What the teachers' union and provincial government are asking

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education School closed strike teacher teachers BCTF labour action / Shutterstock

So what’s really on table? What’s keeping the BC Teachers’ Federation and the provincial government from reaching an agreement?

Teachers began job action on April 23, before escalating into rotating strikes on May 26. On Tuesday, the strike evolved into a full-blown job action phase.

Here are the latest collective bargaining proposals from each side, as of June 16, 2014.

Term and Wages

BCTF Proposal

  • The BCTF proposes a 5-year term (July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2018).
  • The BCTF wage proposal includes a significant signing bonus of $5,000 and general wage adjustments:
      • July 1, 2013: $5,000 signing bonus
      • July 1, 2014: 3.5%
      • July 1, 2015: 1.5%
      • July 1, 2016: 1.5%
      • July 1, 2017: 1.5%
  • The BCTF proposal also includes an additional increase equal to the difference between the actual GDP and the forecasted GDP to take effect on the first pay day after February 1 in the collective agreement.
  • The BCTF is also seeking:
    • “Shortening” of the teacher salary grid from 10 steps to 8 steps by removing the first 2 steps on the grid.
    • Restoration of three salary grid categories removed during the salary harmonization process in 2006.
    • Increases to all allowances by set percentages.

Provincial Government Proposal

  • BCPSEA proposes a 6-year term (July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2019) with an optional seven-year term (expiry June 30, 2020), which would attract an additional increase.
  • Date of Ratification: $1,200 signing bonus per FTE teacher if agreement reached by June 30, 2014, prorated for teachers who work less than full time or who started during the school year. TTOCs are also eligible for the signing bonus,which will be calculated on the proportion of time actually worked relative to a full time, full year employee.
    • July 1, 2014 – 1.0%
    • February 1, 2015 – 2.0%
    • May 1, 2016 – Economic Stability Dividend (ESD)
    • July 1, 2016 – 1.0%
    • May 1, 2017 – ESD
    • July 1, 2018 – 1.0% plus ESD
    • July 1, 2018 – 0.5%
    • May 1, 2019 – 1.0% plus ESD
  • If a 7-year term is agreed to, additional increases as follows:
    • July 1, 2019 – 0.5%
    • May 1, 2020 – 1.0%
  • BCSPEA also proposes a residual compensation allocation – a collaborative process to allocate the remaining $11 million from the total compensation package.

Benefits

BCTF Proposal

  • Coverage for teachers on the Salary Indemnity Plan (SIP – long term disability) to be the same as teachers who are actively at work.
  • Upon the teachers’ death, continuation of benefits for dependents for a period of 12 months.
  • Mandatory participation in the benefits plan.
  • Improvements to the extended health benefits plan:
      • Open formulary drug plan
      • Inclusion of fertility drugs
      • Medical services and supplies
      • Hearing aids phased in from $1,500 to $2,500
      • Orthotics phased in from $300 to $400
      • Vision phased in from $300 to $400
      • Paramedicals phased in from $600 to $700
    • Massage Therapy – $3,000 per year maximum with a doctor’s prescription
  • The BCTF is seeking the following improvements to the dental plan:
    • A phased transition from the current plan:
      • 100% plan A, no change
      • 60% plan B, increase to 75%
      • 60% plan C with $4,000 limit, increase to $5,000 limit
  • The BCTF also proposes that the employer have no ability to change benefits carriers without the prior agreement of the union.

Provincial Government Proposal

  • Negotiable, subject to the residual compensation allocation.

Pregnancy/Parental Supplemental Employment Benefits (SEB)

BCTF Proposal

  • Include all definitions of parents including birth fathers and adoptive parents.
  • Top-up of 100% for pregnancy leave.
  • Top-up for 60% for parental leave.

