BCCPAC to hold Strategic Planning Parent Leader Meeting mid-August

BCCPAC’s goal, by holding this meeting for DPAC leaders throughout the province, is to is through this daylong session to develop a unified plan of action that strongly and best reflects parent priorities in this current stalemate. This will support BCCPAC establishing a strong stance and media presence on important issues surrounding the learning conditions of our children.

If parents have any comments to  send down to this meeting, please email chair@sd57dpac.ca


B.C. teachers’ strike: parents to get $40 a day if strike continues


The B.C. government is offering the parents of each public school student under the age of 13 years $40 a day if the provincial teachers’ strike is not over by the start of classes in September.

Finance Minister Mike de Jong announced Thursday the cash will be paid using savings made from not having to pay teachers during the strike.

The program will cost the government about $12 million a day, which is about the same amount of money it costs to run the school system, said de Jong.

De Jong says parents will be able to claim their $40 per day per child through a website set up by the provincial government and may use the money however they see fit.

“There are costs that occur to families and parents when their children aren’t where they should be, which is in school,” said De Jong.

“Parents can utilize that money to acquire tutoring for their children, they can use the money to explore other educational opportunities as they see fit and for some parents, it’ll be basic daycare.”

De Jong said the government would pay out the money quickly, possibly in early October, although he hoped the contingency plan wouldn’t be needed and a settlement would be forthcoming.

“The message I hope that’s being conveyed is that there is a requirement, there is a need to end this recurring trend of not negotiating agreements.”

De Jong said he hoped the move would help end the teachers’ strike without legislation and accepted partial responsibility for the fact governments he had been a part of had “perhaps moved too quickly to use legislative tools to impose agreements.”

“I think the BCTF has come to expect that, and it has characterized and influenced the relationship in negative ways,” said the minister.

“It’s time as parties, parties representing the public, parties representing teachers, that we sit down and hammer out a negotiated agreement.”

De Jong said the government deemed students older than 13 ineligible for the payments because the province considers they are more able to access online or other educational resources and do not need as much supervision as younger children.


Press release of item sent to DPAC: Support for BC Teachers: Taking it to the Streets

Dear DPAC Exec,

Please consider sharing with your parent members the attached notice (also pasted below) concerning a sign campaign in support of BC teachers, which has been organized by a coalition of parent groups led by Protect Public Education Now.   While we understand that DPACs may not wish to take sides in the labour dispute between teachers and their employer, we hope that you will be willing to grant us this communication with your membership. 

Respectfully submitted, with thanks,

Marlene Rodgers on behalf of Protect Public Education Now




Support for BC Teachers: Taking it to the Streets


VANCOUVER – A coalition of five parent-groups, representing approximately 20,000 members, is calling on families everywhere in British Columbia to take their support for public school teachers to the street by posting signs in their cars, businesses and homes this summer.

The campaign, led by the Vancouver-based Protect Public Education Now and four other parent groups, invites British Columbians to download and print a sign depicting a tree of knowledge with  a clear message:  “We Support BC Teachers.”

“According to her comments July 14, Premier Clark does not want to let the labour dispute continue to simmer.  If this is the case, she needs to take action and get back to the bargaining table,” says parent Marlene Rodgers of Protect Public Education Now.  BCTF President Jim Ikers has indicated that Justice Stephen Kelleher is available for mediation the week of August 4th.

“It’s tempting, in this summer heat, to forget about the problems facing schools, but parents know that without honest bargaining by this government, September will be an unhappy month for all of us, as students return to increasingly over-sized classes, inadequate support, labour unrest, and other effects of more than a decade of underfunding,” Rodgers adds.

The Support for BC Teachers: Taking it to the Streets campaign, is designed to show support for teachers and put pressure on the government to come to the table and bargain in good faith. The campaign signs come in two sizes, designed for car and home windows.  They  can be downloaded from the facebook page for Protect Public Education Now.   Supporters can print out the images on their home computers, and display their commitment to public education everywhere and anywhere.

The sign campaign builds on a successful petition, which has been signed by more than 6,000 citizens.  http://www.thepetitionsite.com/373/030/758/premier-clark-negotiate-with-teachers-to-protect-public-education/

Groups supporting the sign campaign include:  BC Voters for BC Teachers and Public Education, Support BC Teachers, BC Parents Supporting Teachers, and Education Rallies in BC.  Collectively, the groups have over 20,000 members.


