News

Costly to turn back the clock in School District 43

Port Moody trustee and Coquitlam District board chair Melissa Hyndes. B.C. school districts are awaiting the outcome of a court ruling on teachers
Port Moody trustee and Coquitlam District board chair Melissa Hyndes. B.C. school districts are awaiting the outcome of a court ruling on teachers' contracts.
— image credit: FILE

Turning back the clock to 2002 class size and composition rules would have enormous consequences for School District 43, according to the provincial government.

In her ruling last month, Justice Susan Griffin ruled that the B.C. government did not bargain in good faith with the BCTF.

She struck down legislation restricting teacher bargaining of classroom conditions and imposed a $2-million penalty on the government.

But documents filed with a government application to stay two terms of Griffin’s Jan. 27 ruling would require SD43 to hire 192 teachers, 38 special education assistants, and 47 non-enrolling teachers, such as counsellors and learning assistance teachers, at a cost of about $26.2 million a year.

And finding room for everybody wouldn’t be cheap, either, according to the documents, costing an additional $16.4 million for portables, utility charges and lost revenue from daycares and other agencies that would be disrupted by the changes.

The outlined impacts are aimed at bolstering the government argument that terms of the judgment should be stayed pending an appeal.

But board chair Melissa Hyndes said those terms would be felt keenly at the district level, especially if they were implemented before the end of this school year. “It would be very difficult to reorganize our entire school structure and system in two months,”  Hyndes.

The Port Moody trustee said she is in line with the BC School Trustees Association, which stated in a press release that issues of class size and composition should be resolved in negotiations.

School districts across the province were waiting to see if today's (Tuesday) budget would contain a contingency for negotiations with the BC Teachers’s Federation. But according to budget figures, provincial funding for Kindergarten to Grade 12 rises only slightly, with a $22-million increase over last year, not enough to cover higher expenses due to the judge’s ruling to reinstate contract language for teachers that was in place prior to 2002.

Meanwhile, SD43's impact calculations come as the district plans for next year's budget and eyes a small deficit for this school year.

dstrandberg@tricitynews.com

 

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
B.C. teachers ponder tentative deal ahead of vote
 
Teachers vote 89% for strike option
 
Port Coquitlam Coun. Mike Forrest wants fireworks sales banned on native land
Hyndes to run again for Port Moody trustee
 
Meghan Lahti eyeing seat on Port Moody council for Nov. election
 
SD43 schools to open Monday, classes in session Tuesday if deal is approved
BCTF executive recommends six-year teacher deal (VIDEO)
 
Henrik, Daniel Sedin talk 2014 season, new teammates, and their weekend in Agassiz
 
2014 Classic and Custom Car Show has something for everybody

Community Events, September 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Sep 17 edition online now. Browse the archives.