Results of a province-wide vote of BC teachers was released this morning, revealing that 73 per cent of teachers voted in favour of further action to oppose Bill 22.
The vote was conducted April 17–19, 2012, a total of 21,625 teachers voted yes and 7,846 voted no.
This means that they will be withdrawing from voluntary extracuricular activities including clubs, sports coaching and graduation ceremonies.
“This vote sends a powerful message to government that they must rethink Bill 22, listen to the concerns of teachers, respect our rights, and invest in services to students,” said Susan Lambert, president of the BC Teachers Federation. “Teachers are united in opposition to this terrible piece of legislation, the twentieth bill passed by the BC Liberals since 2001 targeting teachers’ professional and labour rights. We simply have to take a strong stand.”
Lambert acknowledged that the vote was emotional for teachers because the decision to withdraw from extra-curricular activities is so wrenching.
“Teachers struggle with this because these activities bring so much joy to our engagement with students. We know this will mean the loss of some highly-valued activities, and we sincerely regret that. But we have to look at the bigger picture and the longer term,” she said.
The plan also calls for other actions including: mounting a public awareness campaign to educate British Columbians about the impact of Bill 22 and to mobilize opposition to it; the possibility of another future vote on a full withdrawal of services; and working in advance of the May 2013 election to bring in a new government that will repeal Bill 22.