While the B.C Teachers Federation pushes for an early start to a new round of bargaining it sounds like the idea is a no go from the group at the other side of the table.
B.C Public School Employers Association Board Chair Alan Chell says they are expecting a big turn over of Trustees in next month’s municipal elections.
So they won’t get their bargaining team put together and brought up to speed until the end of January.
And that is not all.
“And the other factor that we both have to take into account is that there’s no doubt that one of the significant items for discussion this year will be the issue of class composition. And right now there’s an arbitration that is taking place on special needs designations. And we’re expecting the ruling to come out around the end of January. And to have informed discussions around the bargaining table, we need to get the results of that ruling.”
So while the BCTF pushes for talks to start this fall, Chell says they won’t begin until February at the earliest.
The BC Teachers Federation is not happy to hear bargaining might not begin early.
BCTF President Glen Hansman says he still doesn’t buy BCPSEA’s excuse it needs to wait for municipal elections noting the agreement reached with school support workers.
“It seems a bit inconsistent to say, we have to hold off for teachers, when we’ve already wrapped up negotiations with another bargaining unit in the same sector.”
Hansman is also not sold bargaining is an all in process and talks over smaller items can’t begin quickly.
“Well that might be more on the posturing side. We’ll see about that, there needs to be more conversation around that.”
He notes the union has its own leadership convention looming next year.
“June 30th, 2019. I’d like to get it done before I’m done too.”
Hansman says if talks don’t begin until February or March, he has less confidence in getting a deal done before the current one expires or even before a new school year.