NEWS
05/16/2014 07:05 EDT | Updated 07/16/2014 05:59 EDT

B.C. teachers paycut threatened over limited job action

The B.C. Public School Employer's Association is threatening to cut teacher's pay by five per cent in retaliation for the limited job action teachers started last month.

BCPSEA chief negotiator Peter Cameron says teachers on reduced duties deserve a reduction in pay.

B.C. teachers are in the first stage of job action over an impasse with government on a new contract and have withdrawn their participation in non-teaching duties.

Teachers are also no longer attending meetings or supervising students outside of class, and are limiting their non-class time to one hour before and after class.

The 'stick' comes only a day after Education Minister Peter Fassbender offered the 'carrot' of a reduced contract term — six years instead of the 10 years government had been demanding.

Fassbender also offered teachers a pro-rated $1200 signing bonus if an agreement were to be reached before the end of the school year.

Cameron says when all of the teachers' demands are factored together, it amounts to a 21.5 per cent increase over the life of the contract.

The BC Teachers' Federation has scheduled a news conference to reply to the government's latest move.

Yesterday BCTF president Jim Iker said while he welcomed the offer of a shorter term and the signing bonus, the  government has not tabled or proposed a single improvement to class size, class composition or staffing levels for specialist teachers, which is critical to the talks.

Iker said B.C. provides $1,000 less per student for education than the Canadian average — a disparity he said must be addressed at the bargaining table.

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