The B.C. government and its 45,000 unionized teachers have reached a settlement in their year-long contract talks, with a three-year agreement being put to the B.C. Teachers Federation membership.
B.C.’s NDP government has stuck firmly to a bargaining mandate of two-per-cent pay increases, after hiring more than 3,000 additional teachers to meet a court decision on class sizes.
The long-awaited deal comes as schools are restricted to a few students exempted from B.C.’s emergency health order to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. It comes after Education Minister Rob Fleming agreed to keep paying teachers and support staff through the current school year, whether schools function or not, while online and other remote lesson options are worked out.
“The agreement is for a three-year term and further details will be released after ratification by public boards of education and public school teachers,” said Alan Chell, chair of the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association.
The teachers are the latest group of about 2,90,000 employees covered by tentative or ratified agreements under the pay mandate set by Finance Minister Carole James.