The Louis Riel School Division is the first of Manitoba`s 38 school divisions to conclude collective bargaining. The Pembina Trails school division had to delay negotiations because of the pandemic. We will continue to insist that all employers and public sector unions conduct constructive collective bargaining and that they have no intention of enacting the bill at this stage. Faced with this, the union has requested formulations in the new collective agreement that sets teachers` working hours. The collective agreement between the LRSD and its teachers expired on June 30, 2018. Early negotiations didn`t go anywhere, so both sides had to go through arbitration – a process that lasts several months, Bedford said. In mid-April, an arbitration panel unanimously signed Louis Riel`s teachers on a two-year contract that expires on June 30, in contrast to a three-year contract that would end next year due to the financial uncertainty of the COVID 19 pandemic and provincial legislation currently in court. Part of the reason an agreement lasted so long is because of the province of Bill 28. The law passed in 2017, but not proclaimed, requires a two-year wage freeze for employees from 2018/19. Next year, workers would receive a pay increase of 0.75%, and then 1% the following year.
“Many public sector collective agreements have already been concluded and will be reached under future economic conditions,” a provincial spokesman said in an email Thursday. “The Board of Directors will not issue an arbitration award on this matter, but it expects the parties to have a serious discussion ahead of future collective bargaining,” he said. The Louis Riel School Division and its teachers` union negotiated a new collective agreement that could set a precedent for other Manitoba school departments. “I think it`s a good decision for Manitobans, frankly, but definitely for Manitoba teachers,” Bedford said. “One of the strengths for Manitoba teachers is that we attract highly trained, highly skilled and motivated people who teach in Manitoba`s public schools. According to Christian Michalik, Superintendent of the LRSD, the wage increase will cost approximately $7.8 million. “What happens in one room can and often impacts another place,” he said. “This is not always the case for every provision, but it is often the case when it comes to a financial transaction.” In the end, the union proposed to solve the problem “because teachers should in principle know their working time.” Nicholas Frew is an online journalist for CBC News. Frew is originally from Newfoundland and moved to Halifax to go to journalism school.
Prior to joining the CBC, Frew was interned at the Winnipeg Free Press. Any idea of a story? E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org The union noted that teachers work outside teaching time and scoring, but there is “no known work day and no maximum amount of work agreed” apart from what is related to a teacher`s main tasks, the decision said. “There are many, many reasons why someone would choose learning as a career, but financial security is certainly part of that decision-making, as are the intrinsic benefits of teaching young people in this province.” If Bill 28 is proclaimed, it will cancel the contract of the Louis Riel School Division. “It`s unexpected. We couldn`t bring out the decision,” Michalik told CBC News. “The effects will be noticeable and we are working to find solutions to appreciate the price.” Teachers are encouraged to make medical appointments outside school hours if possible. If this is not possible, they are asked to minimize their long-term a- and a-mann time. “The models that have been established in teacher negotiations are very influential,” said James Bedford, President of the Manitoba Teachers` Society. In making a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish all or part of that comment, in any manner that CBC chooses.