Teachers endorse binding arbitration

A total of 30,490 teachers — 99.4 per cent —voted Wednesday in support of binding arbitration

B.C. teachers appear united.

A total of 30,490 teachers — 99.4 per cent —voted Wednesday in support of binding arbitration if the government agrees to participate.

“Tomorrow morning, teachers could be setting up their classrooms and classes could start this week,” said Heather Malcolm, Vernon Teachers Association president, Wednesday.

“Teachers, trustees, parents and students have all called for binding arbitration. The B.C. Liberals are the only ones refusing this workable solution.”

Teachers are proposing that salary, prep time, and benefits be sent to binding arbitration.

They are also asking that the government leave class size and composition to the courts.

“This means that the government must drop article E.80, which seeks to nullify any future court ruling in the teacher’s favour,” said Malcolm.

Education Minister Peter Fassebender opposes binding arbitration.

“If the government thinks its proposal is fair, then there is nothing to fear from arbitration,” said Malcolm.

“Instead, the government has not moved on any monetary proposals in negotiations since June. They have not offered one new dollar to deal with the learning needs of our students.”