(1) 250.472.8528
andrew.weaver.mla@leg.bc.ca

Media Advisory: September 11th, 2014
Binding Arbitration Petition Reaches 25 000 Signature Milestone
For Immediate Release

VICTORIA, B.C. – A petition released by Green MLA Andrew Weaver on Monday afternoon, which calls on the BC government to accept binding arbitration with the B.C. Teachers’ Federation, has accumulated 25,000 signatures in three days. Weaver has now announced a goal of doubling those signatures to 50,000.

“We initially had a goal of 10,000 signatures. We surpassed that in 24 hours. We then increased that goal to 15,000, but accumulated more than 20,000 by the end of the second day. British Columbians are overwhelmingly voicing their strong desire for an end to the dispute between the B.C. government and the B.C.T.F. We are enabling those voices to be heard,” said Weaver. “Binding arbitration has been overwhelmingly voted for by teachers, and with the current impasse, is clearly the only route to get students and teachers back in classrooms.”

Interim-Leader of the B.C. Green Party Adam Olsen speaks enthusiastically about the impact of Weaver’s work on this issue: “Andrew comes from a professional background in education – he is passionate about the issue and understands what’s at stake when teachers can’t teach, students can’t learn, and parents can’t find adequate childcare for their children. I’m so proud that the B.C. Green Party, through Andrew’s work, has been able to move forward on this issue, pressuring an inactive and unresponsive government to do what’s right, fair and in the clear interest of putting families first.”

Weaver hopes that a petition with 50,000 signatures will make a profound statement about the current bargaining impasse the government is perpetuating by refusing to accept binding arbitration. Once the goal has been reached, he will deliver the petition to Premier Christy Clark and Minister of Education Peter Fassbender.

Note:

We have also been asked to make a available a printable version so that people can collect signatures locally and then mail completed pages back to us.

A downloadable copy is now available

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

6 Comments

  1. Tanya Shymko-
    September 13, 2014 at 8:59 am

    Elizabeth, I understand what you are trying to say, however, another wonderful thing about democracy in Canada is that citizens (aka taxpayers that elect/hire those in governmenment and pay their wages) havr the absolutd right to have a say at how things are done and where our tax dollars go. In this country, citizens have a constitutional right to public education and healthcare. This means that the government is legally obligated to ensure that citizens have access to them. See, the thing about these services and all others that we enjoy (police, fire, social programs, etc.) is that they are provided as generally FREE to the public (hence ‘public’ services). Our tax dollars were designed to pool up & pay for them in order to avoid citizens feom being burdened with a higher cost everytime they need these services. Admit it – you like visiting your Dr without paying up to a $400.00 fee, or calling the fire department if your house is on fire and not having to decide if you can afford their service or just let your house burn!

    The problem that the government has with public services is that (because they are generally free), they do not bring in money (other than our tax dollars). And the more money that comes in, the higher bonuses they get, etc., so they really want more money coming in. So the government turns their focus to things that WILL bring them in more money. The easiest solution is to make deals with big corporations or other countries. The province gets a cut of the profits if they give the corp or country a taxbreak to make it easier for them to do their business in BC. This creates a HUGE imbalance with the whole income tax situation!

    The problem with this, is that there is then less tax dollars in the pool! They’ve made this deal with the big rich guy so they CAN’T raise his taxes (althoigh they CAN but don’t want to lose out on those profits). Instead they can either cut back some of the funding to the public services OR raise the taxes of those that have no ‘choice’ in the matter (meaning me &you). But really, it’s just easier for them to cut funding. And then the once constitutionally FREE public services that we once all used to enjoy, now have to cut corners in order to still function. Now, you break your leg & the doctor visit is free but if you want a cast you will have to pay for it! In an accident & need an ambulance? You get a bill in the mail (not to mention that on-call paramedics only are paid $2.00/HOUR -which is grossly less than even minimum wage!)!! You’re sending your kid to school? Well you might not have to pay tuition at this point, but be prepared to pay for supplies, class kleenex & snack fund! It is expexted that your child’s teacher will spend $1000.00 out of her own pocket for supplies each year. If not, she will ask you to fundraise for it!!!

    These little thigs save the government MILLIONS each year from the tax dollars we pay. However, we never SEE or benefit from those savings do we? No. Because the government SPENDS it elsewhere without our approval OR they use it to fill in the gap left from the lack of corporate taxes!!!

    So the government is now presenting citizens with a dilemma… a: leave the public services ‘as-is’ OR b: raise your property taxes by $200.00/ year!. Don’t you see how they word it & spin it? They don’t WANT to give you the choice of asking that your tax dollars (originally allocated for your public services) are REALLOCATED to public services!!!

    So here is where you and I, as British Columbians, can exercise our democratic rights and demand that the government does what is best in favour of the citizens and public services. Remember… they are LEGALLY obligated to provide us with public services! They have been found GUILTY in court TWICE NOW for trying to take those rights away from us! If the citizens sit back, remain silent, let them ‘do their job’, and never hold them accountable, then they WILL take less & less away from you that you are constitutionally, legally obligated to! And in the process, your taxes will NOT go down!

  2. Elizabeth King-
    September 12, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    I don’t support binding arbitration. The whole point of democracy is that we elect politicians to democratically represent us by giving them decision making power. If we don’t like the decisions they make we always have to option to A) run for political office and sway others to our point of view and or B) vote for another political party’s platform based on how they present themselves. An unelected third party does not necessarily represent the party we are trusting to keep our taxes low and to be utilitarian in how they distribute funding to different areas like health, education, policing etc.

    • Steph-
      September 13, 2014 at 12:59 am

      We ALSO elect these members of our government as our representatives to uphold the laws and Constitution of our country and obey the Supreme Court sooo third party interference sounds like a great option.

  3. Martha Parker-
    September 12, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    One very key bit of information that you didn’t include in your petition is the scrapping of Bill E 81; otherwise, I would sign it:-(

    • September 13, 2014 at 12:48 am

      I think you mean E80. I don’t think it is appropriate for me to add conditions to binding arbitration. The government might accept or offer a counter proposal with respect to conditions. It is up the the BCTF and the government to negotiate preconditions, if any, in my view.

  4. Michelle Cunningham-
    September 11, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    Stop breaking the law Christy Clark!!