Government appoints public administrator to bargain for school trustees
VICTORIA – Effective immediately, government has appointed a public administrator for the British Columbia Public School Employers Association (BCPSEA) under Section 9.1 of the Public Sector Employers Act.
This is a temporary measure and will ensure government can advance its plans to restructure the K-12 bargaining process and its mandate to secure a long term deal with the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation (BCTF). Bargaining is expected to resume this coming September.
Michael Marchbank, CEO of the Health Employers’ Association of British Columbia, will assume all responsibilities of the BCPSEA board of directors. This is an interim measure until such time as the necessary legislation is place to restructure the bargaining process. Government will be working with the British Columbia School Trustees Association (BCSTA) to fully canvass boards on reforms to BCPSEA’s role.
Currently, BCPSEA is the accredited bargaining agent for boards of education. Appointing a public administrator is the most transparent and effective means to implement BCPSEA’s new bargaining mandate, which emphasizes the need for a long term collective agreement that is aligned with the Province’s education policy goals.
Government’s intention is to introduce amendments to legislation in the next legislative session to give government a direct role in negotiating agreements with the BCTF.
While the appointment of a public administrator ends the legal role of the BCPSEA board of directors, the Minister of Education has invited the school trustees, who have been serving as BCPSEA directors, to remain in an advisory capacity to government and BCSTA as they work to redefine BCPSEA’s role for the future.
As detailed in an open letter to education stakeholders also released today, the appointment follows a number of other measures taken by the government in pursuit of its election commitment to bargaining directly with the BCTF toward a 10-year agreement.