Speech from our local “union boss”, Tina Cousins, from the Prince George Teachers Association, from rally on September 4th: Rally- BCFED
“On Saturday Education Minister Peter Fassbender rejected the B.C. Teacher Federation’s proposal to enter into binding arbitration in the ongoing strike, and the government’s lead negotiator said there is no optimism a settlement is in sight.”
“…While provinces keep their numbers differently, making comparisons difficult, a look at Alberta and Ontario – provinces that also have dicey relationships with their educators – sheds some light on teachers’ compensation and working conditions elsewhere in Canada.
For example: While new teachers in B.C. make salaries that are comparable to their counterparts in other provinces, those with more experience or expertise lag behind. In Alberta and Ontario, top-ranked teachers can earn up to $20,000 more a year.
And while the BCTF and government argue about appropriate class sizes, Alberta favours loose provincial guidelines over legislated caps, resulting in class sizes ranging from a handful to nearly 50 students….”
The most recent court decision was issued this past January, and the province immediately announced an appeal. A hearing is set to begin Oct. 14.
“Government considers class-size limits, formulas and staffing ratios to be an inefficient means of allocating funding, unresponsive to actual school need, and restrictive in terms of the ability of school districts to offer a range of school programming,” the government says in a factum filed with the B.C. Court of Appeal.
“The issue with the deleted clauses, accordingly, is not simply how much money should be spent on K-12 education but how it is to be spent and who should make such decisions.”