British Columbia Government threatens to impose Contract
Teachers Demonstrating in British Columbia last Year The government of British Columbia in Canada is threatening to impose a contract on teachers The BC government has said in a report that a negotiated settlement is 'very unlikely' and that a legislated contract will be the most likely outcome. Meanwhile the British Columbia Teachers Federation (BCTF) is calling for mediation in the dispute. BCTF President Susan Lambert says: “Teachers are disappointed, but not surprised, at today’s report. It appeared from the outset that the government was using this process as a precursor to legislation. Now, we are urging the government not to repeat a pattern that has left a legacy of damaged relationships and deteriorating learning conditions in BC schools.” The BCTF website reports that the government is proposing a list of attacks on hard-won rights: virtual elimination of seniority; no more fair process in hiring; forced transfers at the initiative of the employer; dismissal after one unsatisfactory evaluation; management control over teachers’ professional development; and more. The BC teachers have been taking action since last September - determined to resist cuts which meant the end of class size limits as well as cuts to special needs services.