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.

 

Just Posted

Nisga’a leader named UNBC chancellor

Dr. Joseph Arthur Gosnell is the first Indigenous leader to assume the role

Cache Creek council votes to rejoin local transit system

Details need to be worked out, but hopes are that change can be expedited

Ashcroft residents get information at Community Forum

Water treatment plant, recycling, an Eco-Depot, the budget, and more among items addressed

Elizabeth May’s wedding will be a ‘low-carbon affair’ in Victoria on Earth Day

Green party leader’s wedding party to depart in a cavalcade of electric cars

VIDEO: ‘Alarm bells’ raised by footage allegedly from B.C. pig farm, SPCA says

PETA released video Wednesday showing dead and injured piglets next to nursing piglets

Female real estate agents warned of suspicious man in Metro Vancouver

The man requests to see homes alone with the female agent, police say

Can you put your phone down for Mother’s Day?

#DiningMode campaign encourages people to leave the phone alone while eating

Horgan heckled as gas prices sit at record high, could go up more

Premier John Horgan blames refiners, not taxes

SPCA investigating after newborn kittens found in Vancouver dumpster

The kittens were found suffering from hypothermia and dehydration

Judge rejects hunter’s bid to get back a sheep shot in northern B.C.

Despite expert testimony, judgement says ram probably underage

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

“Oona River Poems” captures northwest B.C.’s landscapes

Canadian writer Peter Christensen releases his latest book, will tour the northwest later this year

Many teens don’t know they’re vaping nicotine, Health Canada finds

Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey finds youth unaware of nicotine product risk

Most Read