Clark: teachers’ deal must be fair

PANORAMA RIDGE – Standing in a Surrey school Friday, B.C. Premier Christy Clark spoke of the latest developments in the ongoing dispute with the province’s teachers.


Clark was in Surrey to promote an anti-bullying campaign along with Education Minister Peter Fassbender, (see story and photos online) but answered reporters’ questions about the current state of the negotiations with the BCTF.


"In all negotiations with public sector we want to be fair and make sure the agreements are affordable. We have come to agreements that are fair and affordable with a third of the public service now and I hope that teachers will be part of that group soon," said Clark.


"We are negotiating and we haven’t seen an offer yet from the teachers’ union, so once we get that we can start to negotiate in earnest.


"All of the agreements need to be fair to the public sector employees we’re negotiating with but also affordable for taxpayers because ultimately all the wages paid by government are paid by people who pay their taxes every single year in this province."


If the districts are forced to adhere to the 2002 classroom size language, it could cost the Surrey school district alone more than $40 million in new hires and classroom splitting.


Clark also touched on the recent stay of proceedings decision in the appeal of a Supreme Court ruling that said the province had violated the charter of rights when it stripped the provision from the teachers’ contracts in 2002.


Asked about when that might be resolved, Clark said the government was not in control of the courts and timing.


"This last case really started in 2002, so the courts take their time as they need to do to come to the right decisions and see how long it takes," she said. "There’s a strong case to be made for work government has done. We’re willing to put forward all the arguments we need to to make sure students, children are at the centre of every decision we make with education."


And Clark said that at the end of the day, her government’s position is that this is all for the students.


"One of the reasons we’re in court is because we need to protect the interests of students," she said.


"The problem we’ve had over the years with education is that many governments of many political stripes, the adults on each side of the table forget that we’re doing this for the children."

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

Sven Spichiger, Washington State Department of Agriculture managing entomologist, displays a canister of Asian giant hornets vacuumed from a nest in a tree behind him Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. Scientists in Washington state discovered the first nest earlier in the week of so-called murder hornets in the United States and worked to wipe it out Saturday morning to protect native honeybees. Workers with the state Agriculture Department spent weeks searching, trapping and using dental floss to tie tracking devices to Asian giant hornets, which can deliver painful stings to people and spit venom but are the biggest threat to honeybees that farmers depend on to pollinate crops. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Crews vacuum ‘murder hornets’ out of Washington nest, first-ever in U.S.

The nest found in the city of Blaine near the Canadian border is about the size of a basketball

A reminder to students at Surrey’s Strawberry Hill Elementary to physically distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Five Surrey schools reporting COVID-19 exposures, including another at Panorama Ridge

INTERACTIVE TABLE: Search for schools, organize by exposure dates

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Staff members at Surrey Pretrial test positive for COVID-19

Ministry of Public Safety says employees tested positive between Oct. 18 and 23

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

BC Hydro map showing where power has been knocked out is dotted with over a dozen outages. (BC Hydro map screenshot)
Thousands without power in Lower Mainland on election day

One outage in Langley and Surrey is affecting over 4,000 customers

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

One dead after fiery crash near Agassiz

Agassiz RCMP report a 56-year-old man died Friday night

The possibility of the Canadian Premier League expanding to the Fraser Valley has been floated online. (Facebook photo)
Canadian Premier League possibly eyeing Fraser Valley expansion

Soccer league looking to add ninth team to the mix, B.C. markets potentially rumoured

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Most Read