Teachers have called for arbitration

Why won’t the B.C. Liberal government accept binding arbitration in the education dispute?

Dear Editor:

Why won’t the B.C. Liberal government accept binding arbitration in the education dispute?

The B.C. Teachers’ Federation has offered to hand the decision on wages and benefits over to an arbitrator.

The government continues, although incorrectly, to claim that the teachers’ proposals are “out of line” with other settlements.

The government would be allowed to make their case for lowering these cost items.

The BCTF has also offered to negotiate an interim amount to support class size and composition, an area that the premier has said is the number one priority in education.

This call for arbitration seems very reasonable, yet, the government is stalling, likely, if we are to believe pundits, to refuse the offer.

The real motive behind saying no may have nothing to do with wages, benefits, or even putting a little bit more money into class composition.

It likely has everything to do with the government’s proposal, labelled E.80, which would nullify the two court rulings that teachers have won, finding among other things that the government broke the law, bargained in bad faith, and sought to provoke teachers into strike action in 2011.

If the BCTF were to accept this proposal, the government would not only avoid the ramifications and potential damages from the upcoming appeal, or appeals, class size and composition funding would remain unchanged.

While the government has announced they’ll invest $375 million dollars over the course of the agreement, this is not new money but rather currently budgeted money.

Finally, why would anyone sign away two court victories for nothing?

What is standing in the way of schools opening in a matter of days is the government’s refusal to let the courts decide, something both the premier and the minister of education claim they want to happen.

It’s far past the time that the government demonstrate that they truly care about education, let the court decide the outcome of the issues before it, and enter arbitration on the remaining matters.

Kevin Epp

Penticton

 

Just Posted

Summerland golfers compete

Season begins for local golf leagues

Easter Fun Day packs ‘em in for Penticton child and youth development centre

It’s expected record numbers of people turned up for the ninth annual Easter Fun Day

Summerland Kiwanis Club provides support to local organizations

Cheques presented to organizations from Summerland and region

Penticton Speedway revved up to celebrate 50 years

The season will see go-carts and new races in part of its 50th anniversary

Mounties identify woman found dead on Kelowna beach

“Our investigators do not believe criminality was involved.”

Homeless activists outside Notre Dame demand ‘a roof too’

Wealthy people have donated millions to effort to rebuild cathedral after devastating fire

South Okanagan community bands together on social media after shootings

Many in Penticton have turned to social media to express their condolences

Pacific Poke bowl lovers can get a free taste at the restaurant’s ‘Grand Opening Event’

The restaurant will offer some of its specials Thursday evening at its Kelowna location

PHOTOS: Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says ‘I do’ on Earth Day

May and John Kidder got married Monday morning in Victoria

Okanagan resort seeking connnection to rail trail

Predator Ridge Resort slated to present wish for trail from resort to ORT to Vernon council

South Okanagan society looking to bring new racing event to their park

The Desert Park Exhibition Society board is looking into hosting another major event

Youth Shelter Fundraiser encourages kids to play for a good cause

The fundraiser takes place April 27 at the EnergyPlex

Okanagan power outage scuttles – but not ruins – city’s mission’s Easter meals

Vernon’s Upper Room Mission will serve Easter dinner a day later due to downtown power outage

Waterway Houseboats wins $2 million for damages caused in 2012 flood

Houseboat company wins lawsuit involving Province of British Columbia, District of Sicamous

Most Read