The provincial government is assisting the BC Teachers Federation (BCTF), pushing them one step closer to restoring a collective agreement from a 15-year absence.
BC Education Minister Mike Bernier has announced $330 million will go towards reducing classroom size and composition.
He says this investment, known as the Classroom Enhancement Fund, is approaching every angle of the situation, hoping to resolve it as a whole.
“Every school district has different languages and different mechanisms that they need to work through. We went classroom by classroom to look at how we can implement this language and move forward.”
The money will be distributed for several needs in school districts across the province, including overhead costs like balancing specialty teacher ratios, hiring teachers on-call and janitorial staff, and purchasing school supplies.
“We did confirm with the school districts; it was one of the asks from the BCSTA that we have additional funds to cover those soft costs, and we’ve agreed to do that,” said Bernier in a teleconference Friday afternoon.
“School districts are in the process of putting their next year’s budget together now, which is why it was really important that we not only resolve this issue, but we notify all the school districts right away. This will be added to the funding just like we do with all of their other funding to make sure they’re covered.”
He adds the BCTF has understood and cooperated with the need to look at long-term solutions with the funding.
Bernier says all the next steps will take the collective agreement to 2019, when a new agreement will need to be settled.
(Files from Kyle Balzer with MYPRINCEGEORGENOW)