Teachers, government reach accord on restored contract language
Published Saturday, March 4, 2017 1:44PM PST
Last Updated Saturday, March 4, 2017 6:45PM PST
Representatives for British Columbia’s government and teachers’ union have reached a tentative agreement that would facilitate the restoration of language removed from the teachers’ contract in 2002, which was ordered by the Supreme Court of Canada last November.
The language in question concerns limits on class size and composition, which the B.C. Teachers’ Federation argued, successfully, had been unconstitutionally stripped from the deal when Premier Christy Clark was education minister.
The tentative agreement still needs to be ratified by BCTF members and the BC Public School Employers’ Association, which represents the government.
In a press release, BCTF president Glen Hansman said the agreement would mean “the beginning of a new chapter in public education in B.C.”
“The tentative agreement, if ratified, will allow the next school year to start with thousands more teachers, smaller class sizes, better class composition, and specialist-teacher ratios,” Hansman said.
Education Minister Mike Bernier also praised the deal in a release, calling it “great news for students, parents, and teachers.”
Earlier this year, the B.C. government announced $100 million for up to 1,100 new teachers as part of its response to the court’s decision. Both the government and the BCTF said this tentative agreement will build on that commitment.