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B.C. teachers' union outlines plan for job action after 1 year of bargaining
Undated file photo of children in a kindergarten class.
VANCOUVER -- After a year of bargaining, the union representing B.C.'s teachers has outlined its contingency plan in case job action is taken.
Negotiations between the BC Teachers' Federation and the employer began in February 2019. At the end of June, the contract between the two expired, and a mediator was assigned by the Labour Relations Board in July to continue talks.
But BCTF said "there hasn't been enough progress."
Even so, the BCTF said it's committed to the process and "will not initiate any job action or strike of any kind while mediation is ongoing."
However, the union outlined possible next steps "if mediation concludes without a good deal."
First, job action would only take place after a province-wide vote, the union explained on Twitter.
"There are multiple phases and there can be no escalation between phases without further province-wide votes," BCTF said in a tweet. "No votes are planned at this time and there is no timeline. Mediation remains the priority."
Before a vote would even need to take place, the BCTF said its first phase would focus on advocacy. The second phase, the union said, would underscore staffing shortages "by refusing to provide coverage for absent … teachers unless it is a (teacher on call) hired for that reason." Administrative tasks could also be impacted during this phase.
Rotating strikes and full strikes could follow after that, the union said.
While negotiations were ongoing last summer, B.C.'s Ministry of Education said it was "focused on improving services" and "putting the success of (students) at the centre" of its work.