BC Teachers contract negotiation and job action
Has anybody been following the BC Teachers labour negotiations?
B.C.'s 40,000 teachers have been granted the right to strike by the Labour Relations Board, but the government has introduced legislation that could take away that right and impose a six-month cooling-off period and a mediator to settle the contract dispute. The rapidly developing situation has left many parents wondering whether they will have to scramble to arrange child care or time off work, as both sides jockey for position in a highly polarized dispute. The legislation is expected to take to take up to a week to pass in the legislature, meaning the teachers could legally exercise their right to strike in the meantime. The province's Labour Relations Board ruled Tuesday afternoon that the teachers can strike for three days in one week as part of their expanded job action, and then one day each subsequent week, though they must give two days notice before striking. The strike ruling from the board came down just hours before the provincial government introduced its own legislation aimed at ending the dispute. The legislation introduced by the government would not impose a new contract, but does include a cooling-off period that would end the current job action until Aug. 31, making the teachers' current job action and any future strikes illegal, once it has passed into law. The B.C. Teachers Federation is expected to hold a strike vote on Wednesday and Thursday, meaning the earliest possible date for a strike may be next week. The BCTF will not be allowed to set up picket lines, the board ruled. The board also said it will review its ruling on a weekly basis. The teachers required the board's ruling to strike legally because they have been designated as an essential service by the government.