According to Clark the agreement is the first of it’s kind in B.C.’s history and she looks forward to working with teachers in improving schooling for children.
“We have reached a historic six year agreement with teachers. This has never been done before in British Columbia’s history. That means five years of labour peace ahead of us. We’ll have five years in which we can talk about things that really matter and that’s improving education for children in classrooms,” she said.
She stressed the importance of bargaining ending with a negotiated settlement because it allows the parties to start fresh from what had been a previously “dysfunctional” relationship.
“A negotiated settlement was really important because it allows us to reset that relationship which has been dysfunctional for so long. It means that we can sit respectfully and talk respectfully about something that matters to both the government, the teachers union, to classroom teachers, to parents, and to students, and that’s improving learning outcomes for kids,” she stated.
Clark was hesitant to go into many details of the agreement as it still needs to be seen by teachers and trustees before it is formally voted on by teachers. She did note however that there will be improvements in having more teaching support in classrooms for children.
“We’ve found a way to give teachers a fair raise, to improve classroom composition, to really make it work for teachers at the same time we’re still making sure it still works for taxpayers. We’re not going to have to raise taxes, we aren’t going to go into deficit, and we’re not going to increase our debt,” she explained.
Children could be in school as early as Monday according to Clark.