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October 27, 2017 8:20 pm

Discussions with BCTF will Start “Without delay” says deJong

Thursday, November 10, 2016 @ 3:39 PM

Victoria, B.C. – Finance Mininster Michael de Jong says today’s Supreme Court of Canada  decision which says the Province of  BC must negotiate class size and composition with the BC Teachers Federation gives “certainty.”

The Court said the BC Government failed to bargain in good faith with the BCTF for 15 years.

deJong says today’s decision  will mean the Province and the BCTF will enter into discussions on how class size and composition can be accomplished and that those discussions will  get underway without delay.  “I think we want to roll up our sleeves  and get to work immediately.  We have the benefit now of  a  final determination by the highest Court  in Canada, so we would like to  get to work to implement it as quickly as possible.”.

deJong says it is important to note that the Court  said  legislative intervention  could be allowed under  certain circumstances, but that in this case,  the  circumstances did not warrant   the legislated change which  removed the right  to  negotiate class size and composition from the  BCTF.

“The six-year collective agreement we reached with the BCTF in 2014 included an agreement on the process that both the employer and union would follow when the Supreme Court gave a verdict. The collective agreement remains in place, and the employer and the BCTF will now meet to discuss how we move forward to address this aspect of the ruling.”

deJong is not able at this point to provide any ballpark figures on what  the financial impact of the  ruling may be, but says the Province hopes to have the discussions  soon,  so that “We will be in  a much better position to responsibly reflect our preparations for a balanced budget in 2017.”

He is not  able to say how many more teachers may be hired or if there would be any interim measures put in place before the stat of the next school year.  Those issues will  likely  be the focus of the  negotiations  with the BCTF.

The final figures  for the costs of this  ongoing legal battle are not yet available,  but  de Jong says “It’s not cheap, but it’s important that these principles be considered.  They have applications in labour negotiations for government  right across Canada.”



“dejong says” He is the most pathetic minister that I have ever seen in government. I bet BCTF will get the same old song and dance.

SO he went from a forest minister to a finance minister. I think that it’s nuts that the finance minister isn’t at least an accountant.

Well… this whole procedure has cost the taxpayers a lot of money thanks to the Liberal government in their shove it down your throats mentality.

    Saved 15 years of money, cost is in the future which would have been there anyway thanks to the NDP. Looks like they saved 4.5 billion

This must be a hard pill to swallow for Christy and her group just before an election. They most likely were very surprised on an early decision. Time to vote this government out.

    And replace them with what, or who?
    Certainly not the provincial NDP, who could not find their behinds with both hands and a map.
    That’s the problem, there is really no choice.

      Well, of course it should be the NDP. Your anti-NDP rhetoric and insulting hyperbole do not substitute for facts, they are just insulta used because you can’t justify not voting for NDP candidates. There is a choice and your prejudice against making it is symptomatic of the real problem this province faces in choosing a government. The problem is not a lack of valid choice, it is political prejudice.

      It is the NDPs “negotiated” contract we are talking about 15 years later

      So slinky, let’s try and follow your line of thinking; the NDP and the BCTF negotiate a legally binding agreement, the BC Liberals get elected and illegally rescind that legally binding agreement, going so far as to remove class size and composition from negotiations and the collective bargaining process. The BCTF says those actions are illegal and takes the BC Liberal Government to court, eventually winning in the Supreme Court of Canada, and somehow, and in some way, you are telling us this is all the NDP’s fault???

      Ammonra is correct, only someone who has extreme political prejudice, and bias, would become this blind to reality.

A balanced budget in 2017? Now they want to balance the budget? Oh right, it’s an election year coming up. I forgot.

The Supreme Court says that the Government must **negotiate** class size, and composition.

So why do we assume that the teachers will get a better deal because of negotiation??? I suspect they will, however if the verdict is in, then why bother to negotiate.

I betcha this isn’t the end of it. I’m sure Christies gang will keep on fighting it. You wait and see.

The legislation in 2002 resulted in 3,500 teacher layoffs and more than 200 million in cuts to the education budget so these positions and money is going to have to be restored.

When Christy, then Education Minister, tore up a legal contract with teachers, did she compensate the teachers with higher wages because that is what they gave up in return for smaller classes. NO. The last contract the teachers signed agreed to not seek compensation. So, where does that leave the teachers. Millions of dollars spent in court battling instead of on the children. Love to replace them but I agree there is no one up to the job.

    Billions of dollars saved more than make up the millions spent. Not that it was right to do – but wasn’t right for the leader of the outgoing NDP to sign a blank check to try and hold on to power either

      You are right Slinky! This whole mess undeniable started with the sweetheart deal that the Glen Clark NDP gave to the BCTF. This deal was clearly unaffordable and was given to the BCTF by 3 senior NDP Deputy Ministers without ANY input whatsoever from the various School Districts who would have to pay the bill.

      This is UNDENIABLE! Even the incoming NDP Premier Ujjal Dosanjh considered it unaffordable, as did Carole James, who later went on to become the next NDP Premier, but they all left the deal in place, rather than piss of the BCTF!

Seems to have gotten under your skin a little. Did you think the BCTF was going to lose the court battle?

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