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Media Statement – September 5th, 2014

Andrew Weaver Welcomes BCTF call for Binding Arbitration

For Immediate Release

Victoria B.C. – Andrew Weaver, MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head and Deputy Leader of the BC Green Party welcomes the call today from the BC Teachers Federation for binding arbitration in the ongoing education dispute.

“It’s time to resolve this dispute and get our children back into the classroom,” says Andrew Weaver. “The signs are clear that mediation isn’t working; we need another way to bring the two sides together. Binding arbitration is a perfectly reasonable request. The government will look entirely unreasonable if they do not agree”.

Andrew Weaver called for binding arbitration on Sunday after talks with Vince Ready broke down, leading to another week of strikes in a dispute that has already stretched on for months.

The announcement today from the BCTF offers a realistic, fair and practical means of ending the ongoing labour dispute.

Together, both the BCTF and the government could apply to the Chief Justice of the British Columbia Supreme Court to appoint an arbitrator. Schools could be reopened as the arbitration process progresses.

“I have been inundated with emails from parents and teachers from all over British Columbia” notes Andrew Weaver, “it is clear to me that most British Columbians from all corners of this province would support the call for binding arbitration”

Media contact

Mat Wright – Press Secretary, Andrew Weaver MLA
1 250 216 3382
mat.wright@leg.bc.ca

4 Comments

  1. Mark-
    September 6, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    Whereas I agree with many of the points you’ve made about the last decade, it was teachers via our union who have cleverly asked for the one thing thing the government can’t lie their way out of: a quick end to this strike. They would much rather draw the strike out while we and our union organization run out of money. What I’ve come to understand is that they don’t care about PUBLIC education. A prolonged strike sends parents and more of their kids to private, independant skills. And when I say parents, I mean those who can afford it. Twenty kids from my son’s elementary school have already left in the first week. This is their game regardless of what they disingenously say.
    PUBLIC school will be left, as it is in much of that States, to those that can’t afford anything else. As much as I agree that the assault on public education deserves unflagging resistance, we will have to find others ways to fight the privitization of education. We are right. If there’s justice, and there has been twice, the courts will rule for us again in October. In the meantime (probably 3 years) let us inspire new generations of kids. Binding arbitration will at least settle the wage and benefits and get us teaching. This battle will be long and we need to understand that this is ideological battle. We won’t stop fighting because public school has never been more important in our society and teaching young leaders to face the unprecentended challenges of our time is more crucial than ever.

  2. Nathan-
    September 6, 2014 at 9:16 am

    Binding arbitration will not work when the teachers have already tried to get a reasonable solution hammered out for the past decade and have been unable to do so because the system is weighted down on the government side!
    They have been forced back to work multiple times under the banner of essential service and threatend with fines if they don’t tow the line and take a 0% wage increase for the term of the contract! They have been forced to spend millions of dollars fighting illegal legislation that they have actually won twice!!! And you think that now they are going to trust binding arbitration? Your kidding right?
    Teachers have been waiting in the background of their union reps and legal teams for just such a time as this to be able to finally get what they have been fighting for for over a decade! Don’t expect them to want a quick resolution over a right resolution!!! Not this time. Government had their chance for over ten years to make it right! Game over! Time to fight till they get it or they never will ! If not now when will they have the chance???