So, in light of this: http://www.bcpsea.bc.ca/documents/Media/00-MoE%20Statement-July%202%202014.pdf I think we can safely say the teachers will not recieve a settlement.
The government’s document can be summarized like this: “Unless the teachers abandon the notion of discussing class size, composition, reasonable prep time or ANYTHING other than salary, we’re not going to be able to negotiate.” What’s left? Oh yeah, salary, which they are extremely close on.
No. I’m confident that if Jim Iker called up BCPSEA tomorrow and said: “Fine, we give, we’ll even abandon our wage demands but you’ve got to give on the other stuff,” then the government would turn the offer down and NOT negotiate because the teachers were still being unreasonable.
No, I believe they have a plan, something like they did they did in 2012 (a refresher if needed). Thier plan, as I divine it, is to leave the BCTF on the ropes all through summer. 2 months of bargaining time wasted. Come the start of school they’ll “negotiate” furiously for 48 hours (August 31st and September 1st) but will be unable to come even close enough to continue by the start of school. BCTF will continue the picket lines and school won’t start at all.
The government will let this go for a week or two and then Mr. Fassbender will release a statement along the lines of:
“Last school year ended on a sour note due to the teacher’s job action. Not only were exams shortened/modified and generally weekend but also parents either did not receive report cards or received incomplete and inaccurate report cards. We were ready to bargain over the summer but the teachers were unwilling to come to us with reasonable demands.
“Now they’ve decided to carry the job action over to this school year and have disrupted the students’ entry into school. We can not let the teachers continue to hold our children hostage. Therefore it is with a heavy heart that we must introduce legislation to force the teachers back to work. We will legislate a fair deal that is within the ‘zone of affordability’. We are also going to make it a 10 year term to ensure our children are not disrupted by job action for a long time.
“I know I had promised that we would not legislate the teachers back, unfortunately this job action by the teachers has gone on too long and we can’t continue to let it affect the children.
“I want to say I’m sorry to the children, the parents and, yes, the teachers, that we had to take this step. I’m sorry we weren’t able to reach a deal.”
I also believe the bill legislating the teacher’s back will be worse than ANYTHING the government has proposed to date. In fact I’d not be surprised if it’s another thing the (soon to be broke) BCTF will have to take to court, and will likely result in ANOTHER judgement against the province.
Mark my words people: we’ve just gone over the hill on public education in this province. The government has turned in the chisels they were using to chip away at public education and has issued themselves wrecking balls.