Langley Teachers Association wants arbitration to solve labour dispute

The Langley Teachers’ Association is asking its members and parents of students to lobby for binding arbitration.

That includes contacting local school trustees, media and elected representatives.

“We believe binding arbitration to be the fairest, fastest way to ensure that schools open and our students are back in class,” said LTA president Gail Chaddock-Costello.

She said trustees are acutely aware of the impact of government cuts on public education so they should be vocal.

“Trustees were not elected to be silent or to conduct themselves as bystanders when effective, fair and reasonable solutions are within reach,” she noted.

Classes were set to resume just over a week ago but schools are being picket lines and the two sides still seem far apart.

The BC Teachers Federation is calling for binding arbitration.

“It is clear that the government was not serious about negotiations or mediation,” she said.

On Monday Education Minister Peter Fassbender rejected the BCTF request, saying “binding arbitration is not in the cards in this dispute, period. When the NDP government settled with the doctors through binding arbitration, it had a huge impact on the budget of the province and on all of us as taxpayers.”

Instead the provincial government is calling on teachers to head back to work while negotiations resume.

“But the BCTF is still asking for nearly twice as much as what other public-sector unions have settled for and they are still demanding a $5,000 signing bonus. That’s not affordable and it’s not fair to other unionized employees,” Fassbender said.

On Wednesday, a group of labour unions announced it would provide an interest-free loan of up to $8 million for the BCTF.


What are the kids up to?

The Langley Advance asked on social media what local families are doing after more than a week with no school.

• Lorraine Baldwin: “Attending Township camps some days, going to neighbours’ houses other days, hanging about at home.”

• Guilia Russo Stadnik: “A lot of juggling but we are making it work… friends, grandma, stepdaughter, day camps 🙂 This week alone: M – my twins went to a friend’s as a trade childcare day. T – my twins went to a friend’s home as paid daycare. W – my friend’s kids came to my place as a trade childcare day. T – granny’s so I can work a longer day to make up for my shorter days. F – home with dad and will be dropped off at my work at 11am so he can go to work. They’ll hang out for a while in my lunchroom until I can finish up a shorter work day. Sometimes I have to note where they are each day since it changes constantly…where they are and what time to pick them up 😉 My work has been great as long as I make sure my full hours are there over the entire week.”

• Simmi Dhillon: “Kumon and he’s not happy about it.”

• Julia Ng: “It’s of Lego building. Also lots of getting on each other’s nerves! My 5, 7 & 9 year old boy have spent every day together for 3 months! Minus a couple hours apart last Monday for a play date. I can tell they need their space and time with their peers.”

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