“Labor negotiations should be settled at the negotiation table; not in the legislator, not in the court system, and not with somebody else making decisions for leaders on both sides who are charged with making decisions and being realistic about what they’re asking for,” Fassbender said.
Meanwhile, President of the BCTF, Jim Iker recently spoke with CKNW’s Shane Woodford, saying he believes if the province mandates a legislative settlement; it could prejudice the appeal process on class size and composition.
“It’s definitely going to have impact for sure…The two times they legislated us, it was a violation of the constitution, and what they did was illegal. So, I’m sure government is thinking about that, but legislation is not the answer,” Iker said.
In the same interview, Iker did suggest that he’s open to binding arbitration, but goes on to say it’s hard to trust the province when the Supreme Court ruled the government violated teachers’ rights in 2002.
“It’s an option we could take a look at in terms of some of the issues that at the table, but I think what’s really critical to get this bargain moving along, is government dropping their demand that we negotiate away are right to the recent court decision and future court decisions,” Iker went on to say.
Meantime, president of the Provincial School Trustees Association, Teresa Rezansoff also spoke with Woodford, and says she believes the pressure to reach a negotiation will really be felt next week, when parents and students become too fed up with the situation.
“I think absolutely we won’t see school this week,” Rezansoff said. “After that, I guess we’ll see how strong the pressure will be from parents, students, teachers, and from boards of education across the province to try to get us to some resolution.”
Rezansoff concludes by saying she’s hopeful the two sides will reach a negotiation, and that mediator Vince Ready will make a return to the bargaining table.