While Queen Elizabeth Secondary School science and math teacher Michael Glenister – who is also a magician – might like to make the government disappear

While Queen Elizabeth Secondary School science and math teacher Michael Glenister – who is also a magician – might like to make the government disappear

LRB to rule Wednesday on legality of teacher pay cuts

No legislation planned, education minister says, as rotating strikes continue this week.

The B.C. government is not planning to legislate a settlement to the latest teacher strike, which is shutting down schools in each district again this week.

Delta public schools were closed Monday, while Surrey’s are expected to be behind pickets Tuesday.

Education Minister Peter Fassbender said last week the government is looking for movement from the B.C. Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) on its wage and benefit demands, but isn’t going to impose another contract extension on the union. The legislature adjourned for the summer on Thursday.

“To rush to legislation is not where we’re going to go,” Fassbender said. “We want the BCTF to come to the table with a wage response that is reasonable and within the zone of other public sector unions. We expect them to come with something that is affordable for taxpayers.”

Lockout provisions were announced by the government last month to mirror union work hour restrictions that started in April.

The BCTF was at the Labour Relations Board (LRB) last week, arguing the province doesn’t have the right to dock teachers’ pay by 10 per cent. Government argued teachers can’t be expected to be paid for work they’re not doing during job action, while the union says the government is trying to provoke a full-scale strike.

The pay cut is saving the government more than $1 million per day. The rotating strike is also saving another $16.5 million per week because teachers aren’t paid for the days they are on strike.

A ruling from the LRB is expected Wednesday afternoon.

After the lockout was imposed, BCTF President Jim Iker said it would disrupt graduation ceremonies, and sports, drama and clubs would be cancelled.

The B.C. Public School Employers’ Association issued a letter to the BCTF saying Iker’s statements are incorrect, and there are no school district restrictions on extracurricular or volunteer activities.

“If teachers withdraw from participation in extracurricular or volunteer activities, they do so at the encouragement of the union and by their own choice,” the letter states.

Fassbender also rejected the union’s claim that teachers doing volunteer work are not covered for work-related injury.

“Any teacher that is at any activity that is sanctioned by a school district is absolutely covered by WorkSafeBC,” Fassbender said.

Iker argued that in the past, coverage hasn’t always been a certainty and that the government can’t have it both ways – ask teachers to volunteer their time while simultaneously docking their wages.

– with files from CBC

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Eternity Medical Equipment’s ECAN95 masks have received Health Canada approval and CSA certification. (Eternity Medical Equipment photo)
South Surrey N-95 equivalent manufacturer launches mask recycling program

Eternity Medical Equipment partners with Ontario-based LifeCycle Revive

Surrey Fire Service at a garage fire in the 14400-block of 82A Ave on March 22, 2021. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
‘Perfect storm’ of variants, increasing COVID cases are concerning for Surrey fire chief

Between police and fire, Larry Thomas said there are 8 confirmed cases, 18 others isolating

Emergency crews on scene after a small plane crashed in a grassy area on the northeast side of Boundary Bay Airport Saturday morning (April 10). A freelancer said the plane caught fire and one person was transported to hospital by BC Emergency Health Services. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Small plane crashes at Delta’s Boundary Bay Airport

Plane appears to have suffered ‘significant’ damage, says freelancer

Signage on a South Surrey sidewalk reminds pedestrians to respect social-distancing guidelines. (Photo: Tracy Holmes)
Surrey records 4,400 COVID-19 cases in March

New cases almost doubled between February, March

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

People walk past the Olympic rings in Whistler, B.C., Friday, May 15, 2020. Whistler which is a travel destination for tourists around the world is seeing the effects of travel bans due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Adults living, working in Whistler, B.C., eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

The move comes as the province deals with a rush of COVID-19 and variant cases in the community

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

Most Read