Lack of consultation on teacher talks upsets board

SURREY – The Surrey Board of Education isn’t too happy with negotiators not consulting them as part of ongoing labour discussions with the teachers.

At a recent board meeting, trustees passed a motion expressing their disappointment with the British Columbia Public School Employer’s Association (BCPSEA) for not adequately seeking district input while bargaining with the B.C. Teachers Federation (BCTF).

As part of the ongoing labour discussions between the province and teachers, districts are represented by the BCPSEA. Recently, the BCPSEA advised the BCTF that in the event of a work stoppage, the BCTF would be responsible for funding the employee portions of health and welfare benefits, to which the Surrey board took exception.

In response, trustee Terry Allen brought forth a motion “expressing the board’s disappointment regarding BCPSEA’s lack of consultation during the bargaining process,” which will be summed up in a letter sent to the BCSPEA as well as local MLAs. That includes Surrey-Fleetwood MLA and education minister Peter Fassbender.

According to Allen’s motion, the BCPSEA “is neglecting its responsibility to allow for consultation and collaborative negotiations to occur with school districts.”