For more information, please contact:

Marlene Rodgers, Protect Public Education Now, 604-875-9818marleneprodgers@gmail.com

Jordan Watters, Support for BC Teachers, 778-977-2309jordanwatters4trustee@gmail.com

Jonah Eckert, BC Voters in Support of BC Teachers and Public Education, 604 209 2682jonah.eckert@gmail.com

Brandy Brundige-Gomes, BC Parents Supporting Teachers (604) 338-9588brandyb@shaw.ca


image001 TAKING IT TO THE STREETS RELEASE JULY 17 We Support BC Teachers Print & Display

Another mediator declines job

Joint statement of BCPSEA and BCTF on exploratory discussions
VANCOUVER – The British Columbia Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) and the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) have issued the following joint statement on the outcome of their recent exploratory discussions:

“The BCPSEA and the BCTF agreed that Mr. Justice Stephen Kelleher would be an acceptable mediator. He had some exploratory discussions with the parties and determined that mediation is not indicated at this time.

“The parties appreciate the Supreme Court making him available.”

Education Minister Peter Fassbender’s statement on the status of negotiations
VICTORIA – Education Minister Peter Fassbender has released the following statement on the status of negotiations between the British Columbia Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) and the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation (BCTF):
“Over the past few days BCPSEA and the BCTF engaged in exploratory discussions with Justice Stephen Kelleher to determine whether the time was right for mediation.

“It was recognized that if the parties were in the same zone, mediation might help land a settlement. Unfortunately, through these exploratory discussions it became explicitly clear that the BCTF executive would not commit to tabling a set of demands that fall in the same affordability zone as the other public sector agreements reached to date.

“Justice Kelleher found that mediation is not indicated at this time. “Our government has a fundamental commitment to balance the budget and we have an obligation to deal fairly with all 300,000 B.C. public sector workers. “However, the BCTF continues to demand total compensation gains that are more than twice what other unions have settled for. On top of that, they are also pushing for hundreds of millions more each year in other contract demands.

“There is no process and no mediator that can bridge this gap at this time. To pretend otherwise only raises false expectations and serves to delay the tough decisions the BCTF executive needs to make to get to an affordable agreement.

“BCPSEA stands ready to negotiate anytime over the summer, with or without a mediator, whenever the BCTF is ready to commit to a fair and affordable settlement. “Let’s hope that the BCTF executive does not take all summer to realize that the best possible deal for teachers is one that lands squarely in the same affordable zone as the settlements government has already reached with other public sector unions.”

Statement from BCTF President Jim Iker

For two weeks, BC teachers have been calling on government and the BC Public School Employers’ Association to enter mediation. For the past week, I have been meeting with BCPSEA’s Peter Cameron and Mr. Justice Stephen F. Kelleher of the BC Supreme Court in exploratory discussions. I am very grateful that the BC Supreme Court granted Justice Kelleher leave to facilitate these discussions and for his willingness to act as mediator.

Unfortunately, mediation at this time will not be productive. The government, by trying to impose a series of unworkable preconditions prior to entering into mediation, has not provided the flexibility required to make mediation work. The preconditions would have predetermined the outcome.

The BCTF has made a number of significant moves to bring the two sides closer together, including a salary proposal that puts the two sides within 1%. Teachers have been looking for government to respond with counterproposals that would improve learning conditions for students like class size, class composition, and staffing levels for specialist teachers.

Successful collective bargaining requires flexibility, an open mind, and a willingness to bring creative ideas to the table. Teachers called for mediation to help facilitate those kinds of ideas. However, the government insisted that teachers accept proposals that would limit bargaining before even entering mediation. When teachers proposed a compromise that would have brought the two sides even closer to make mediation work, the government rejected that compromise. That is not a fair or reasonable process.

The government wants teachers to accept wage demands before they will even disclose their new proposals on class size and composition. That is unacceptable. At no point during these exploratory talks did the government offer any new money for class size, class composition, or staffing levels for specialist teachers.

At this point, with the government maintaining entrenched positions that are unfair and unreasonable, mediation will not be able to move forward. We will keep the lines of communication open in July to restart bargaining if the government is ready to make a real effort and bring the necessary funding to the table. If not, BC teachers will try again in August, with the new school year looming, to reengage Justice Kelleher and the government in meaningful and fair mediation.

