By Andrew Mitchell
The B.C. Teachers Federation and the Public School Employers
Association reached a last-minute deal on the evening of Friday, June 30,
avoiding a potential September job action while ensuring that teachers were
still eligible for a $4,000 one-time signing bonus. The deadline to sign was
the end of the day.
The province’s 38,000 public school teachers still have to vote
this fall to accept the five-year contract, which includes a 16 per cent pay
hike over five years and other concessions, but the BCTF is confident that the
negotiations were a success.
“Congratulations to members for their commitment, unity, and
tremendous support for their bargaining team,” said BCTF president Jinny Sims.
“Together we have achieved significant gains for our profession.”
This is the union’s first negotiated settlement with the
province in the more than 10 years since the NDP government imposed one
contract on all public school teachers across the province. Previous contracts
have had to be imposed by governments and the teachers legislated back to work.
The teachers were originally asking for a 24 per cent raise
over three years, and later reduced it to 19 per cent. The PSEA countered with
an offer for eight per cent over four years, which was later increased to 10
In May, 85 per cent of teachers voted to strike if contract
In addition to the pay hike, teachers also received other concessions from the province through the PSEA, including up to 90 minutes of prep time per week for elementary school teachers, higher rates for teachers on call, and enhanced portability of sick days and seniority between school districts.