In February, the BCTF began collective bargaining with the province, with a major bargaining chip: wage improvement. The Abbotsford District Teachers` Association is expected to engage today in collective bargaining with the school district. “We are looking for improvements on a number of issues that remain important to teachers and hope that the District will see the wisdom of our arguments and give us full agreement,” Smuland wrote. “BC needs to improve teachers` salaries and propose other recruitment and retention initiatives to ensure that our schools and classrooms are properly equipped to help all students,” Smuland wrote in its negotiation update. The BCTF also hopes to negotiate improved size and composition standards for B.C. schools, which could be a challenge for school districts if significant recruitment is needed to fill the gaps. Recovered Language (click on download) Negotiated Agreements Guide to Class Size and Composition (click on download) Jennifer Brooks, President of the Abbotsford District Teachers` Association, introduces Jennifer Brooks to a public meeting of the school`s board of directors. Dustin Godfrey/Abbotsford News The union, a local B.C association, held a meeting of members earlier this month to vote on negotiating priorities. In the event of a dispute, the original source documents would be applicable. Seven meetings between the district and the union, which will take place from April 30 to June 27, did not respond to ADTA President Jennifer Brooks` request for advice. According to an infographic published on the BCTF Facebook page, the province of Quebec has only once a lower average minimum wage, while only Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia have lower average wages. To learn more about our coverage of the Abbotsford School District, click here. The Abbotsford School District originally accepted only three meetings, according to a union bulletin issued earlier this month.
However, ADTA Negotiations Chair Doug Smuland recently told a union meeting that he was “pleased to announce that the district has agreed to seven meetings,” which will begin on April 30 and continue until June 27. According to Smuland`s update, 300 teaching positions remained vacant across the province, what union representatives say could be improved with higher wages to meet the high cost of living in B.C. Smuland wrote that he expected the first meeting to be largely to set negotiating goals between the two parties. The collective agreement attempts to define all the current conditions of employment in the provincial and local business collective agreement between the BCTF and the BCPSEA under the Labour Public Education Relations Act, as these conditions apply to this school district.