At the heart of the remedy story is the 2002 illegal stripping of the language we had in our contracts in the 1990s. This is the language that was supposed to have been “restored” as a result of our win at the Supreme Court in November 2016.
Because this had been a 14-year battle in the Supreme courts, the stripped language was not able to be fully restored since there’d been several changes made in several areas between the time our language was stripped and when it was restored. If the language had been restored, there would have been many more teachers hired to ensure that classes were in compliance and/or even below the size and composition language we had fought for and won through local bargaining before 1994.
This language has never been fully restored. This provincial LOU was intended to provide a way for restoration of the language that was stripped in 2002 through the Employer making “best efforts” to do so. The provision of remedy was intended as a last resort after all best efforts to achieve compliance had been exhausted.
Between 2017 and 2021, the agreement between the STA and the District was that if not enough teachers could be hired to offer supports for students, then “remedy” would be offered in the form of prep time, co-teaching, or having a non-enrolling teacher work in the affected teacher’s class. These remedy options are outlined in LOU 17. Other remedy options can be negotiated between local unions and their employers, the school districts, but both parties must agree.
In the 2021 – 2022 school year the STA negotiated with the Employer to include in-lieu time as the fourth form of remedy. During that year teachers also had the ability to transfer all or part of their remedy time to another teacher within their school if they chose and remedy minutes transferred from one teacher to another could not be used for in-lieu time.
Throughout the 2021 – 2022 school year, the STA spent a great deal of time meeting and discussing remedy and “best efforts” with the Employer.
Unfortunately, by June 2022, the STA was unable to negotiate with the Employer to have in-lieu time as an option for remedy.
However, the Employer told us that they are committed to having remedy delivered on a regular basis and that there will be opportunities for teachers to use the remedy owed from previous years as early as the second week of September 2022.
STA Grievance Officers are currently reviewing “best efforts” with the Employer to ensure that classes are organized with the least amount of remedy possible, i.e. following the class size and composition language, which is the goal.
As STA members, if you want the BCTF to renegotiate LOU 17, forward suggestions to our Resolutions Committee, or to LRs (Local Reps to the BCTF) to take to the upcoming BCTF AGM and/or upcoming Rep Assemblies.Leave a reply