BCTF to sue province despite coming to tentative deal 0
The BCTF may have reached a tentative agreement with the provincial government, but its president Susan Lambert alleges the province exercised bad faith during negotiations and plans to sue. (FILE PHOTO)
The BC Teachers' Federation is taking the government to court despite the fact it struck a tentative agreement with the province's bargaining agent late Tuesday evening.
BCTF president Susan Lambert announced Wednesday her organization is filing a civil claim regarding Bill 22 - legislation preventing teachers' job action - after reaching a potential deal with BC Public School Employers' Association.
Public school teachers spent much of the past year engaged in job action that saw grades go unreported and extracurricular activities suspended.
But Lambert said the government forced bad faith bargaining during the deal's negotiations by enacting Bill 22, which threatened punitive fines against the BCTF if job action continued.
Although details on the tentative agreement were not released, Lambert said educators will see improvements to benefits and leave provisions, while salaries, class sizes and class compositions remain the same.
Premier Christy Clark said she was pleased the tentative agreement was made in the context of a net zero mandate - or wage freeze - that protects taxpayers.
Teachers began casting votes Wednesday on whether to accept the deal, while results will be released after voting wraps on Friday. The new agreement would run until June 30, 2013.