Vernon teachers ready to vote

Vernon Teachers' Association presidents says deal isn't perfect, but provides key achievements

  • Sep. 17, 2014 6:00 a.m.

On Tuesday, after several days of intensive negotiations, representatives of the BC Teachers’ Federation signed an agreement-in-committee with the BC Public School Employers’ Association. Teachers will vote on the agreement-in-committee on Thursday.

“I want to thank the members of the Vernon Teachers’ Association for their courageous stand and the huge sacrifices they’ve made on the picket lines,” said Heather Malcolm, President of the Vernon Teachers’ Association.

“While the deal isn’t perfect, teachers were able to get new money invested in schools and reach a mutually agreed-to process to deal with any future court decision on class size, class composition, and staffing levels,” she said.

Key achievements for teachers and students in the tentative agreement are:

Several hundred new teaching positions each year as a result of an annual education fund that will be used exclusively for bargaining unit members.

A mutually agreed-to process to address any future Court decision as well as the removal of the contentious Article E.80.

A significant grievance remedy fund that will be used as a one-time payment to members and will provide improvements in elementary preparation time.

Improvements in salary and extended health benefits.

Fair pay for teachers teaching on call for every day they work.

There are no concessions.

Picket lines remain up until the teachers vote on ratification. If the agreement is ratified, schools will open next week.

“We haven’t been in the schools for 15 weeks. It takes time for teachers and other staff to prepare properly for classes to start. This would have normally been done during unpaid time in the summer,” said Malcolm.