BC Tripartite Education Agreement The BC Tripartite Education Agreement was signed by Tyrone McNeil, President of the First Nations Education Steering Committee, Rob Fleming, BC's Minister of Education, Seamus O’Regan, the federal Minister of Indigenous Services as well as Carolyn Bennett, Minister for Crown Indigenous Relations. As stated in a news release provided by Indigenous Services Canada, this five-year deal includes "a more sufficient and sustained funding model for BC First Nations education; a new $20 million investment in funding for First Nations schools, including increased resources for First Nations language and culture and technology to enhance learning opportunities for students; new policies to promote beneficial First Nations education agreements between First Nations and School Boards, including improved transportation services; commitments to support the creation of a First Nations language policy leading to full-course offerings of First Nations languages in public schools; joint efforts to monitor student achievement data in order to inform policy and practice, and; professional development and information sharing opportunities to expand and deepen understanding of issues related to First Nations education." BCSTA is pleased to have this agreement signed and guiding the work we do with our Indigenous rights holders within the local jurisdictions of school boards. Bargaining Bargaining between the BC Teachers' Federation (BCTF) and the BC Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) continues in our province. BCPSEA exists to bargain on behalf of the provincial government and boards of education. This is a generational round of bargaining for all involved as a result of the 2016 Supreme Court decision, in which BC's teachers won back the right to bargain on class size and composition. This victory saw language from 2003 returned to the collective agreement. As a result, all parties are looking to find agreement on how best to modernize this language to reflect the diversity of today’s classrooms. BCPSEA has indicated that they are focused on a new approach aimed at protecting teacher workload while providing students with the customized services they need and school boards with the ability to make nuanced staffing decisions that meet the needs of the students and communities they serve. All parties involved have indicated that there is little desire for disruption of services relating to students. The period for bargaining extends through to June 30 with possible continued negotiations into the summer. n CSBA REPORT: MAY 2019 | 2