School board trustees received a letter from Education Minister Peter Fassbender this week that reiterated government’s plan to make the B.C. Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) pay their own health and welfare benefits if the strike drags on next month.
The BC Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) also plans to cancel the June 27 administrative day “failing the conclusion of a tentative agreement” before that date.
“BCPSEA intends to use the provisions of section 62 of the labour relations code to require the transfer of benefit premiums to the BCTF,” Fassbender wrote in his letter to the board. “Specifically, in advance of the due date of the premiums payable for June benefit coverage, BCPSEA will require the BCTF to pay the employers’ costs of all health and welfare benefits, with the following exception: the employers will continue to pay the premium costs for the life insurance, accidental death and dismemberment plans, and employee family assistance plans.”
The letter held a carrot for teachers, saying BCPSEA would return the money to the BCTF “if the parties conclude a tentative agreement, and the agreement is ratified by the union by the end of June 2014, and the union does not escalate its job action into a full work stoppage, or otherwise cause a serious and immediate disruption of educational services.”
Teachers started their stage one strike action on April 23 in an effort to pressure the government to table a “fair and reasonable deal” for teachers.
Under stage one teachers will not: do any mandated supervision of students outside class time; attend any meetings with management; provide management with (or receive) any printed, written or electronic communication; be at a the worksite prior to one hour before class starts.
BCPSEA and the BCTF have been meeting to work out a deal this month.
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