Expect your “report card” in the mail

From SD57 website:

“Progress Reports” to Parents of SD57 Students will be mailed this week

The Superintendent of Schools will be signing and mailing a progress report to parents of all students in School District No. 57, Prince George as follows:

For students in grades K-7 the “report” will be a letter indicating the student will proceed to the next grade.

For students in grades 8 and 9, the “report” will encompass those marks which had been entered up to June 20, 2014. This will mean a complete set of marks for courses taken in Semester 1 and only a partial mark for courses taken in Semester 2.

For students in grades 10 and 11, the “report” will encompass those marks which have been entered up to June 26, 2014. This will mean a complete set of marks for courses taken in Semester 1 and a mark for Semester 2 courses as per the June 20, 2014 Labour Relations Board Ruling: “The District shall prepare and the Local Union will distribute class lists with the most recent report card percentage for final marks for students in grades 10 and 11 for review by the classroom teacher. The classroom teacher will review the class lists and advise of any change to the percentage shown on the class list.”

For students in grade 12, the “report” will encompass those marks which have been entered up to June 20 2014. This will mean a complete set of marks for courses taken in Semester 1 and the “compilation and submission of final grades” as outlined in the Labour Relations Board ruling.

ALL reports will be mailed by Friday, July 4, 2014

No summer school in SD57

From SD57 website:

Labour Relations Board ruling and Summer School

The Labour Relations Board (LRB) ruling of June 27, 2014 provides criteria to be utilized by school districts in determining the status of Summer School in each district. The LRB determined summer school will be limited to:

Remedial programs for students in Grades 10, 11, and 12 who have failed a course(s) and have no choice but to repeat the course(s) in the 2014 Summer School.
Students who cannot take the failed course during the following school year.
In an analysis of student registrations as of June 27, 2014 at 5:00 p.m., secondary school timetables and program options for the 2014-15 school year and availability of Distance Learning options for the 2014-15 school year, it was determined that School District No. 57 Summer School could not proceed. Registrants do not meet the Labour Relations Board criteria and School District No. 57 is able to provide learning options required and stipulated by the Labour Relations Board ruling during its 2014-15 school year.

Secondary School principals are aware of the Labour Relations Board ruling and will ensure that Graduation Program requirements for your child will be addressed upon his or her return to school in the fall.

Labour Relations Board Decision June 27, 2014: http://www.bcpsea.bc.ca/documents/publications/TeacherBargainingBulletin/231656632-BC-LRB-interim-order-issued-about-Summer-School.pdf

BCCPAC Media Release on New Bargaining Structure

June 23, 2014

MEDIA RELEASE: BCCPAC’s Position on the Call for a New Bargaining Structure and the Appointment of a Mediator.

The BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils (BCCPAC) applauds the Premier’s directive to Education Minister Peter Fassbender to restructure the collective bargaining process with the B.C. Teachers’ Federation (BCTF).

It won’t be easy, but it’s definitely what parents want to see. BCCPAC also fully supports the BCTF’s call to have a mediator appointed to help solve the ongoing contract dispute and is pleased that government has agreed to this request. Preferably this will be someone both sides can agree on. We hope this will result in a settlement negotiated at the table before the end of June.

In response to our recent survey about the current situation, PAC leaders from hundreds ofschools around the province made it clear they want the bargaining process reformed so thatstudents are not caught in the middle. That was the top answer to the survey question: “What is your PAC’s position on the current labour dispute?” Calls for reform, followed by calls for anend to the current labour dispute, outnumbered the responses that sided with one party or theother.

“Parents want an end to the continual turmoil that disrupts our children’s education and asettlement to the current dispute. This broken, confrontational bargaining system has hurtchildren and families for too long and it must be fixed. If there is a crisis in BC education, this isit,” President-elect Nicole Makohoniuk emphasized.

We hope that both sides will agree to a full media blackout while this round of negotiationscontinue, including an end to any advertising by either side. We wish all parties every success in revising the bargaining structure so that students never again face the situation they are in today. BCCPAC is ready to help find a solution and looks forward to being involved in this discussion.

Our December 2012 submission to the Provincial Government on this topic has more detail:http://www.bccpac.bc.ca/sites/default/files/bccpac_position_paper_on_bcteacher_bargaining_structure_final.pdf

Please contact our office at info@bccpac.bc.ca or 604-687-4433 if you have further questions.
Media Contact:


Visit BCCPAC online at http://www.bccpac.bc.ca/
twitter.com/bccpac  facebook.com/yourbccpac.

