Andrew Weaver speaks to a packed house at the Oak Bay Recreation Centre Lounge earlier this year. Weaver is now leading the charge with a petition to pressure the B.C. government to enter binding arbitration with the province's teachers' union.

Andrew Weaver speaks to a packed house at the Oak Bay Recreation Centre Lounge earlier this year. Weaver is now leading the charge with a petition to pressure the B.C. government to enter binding arbitration with the province's teachers' union.

MLA Andrew Weaver launches petition to end ‘schoolyard bullying’ in teachers’ strike

Oak Bay-Gordon Head MLA says binding arbitration is not as risky as province claims

An online petition calling on the B.C. government to accept binding arbitration in the ongoing teachers’ strike is racking up signatures across the province.

The petition, launched Monday by Oak Bay-Gordon Head MLA Andrew Weaver, asks the province to agree to binding arbitration to settle the labour dispute, something Education Minister Peter Fassbender has firmly ruled out. By Wednesday afternoon, the petition had already reached more than 20,000 signatures.

“This tells me people are beginning to recognize the government’s position is unreasonable,” Weaver said.”The government is fear-mongering about how much it will cost to move to binding arbitration, but that’s not accurate because you put forward your best package and both parties have to justify their submissions.”

NDP leader John Horgan also called on the government this week to make the “unprecedented” move to accept arbitration. Horgan said if the government is secure in its belief its wage offer is fair, it should have no concern about the results.

“We’re in uncharted territory, where we’ve had the longest strike in B.C. history, and it’s time we put an end to it,” Horgan said.

Fassbender, however, reiterated his rejection of binding arbitration this week, calling the move “a ploy” by the union.

“Arbitration is not something this government is going to consider,” he said.

Weaver, who has twice been chief negotiator during faculty labour negotiations at the University of Victoria, said arbitration is a time-tested process that won’t throw the province’s finances into disarray, as Fassbender has claimed.

Weaver hopes to garner 50,000 petition signatures over the coming days to increase pressure on the government.

“Education has been my life,” he said. “The hostility the government is showing towards the BCTF is troubling. … It’s putting our next generation in the front lines of a dispute that goes back to 2002 when Premier Christy Clark was minister of education. The government is acting like a schoolyard bully. And you know what, boys and girls: it’s time to grow up.”

-with files from Tom Fletcher

editor@saanichnews.com

 

Just Posted

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.’s Indigenous language, art and culture

North Saanich advisor says initiative supports urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

General manager Lindsey Pomper says Sidney’s Star Cinema cannot wait welcome audiences when it reopens June 18, amid an easing of public health measures. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sidney’s Star Cinema raises curtain for the first time after months in the darkness

Iconic theatre to reopen at half capacity for Friday night showing

A dogs in parks pilot study unanimously approved by Saanich council will evaluate how park space can best be shared between dog owners and non-owners alike. (Photo by Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Saanich to study park-sharing strategy between those with and without pets

District-wide People, Parks and Dogs study to produce recommendations by fall

Staff member Lena Laitinen gives the wall at BoulderHouse a workout during a media tour on June 16. (Rick Stiebel/News Staff)
BoulderHouse raring to rock Langford

Popularity of bouldering continues to climb across Greater Victoria

GardenWorks nursery in Oak Bay at its home until August. (Black Press Media file photo)
GardenWorks puts down new roots in Oak Bay this summer

Nursery shifts down The Avenue to fill former fitness studio space

The BC SPCA Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre in Metchosin saw 16 fawns come through in May, with another four in the first four days of June. (Courtesy Wild ARC)
An abandoned fawn doesn’t mean it’s orphaned, reminds Greater Victoria wildlife expert

20 orphaned fawns turned in to Wild ARC in Metchosin so far this season

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: When was the last time you visited the mainland?

The films are again lighting the screens at local theatres, the wine… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of June 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

Most Read