Abbott on “fair and reasonable” Bill 22February 29, 2012
Ministry of Education – Press Release
VICTORIA – Minister of Education George Abbott today issued the following statement:
"Yesterday I introduced Bill 22 – the Education Improvement Act, legislation designed to suspend the current job action by teachers, set a 'cooling off' period, appoint a mediator to facilitate bargaining, and implement a new $165-million Learning Improvement Fund.
"Most people are characterizing the bill as a 'measured, thoughtful, balanced and constructive' approach to a dispute that has been going on for almost a year with little chance of a resolution.
"If you look at the history of the relationship between the teachers' union and the government in this province, you'll soon realize that in almost 20 years of provincewide bargaining the BCTF has only successfully concluded one negotiated agreement. You will also realize that Bill 22 is a measured and appropriate response to the current situation.
"I am disappointed by the initial comments coming from the teachers' union. In the most frustrating example – the union has been asking for mediation. Now, they are rejecting the idea simply because the mediator is required to strike a genuine balance in the discussions by looking at what both parties want so we can put the needs of students first.
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