Reluctant teachers meet with contract mediator
Despite major lingering concerns on the impartiality of recently appointed BC Teachers contract mediator Doctor Charles Jaigo, mediated discussions with the BCTF executive and BC Government negotiaters at the table, are finally underway.
"At least two meetings have been held with Doctor Jaigo and the BCTF Executive, discussing what our goals are for this bargaining round and what we want to achieve," explained Comox District Teachers Association President Steve Stanley.
"I don't know if they've actually done any formal negotiations at this point, but they have laid out the ground work that has occured over the last year or so of bargaining."
Stanley says although mediated talks have now kicked off, the BCTF remains opposed to the BC Government's choice of mediator.
"There are some concerns over his background and his possible close ties to the BC Liberal Party, but we have not heard any concerns expressed so far about the progress of mediated talks."
Stanley is asked about his response to the cancellation of local extracurricular activities and school field trips.
"The students are concerned, and they are going to be disappointed, but we have to remember these are voluntary activities and if teachers choose not to volunteer, then we can't hold that against them."
"The disappointment of students and parents is not going to be as bad as the real harm that we believe that Bill 22 will do to the education system and local students over the long-term," said Stanley on Comox Valley teachers opting out of voluntary after-school activities.
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