Provincial Government Proposal

  • Update provisions in districts to reflect the current provisions of the Employment Standards Act and standardize the provision
  • SEB negotiable subject to the residual compensation allocation

Professional Development Funding

BCTF Proposal

  • The BCTF proposes that each teacher employee would receive the following funding:
    • October 1, 2014 – $350. For each year following, increase the same as applied for salary grid: October 1, 2015 – 1.5%; October 1, 2016 – 1.5%; October 1, 2017 – 1.5%.
  • AND, each teacher employee receiving the Recruitment and Retention allowance would also receive:
      • October 1, 2014 – $800. For each year following, increase the same as applied to salary grid: October 1, 2015 – 1.5%; October 1, 2016 – 1.5%; October 1, 2017 – 1.5%.

Provincial Government

  • Negotiable, subject to the residual compensation allocation

Preparation Time

BCTF Proposal

  • The BCTF proposes increases to preparation time as follows:
  • Elementary:
    • Effective July 1, 2014 – 120 minutes
    • Effective July 1, 2015 – 150 minutes
    • Effective July 1, 2016 – 180 minutes
  • Secondary (current provision is 194 minutes or 12.5% per instructional week):
    • Effective July 1, 2016 – an additional 1 day.
    • Utilization at full discretion of the teacher.
    • A classroom move would result in awarding of 2 additional days of preparation time.
    • All preparation time “lost” (e.g. due to statutory holidays, non-instructional days, and meetings) to be “made up”.
  • The BCTF is also proposing that teachers teaching on call (TTOCs – substitute teachers) would receive the same preparation time as a regular teacher, or pay in lieu.

Provincial Government Proposal

  •  Negotiable, subject to the residual compensation allocation and sound educational practice.

Teachers Teaching on Call (TTOCs)

BCTF Proposal

  • The BCTF is seeking increases to wages for teachers teaching on call (TTOCs, also known as substitute teachers), including:
    • Placement on the teacher salary grid from day one to maximum of Category 5, Step 9.
    • Experience credit: 170 days = one year for all TTOCs (with superior provisions).
    • When no replacement of BCTF member on union leave, union should only reimburse salary cost of a TTOC.
    • Minimum call-out of 0.5 day.
    • Addition of vacation pay.
    • Call-out of greater than 0.6 would equal a full day.
    • Increase benefits in lieu daily payment from $3.00 to $20.00.

Provincial Government Proposal

  • Placement on teacher salary grid from day one to a maximum of Category 5, Step 6.
  • Experience credit: 180 days = one year for all TTOCs (standard provision).
  • Full reimbursement for TTOCs used to replace BCTF members on union leave.
  • Employer prepared to pay the full cost of a TTOC instead of the replacement cost of the BCTF member on union leave where no replacement is required.
  • Resolution of outstanding grievances with respect to the above two matters.

Remote Recruitment and Retention Allowance

BCTF Proposal

  • $2,300 per FTE teacher for schools added to the list in 3 districts that move from partially to entirely captured, plus 2 schools in another district.

Provincial Government Proposal

  • Remains unchanged

Class Size and Composition

BCTF Proposal

  • Allocation of additional funds to resolve all outstanding grievances, with amounts and parameters as yet unidentified.
  • Further, the BCTF proposes establishment of an annual Workload Fund, with no amount specified, for class size composition and staffing ratios:
      • Sole use is for hiring new teachers.
      • Creation of a staff allocation plan at the school between local union and principal.
      • School district/Union to review school plans and determine allocations to schools.
      • Supreme Court decisions at highest level becomes the collective agreement language in addition to the Worlkload Fund.

Provincial Government Proposal

  • Class sizes currently contained in legislation (The School Act) to be included in the collective agreement.
  • Learning Improvement Fund ($75 million) moved into collective agreement to address issues of class size and composition.
  • Joint fact-finding committee to establish an improved base of information regarding non-enrolling teachers and other specialists.
  • Process to allow court action to unfold regarding the BC Supreme Court decisions, and revisit outcomes at a later date.

 

Featured Image: Classroom via Shutterstock

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