HD: School Board Negitiating Powers and Duties

H- Negotiations

The Board of School Trustees (the “Board”) is an "employer" in accordance with the provisions and definitions of the Labour Relations Code and, as such, is responsible under the Labour Relations Code for all provisions of the code relating to the powers and duties of an employer to negotiate with its employees in good faith.  The School Act requires the Board to fulfil the negotiating powers and duties as set out in the Act and to adhere and be responsible for meeting the details of each of the procedures contained therein.  The Board normally delegates these responsibilities, as per reference policy HE.           

In an effort to define the role and responsibilities of individual trustees more precisely, a formal motion was passed by the Board in 1972 April after a series of debates and several attempts to effect a more adequate description.  The motion that was adopted and is still Board policy is as follows: 

"Whereas the extent of the role a trustee may play in negotiations will be limited to that of an observer, he may on occasion, provided such action is approved by the Chairman in consultation with the Superintendent of Schools, be authorized to act in some other capacity." 

The powers and duties inherent in the negotiating process are best exemplified in the Board's examination of the issues after demands have been received from the unions or associations, in the formalization of policy statements for dealing with contentious negotiations positions, in setting the parameters of budgetary restrictions and expenditures, and in providing the negotiators for the Board with a clear mandate to conclude a memorandum of agreement within these parameters for recommendation back to the Board.  The Board has the power and the duty to accept or reject all or part of such memoranda of agreement.  It is usual that the Board's acceptance of such memoranda of agreement is with the qualification that the Board's ratification of a memorandum is subject only to ratification by the membership of the union or of the association concerned.  The motion to ratify a memorandum normally contains the authorization for senior managers of the Board to prepare a new, revised/amended collective agreement that reflects the changes contained in the memorandum to the satisfaction of the parties for the signatures of the signing officers of the Board and of the association(s)/union. The new or revised agreement is then signed and sealed by the parties without further reference to the Board. 


The Board agrees that the administrative officer associations, the Vancouver Association of Secondary School Administrators (VASSA) and the Vancouver Elementary Principals and Vice-Principals Association (VEPVPA), may bargain individually. 


All collective agreements have a fixed term.   Notice to reopen the agreement for the negotiation of changes is usually given by the union, and the Board is bound by the Labour Relations Code to begin negotiations within ten (10days after receipt of the notice.

DMT Responsibility: AS-HR

Cross References: 
HC: Scope of Negotiations; HE: Board Negotiating Agents
Adopted Date: 
Monday October 18, 1982
Revision Date: 
Dec 1989
Aug 1990
Sep 1994
Jan 1999