Mission MLA accepted BCTF cheque

Marc Dalton was a teacher until he was elected to legislature in 2009

The president of the Mission Teachers Union was disappointed when he learned Maple Ridge-Mission Liberal MLA Marc Dalton cashed a cheque sent to him in error by the BC Teachers Federation.

“I thought surely he would know better,” said Mark Bradshaw when he heard about it last week.

All B.C. teachers who were teaching in 2013 to present received about $1,800 from the union as part of the strike settlement, said Bradshaw. On-call teachers received less, as did former teachers who moved into administrative roles.

Dalton was a teacher, but has not been instructing since he was elected MLA in 2009.

“He received his cheque by mistake, as did Don McRae (MLA for Comox Valley) on Vancouver Island,” Bradshaw added. “McRae noticed the mistake and returned it. He did the honourable thing.”

McRae, a former teacher, had contacted the union after receiving his cheque to alert members to the error. BCTF also discovered Dalton was sent the money in error after reviewing records and requested the funds be returned.

Dalton said the $105 million government payout to the union was to deal with class size and composition issues dating back to 2002.

“When I received the cheque over Christmas … I assumed they knew what they were doing,” said Dalton. “I taught between 2002 to 2009 as a full-time teacher.”

The union accepted the $105 million, and in exchange, agreed it will not file any retroactive grievances if the BCTF wins its pending court case against the government. The union has already won two judgments against Victoria, which unilaterally stripped class size and composition language out of the collective agreement with teachers in 2002. Another judgment is expected this spring.

Dalton, who is on a long-term leave of absence from his career as a teacher, said he has returned the money to the union and considers the matter resolved.

With files from Maple Ridge News