Exams and marks

The school district has information posted on their website about exam schedules: http://www.sd57.bc.ca/fileadmin/cao.sd57.bc.ca/District_Info/June_Provincial_Exam_Schedule_2_2.pdf

Update on marks for grade 10 and 11 students: http://www.bcpsea.bc.ca/publications/overview/whats-new/14-06-20/Labour_Relations_Board_Order_Issued_Today_Regarding_Marks_for_Grade_10_and_11_Students.aspx

It is unclear when other students would receive any marks at this point.

Message from PGDTA

Posted as received from PGDTA.

All Together Rally Tuesday

Good Evening.

There will be a “All Together for Public Education Rally” on Tuesday June 24 at 6PM at the Prince George School Board Office- 2100 Ferry Ave

We are calling on the Union Leaders in our Community to come and take a stand with the Teachers for Public Education.

We would like to see the Brothers and Sisters in BC Federation of Labour stand up with us against this BC Liberal Government.

We are hoping to see Parents and the Community rally with us.
Public Education is under attack and the Teachers need your help.

We are hopeful for a big turn out at the School Board Office on Tuesday June 24th at 6PM, prior to the Board Meeting.

Thank you for passing this message along to your networks.

With much appreciation and solidarity.

Tina Cousins

PGDTA President

Prince George District Teacher’s Association

Monday evening: No deal so far

Bargaining information, including history of proposals: http://www.bcpsea.bc.ca/bc-teachers/teacher-collective-bargaining.aspx

BCPSEA Backgrounder – key proposals compared: 00-DS-Backgrounder-What’s Really on the Table-Bargaining Proposals June 16 2014

BCPSEA Backgrounder – costing the proposals: http://www.bcpsea.bc.ca/documents/teacher%20bargaining/Bargaining%20Bulletin/00-Backgrounder-BCTF%20Proposals-Costing-June%2016%202014.pdf

Background information from BCTF: http://www.betterschoolsbc.ca/



“Call me contrary, but I’m going to start with the good news out of the weekend talks between the B.C. Teachers’ Federation and the bargaining arm for the B.C. Liberal government.

The union started off on an encouraging footing Friday with a significant reduction in its expectations on the wage front. The bargaining team dropped a demand for built-in cost-of-living increases, for which there was next to no precedent in modern-day bargaining in the public sector.

Then the union announced that it was prepared to accept a five-year deal, another big move considering that the BCTF initially wanted just a three-year deal before going to four.

The shift recognized an important goal of the Liberals, that of obtaining public sector deals extending well beyond the next election. The teacher contract expired June 30 of last year; five years would carry it though to the summer of 2018.

So far so good. After a lengthy back and forth, the government tabled a revised offer Sunday evening that reflected a significant shift on the part of the Liberals.

They boosted the overall wage offer to teachers from a no-strings-attached 6.5 per cent over six years to 7 per cent. More importantly, they front-end-loaded the schedule of raises so teachers would get 1 per cent July 1 and 2 per cent next February for 3 per cent over the first year and a half or so of the term….”


“After a weekend of bargaining between the government and the teachers’ union, Monday dawned with a rare glimmer of hope for resolving the strike/lockout and preventing a full-scale shutdown of the school system.

Both sides went into the crucial bargaining sessions saying they wanted an 11th-hour deal and were willing to budge from their positions to get it. Progress appeared to be made and things seemed to be looking brighter for a change.

But then it all went from the frying pan into the fire.

“The strike is imminent,” said union president Jim Iker, adding the government didn’t seem to want a deal after all.

“It was all talk. The government was unprepared, unwilling and ultimately unhelpful.”

Iker accused the government of actually reducing its wage offer to teachers from 7.25 per cent over six years to just seven per cent.

“They went backward instead of forward,” Iker said.

That triggered an angry response from Peter Cameron, the government’s lead negotiator, who stopped just short of calling Iker a liar.

Cameron said the government’s initial wage offer was just 6.5 per cent, plus a .75-per-cent top-up if the teachers agreed to reduced sick pay.

When the union balked at the sick-pay concession, the government took it off the table and bumped up the wage offer to seven per cent, meaning the teachers were getting a better total wage offer, not a worse one.

“How is seven per cent going backwards from 6.5 per cent?” Cameron asked. “It’s completely wrong and Jim Iker must know it’s wrong. I can’t characterize that as anything other than a misrepresentation.”

Ugly stuff. Forget that glimmer of hope. This dispute is nastier than ever now, and the two sides are still far apart.