Provincial talks over classrooms break down

Talks between the province and the teachers’ union over classroom size and composition have broken down.

Talks between the province and the teachers’ union over a remedy to problems the Supreme Court identified with provincial legislation regarding classroom size and composition have broken down.

Last spring, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Susan Griffin ruled that parts of the 2002 legislation that removed certain working and learning conditions clauses, such as limits on class size and the number of special needs students in each class, from teachers’ collective agreements violated teachers’ rights to freedom of association under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The province is offering to create a class organization fund, worth $165 million over the next three years, which would target classrooms with the highest needs and could be used to provide extra teaching staff or education assistants.

The B.C. Teachers’ Federation is seeking a restoration of working and learning conditions in place before 2002, to be included in teacher collective agreements.

“Clearly the Liberals believe teachers’ rights to bargain and students’ rights to quality classroom conditions must be sacrificed to management’s right to reduce thousands of teaching positions in B.C.,” said BCTF president Susan Lambert, in a press release.

Education Ministry George Abbott said in an e-mail he’s “extremely disappointed” that talks broke down, but the court has given the province a deadline to resolve the issues and that government would have to begin preparing corrective legislation by the end of November.

“What the union is now suggesting would require as much as a 50-per cent increase in the number of teachers in B.C. at a cost of more than $1 billion to resolve this matter,” he said. “As a result, we find ourselves at an impasse.”

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

Just Posted

Vancouver Island films sought for One Minute Mobile Movie Challenge

All entries to be screened online in virtual film festival

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Have a heart when it comes to homelessness

When we de-humanize people, it’s easier to be cruel to them, says letter writer

Major injuries averted after three-vehicle crash in Nanoose Bay

Poor road conditions believed a factor in early-morning mishap

Wildfire southwest of Nanaimo now largely under control

Crews have been on the scene since Friday

Island Health warning of spike in overdoses in Nanaimo area

Substance users advised to visit overdose prevention site on Wesley Street in Nanaimo

47 British Columbians test positive for COVID-19

That brings the total number of confirmed active cased as of Thursday (Aug. 6) to 371 people

Beefs & Bouquets, Aug. 5

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Masks to be mandatory on BC Transit, TransLink starting Aug. 24

Both BC Transit and TransLink made the announcement in separate press releases on Thursday

Acclaimed B.C. actor Brent Carver passes away

Carver, one of Canada’s greatest actors with a career spanning 40 years, passed away at home in Cranbrook

B.C. would not send students back to school if there was ‘overwhelming risk’: Horgan

Plan has left many parents across the province worried about their children’s safety

Canucks blank Wild 3-0, take series lead in penalty-filled NHL qualifying clash

Jacob Markstrom stops 27 shots to lead Vancouver past Minnesota

Tent Island closed due to neglect and abuse from campers

Illegal campfires common on Penelakut Tribe reserve land

North Okanagan man chains himself to tree in protest of construction

Crews began work clearing space for a new facility Thursday, Aug. 6

Most Read