Fourth month of job action sees wins for BC teachers | National Union of Public and General Employees

Fourth month of job action sees wins for BC teachers

“This has always been a ‘teach only’ campaign,” BCTF President Susan Lambert said. “Teachers are teaching, and students are learning. Throughout this job action, our members have been working 110% and more, as always.”

Vancouver (2 Dec 2011) - Public school teachers in British Columbia have won some significant battles during their job action that started in June.

BC Labour Relations Board adjudicator, Michael Fleming decided in favour of the workers on two counts. Firstly, teachers would not have to prepare and distribute report cards as argued by the employer. Mr. Fleming upheld the decision made prior to the strike, where both sides agreed report cards could be considered a non-essential duty.

BCTF President Susan Lambert said: “Although report cards are an important tool, they are not essential. They are only one way in which teachers communicate students’ progress to parents. Face-to-face, phone conversations, e-mails, handwritten notes, quiz results sent home—many different kinds of informal communication are providing parents with a clear understanding of their children’s progress. Some parents have told us they feel better informed this way than with the traditional formal reporting.”

Secondly, Mr. Fleming tossed out the employer's demand that teachers hand over 15 per cent of their salary and benefits each month to reimburse the Public School Employers Association for duties union members are refusing to complete.

“This has always been a ‘teach only’ campaign,” Lambert said. “Teachers are teaching, and students are learning. Throughout this job action, our members have been working 110% and more, as always.”

June 2011 was the end of a five-year contract covering B.C.’s 41,000 public school teachers. Talks continue, although Education Minister George Abbott has said only minimal progress has been made toward a new deal.

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The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

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