School board urges good faith bargaining

SD5’s board of trustees is asking the B.C. government to keep teacher negotiations out of the court room

School trustees are appealing to the B.C. government to reach an agreement with teachers using “old fashion sincere, meaningful and good faith bargaining.”

School Distrist 5’s board of trustees has written a letter to Premier Christy Clark and Education Minister Peter Fassbender, asking for assurance that any impacts of ongoing negotiations between the B.C. Teachers Federation and the province will be funded by government.

The letter comes after B.C. teachers voted last month in favour of job action should they feel it is necessary to further contract negotiations with the B.C. government.

Teachers’ job action will come in three phases, the first two of which have been approved by the teachers’ union.

In phase one, teachers would refuse meetings and communication with administrators and work to rule on hours. Phase two would see teachers participate in rotating one-day walkouts.

Phase three, a full scale strike, would require a second vote by members to authorize.

In January, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Susan Griffin found for a second time that B.C. legislation imposing contract terms violated teachers’ right to collective bargaining.

However, an appeal court decision last month stayed an order that would force B.C.’s school districts to reorganize around teacher contract terms that were scrapped by the government in 2002 and allowed the government to pursue an appeal of the January ruling.

The SD5 board of trustees’ letter to government urges that the two parties move away from legal avenues.

“Madam Premier and Mr. Minister, our Board believes that everything about education should be about cooperation and consultation not litigation and legislation. Our hope, like every other District, is that the Province and the BCTF will win an agreement at the bargaining table with some old fashion, sincere, meaningful and good faith bargaining. Another strike mandate returns our schools and personnel to the pressure cooker of tension. The cost to taxpayers in this ongoing battle will not only be measured in dollars but in irreparable harm to human relationships in our schools and in our rural communities.”

The letter, signed by board chair Frank Lento, takes a strong position.

“Our Board will not take the complacent path that there will be no impact or disruption to schools and adopt a wait and see approach until all stays and all court avenues are exhausted. Rather, we will choose the prudent and responsible highway of preparing and planning for a negotiated settlement that reflects Griffin’s decision or the actual impact with the additional finances required to implement the January 27, 2014 decision.”

The letter concludes: “We must be assured by government, our educational gatekeeper, that all impacts will be funded. Our schools and communities need it. Our students deserve it. Our parents and taxpayers expect it.”

Just Posted

The latest EKASS survey confirms a steady decline in substance use among EK youth over the years. (image compilation via Pixabay)
Latest survey shows steady decline in adolescent substance use over the years

Starting in 2002, the survey has been conducted every two years to monitor changes in substance use patterns, attitudes and behaviors amongst East Kootenay youth.

The Aquatic Centre at Western Financial Place.
Cranbrook Aquatic Center to close temporarily

The annual shutdown of the Aquatic Center at Western Financial Place will begin earlier than scheduled this year and does not have a defined end date at this time.

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

It happened this week in 1914

June 6 -12: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Thursday, June 10, mentioned Grand Forks among two other COVID “hot spots” in B.C. Photo: Screenshot - YouTube COVID-19 BC Update, June 10, 2021
PHO Henry says West Kootenay city is a COVID ‘hot spot’ in B.C.

There are 11 cases of COVID-19 in the Grand Forks local health area, according the BC CDC

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read