Media Statement – August 31st 2014
Andrew Weaver Calls on BCTF and Government to Agree to Binding Arbitration
For Immediate Release
Victoria B.C. – Andrew Weaver, the MLA for Oak Bay – Gordon Head is calling on the British Columbia Teachers Federation, the British Columbia Public School Employer’s Association and the Provincial Government to immediately agree to binding arbitration to resolve the ongoing contract dispute, and to suspend the strike and lockout.
The departure of mediator Vince Ready from the talks this weekend portends to more than the first few weeks of September without classes for the over 550 000 students enrolled in public schools, their 41 000 teachers, and the thousands of support staff who were due to begin the school year this week.
The government has stated it will not recall the legislature early or introduce back to work legislation when MLAs return for the fall session in October. A framework to continue bargaining has not been established and no talks are scheduled leaving teachers, students and parents with little hope for an early resolution.
“The signs are clear that this dispute could stretch for months which will severely disrupt the lives of students, their parents and teachers, as well as their school support staff. I have been inundated with calls and emails from educators and parents desperate for a solution as the realization is hitting home a good part of the school year could be lost.” said Andrew Weaver. “There is a path forward, there is way to get classes started, and that is with the BCTF and government agreeing on binding arbitration and an immediate suspension of the strike. It takes leadership and resolve to do what is in everyone’s best interest.”
Mat Wright – Press Secretary, Andrew Weaver MLA
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