Cariboo Chilcotin Teacher’s Association president Joan Erb was among teachers who participated in a leafleting campaign on the streets of Vancouver Monday to raise awareness about the B.C. Teacher’s Federation’s opposition to Bill 22 that was passed in the legislature, March 15.
Erb is among 700 delegates participating in the BCTF’s 96th annual general meeting in Vancouver this week.
Erb says she is not able to talk about discussions taking place at the conference because most of the meetings are in camera.
Bill 22, the Education Improvement Act, suspends teachers’ strike action, establishes a “cooling off” period and appoints a mediator to work with the parties toward a negotiated agreement.
The new legislation extends the existing contract to cover the mediation period.
If a new agreement cannot be reached by the beginning of summer, the mediator will make non-binding recommendations to government by June 30.
According to a government release Bill 22 also implements a new Learning Improvement Fund of $165 million over three years to help school districts and teachers address complex classroom composition issues.
Monday, BCTF president Susan Lambert said that while Bill 22 has devastating implications for teachers’ bargaining rights, the bill also enables government to further cut costs by eliminating effective class-size limits for grades 4 to 12, protections for class composition and guarantees of services to students with special needs.