Tuesday, January 17, 2012

School boards discuss 'net zero'

At least two School Boards discussed motions last night to ask the BC government to bring a new mandate to the provincial bargaining table with teachers. Teachers are seeking increases to keep up with inflation and to catch up with other provinces in Canada. The government has refused to discuss any increases.

Vancouver School Board passed a motion to write to government seeking a new mandate. In Victoria, the motion failed but with three Trustees (Edith Loring Kuhanga, Deb Nohr, Diane McNally) in support. (Trustee Catherine Alpha is a teacher and could not participate due to a conflict of interest).

School Boards have a direct interest in ensuring that teacher wages, benefits and preparation time keep pace with other jurisdictions in order to attract and retain excellent teachers. Boards are members of the provincial bargaining association and participate in provincial bargaining decisions.

Currently teachers in BC are eighth in Canada. The 'net zero' proposed by the BC government contrasts with recent increases in Saskatchewan and Alberta. An Alberta teacher currently earns $20,000 more than a BC teacher. See a full listing of teacher wage comparisons here: http://www.bctf.ca/uploadedFiles/Public/BargainingContracts/2011-12SalaryRankings.pdf

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