The assistant deputy minister of industrial relations has issued his report to Labour Minister Margaret MacDiarmid outlining the likelihood of a voluntarily negotiated agreement between the BC Teachers' Federation (BCTF) and the BC Public School Employers' Association (BCPSEA).
In his report, Trevor Hughes found it very unlikely that BCTF and BCPSEA will be able to reach a voluntary settlement of their collective bargaining dispute. Despite almost one year of negotiations and more than 75 face-to-face sessions, the parties have not been able to narrow the outstanding issues. Hughes makes observations about process and substance issues on which the parties are apart, including the government's "net zero" mandate and the BCTF's demand for a 15 per cent wage increase over three years.
The report was delivered to MacDiarmid this morning, who reviewed it before providing it to Education Minister George Abbott and the parties. Based on the contents of the report, Abbott will determine next steps government may take in the dispute.
Abbott requested an expert labour relations assessment of the situation on Feb. 9, 2012 as a result of concerns about the impact of the outstanding dispute on students and the collaboration needed to create supportive learning environments. MacDiarmid appointed Hughes to conduct an inquiry, meet with the parties, and report back by Feb. 23, 2012.
You can read the report at: http://www.gov.bc.ca/citz/reports_publications.html
Ministry of Labour, Citizens' Services and Open Government