secondary
  • Steve Baker – Vice-Principal, Duchess Park Secondary
  • Tanya Goodwin – Vice-Principal, Heritage Elementary
  • Kirk Czechmeister – Vice-Principal, Heather Park Elementary


The following principals have been seconded for the 2014-15 school year:
  • Priscilla Prosser – Learning Innovation – Essential Eight (0.5 FTE)
  • Sherry Thibault – Learning Innovation – Essential Eight (0.5 FTE)
  • Lee Karpenko – Learning Innovation – Trades, Skills Training and Program Development (1.0 FTE)


We wish these administrators all the best in their new positions.

Vancouver Sun Article

The school year appears increasingly unlikely to start on time, although early Tuesday evening the Ministry of Education confirmed a meeting is expected to take place Wednesday in Victoria between Education Minister Peter Fassbender, B.C. Teachers’ Federation president Jim Iker and the government’s negotiator Peter Cameron.

But it’s possible schools won’t be closed too far into September. A deal could be reached, or the employer could apply to the Labour Relations Board, arguing that essential service levels have been breached.

In September 2011, a Labour Relations Board decision written by Mark J. Brown found that schools could be closed for up to two weeks without “serious and immediate disruption to the provision of educational programs.” A similar ruling has not been sought in the current dispute.

Beyond two weeks, Brown ruled that disruption to education would vary depending on a student’s grade or the time of year in which the disruption occurred. But even at that point, he would allow teachers to strike one day a week, with their pay reduced accordingly.

A return to a partial strike is not completely out of the question ­— teachers in Vancouver were sent a survey asking if they supported continuing the full strike, moving to a rotating strike or returning to work under a work-to-rule regime. The B.C. Teachers’ Federation said many locals sent out a similar survey, but it would not disclose the results.

While a media blackout covers negotiations, there was speculation on social media that a B.C. Public School Employers’ proposal related to the court case might be holding up the bargaining process.

Part of the BCPSEA proposal E 81 states that “(w)ithin 60 days of the ultimate judicial decision, either party may give written notice to the other of termination of the collective agreement. If notice is given, the collective agreement terminates at the end of that school year, unless the ultimate judicial decision occurs after the end of February, in which case the termination takes place at the end of the following school year.”

When the proposal was introduced back in June, chief negotiator Peter Cameron and Public Service Employer’s Council representative Lee Doney said in a news conference that the clause was instituted as an interim solution until the B.C. Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court of Canada make their ruling.

“I think that’s a very pragmatic and creative way to deal with a problem that both parties are stuck on. It says, ‘Let’s put it on the back burner and when we see the ultimate decision we can decide whether we want to renegotiate from there,’” Doney said, according to a transcript of the news conference.

But Mark Thompson, professor emeritus of industrial relations at the University of B.C.’s Sauder School of Business, said the risk of this clause outweighs any benefit for the province’s 40,000 teachers.