Teachers vote 89% for strike option

BCTF president Jim iker says no immediate disruptions to schools, Education Minister Peter Fassbender wants union to reveal demands

B.C. Teachers' Federation president Jim Iker

B.C. public school teachers have voted 89% to give their union authority for strike action in three stages.

B.C. Teachers’ Federation president Jim Iker said there is no set schedule on when work-to-rule action would begin.

“There will be no job action tomorrow, there will be no job action next week,” Iker said after the vote results were in Thursday evening. “It will depend entirely on what is happening at the negotiating table and whether or not the government and the employers’ association are prepared to be fair and reasonable.”

After a year of bargaining sessions with an expired contract, the BCTF still has not presented a specific wage and benefit demand. Education Minister Peter Fassbender urged the union to present its opening position as negotiation sessions resumed Friday.

Union members were briefed before the vote on the initial wage offer delivered by Peter Cameron, chief negotiator for B.C.’s 60 school districts. It describes pay increases totalling 6.5% over six years.

Fassbender reiterated that class size and composition are up for negotiation as well as wages and benefits. Iker said the strike vote shows the members’ rejection of “unfair and unreasonable proposals that would undo the class size, class composition and specialist teacher staffing levels we just won back in a B.C. Supreme Court ruling.”

More than 29,000 teachers voted, with 26,000 saying yes to the strike option that can be activated on 72 hours’ notice for 90 days.

Details of the strike plan have emerged from several school districts, where BCTF members have voted to authorize the first two phases.

Phase one is refusing meetings or communication with administrators, and working to rule on hours, except for pre-arranged voluntary activities. According to one summary released by the government, teachers are to arrive at school no more than one hour before class time and leave by one hour after classes, with no supervision of students outside of class time.

Phase two is rotating one-day walkouts in districts around the province. Phase three, a full-scale strike, would require a second vote by members to authorize.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

No active confirmed COVID-19 cases in Interior Health: BCCDC

Numbers from the BCCDC’s dashboard show 193 of the 195 COVID-19 cases in the region have recovered

Golden weddings still happening, despite COVID

While the weddings tend to be smaller, Julia Cundliffe says the commitment is still real

Golden’s Shape Up Fitness providing fun fitness during pandemic

The Facebook classes have reached people across the country and has spread internationally as well

Okanagan Regional Library to begin re-opening process on June 2

Curbside pick-up and book returns will be available starting on Tuesday, June 2

New Facebook group seeks to promote Golden’s local businesses

Created just a few days ago, the group has been met positively by local businesses

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

Columbia Basin Trust expands programming to support businesses

The revised programs will help local businesses to re-open and modify operations

Limit gun capacity to five bullets, victims group urges Trudeau government

Current limits are generally five bullets for hunting rifles and shotguns and 10 for handguns.

Vancouver Island’s current COVID-19 case count officially hits zero

Of the 130 recorded Island Health cases, five people have died, 125 recovered

COVID-19: Closed B.C. businesses allowed to sell liquor stock

Sales allowed to other licensees that can reopen

Trudeau to offer premiers billions to help reopen the economy safely

Making a difference in municipalities is a pricey proposition

Vancouver Island First Nations gather to remember woman fatally shot by police

Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council requests an independent investigation

Regional District of Kootenay Boundary rescinds all Grand Forks-area evacuation orders

Evacuation alerts for 1,136 Boundary properties remain in effect as officials monitor forecasts

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Most Read