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

Atom Stars host hockey tourney

Seven teams from the region clashed sticks

VIDEO: Orcas put on a show near Hornby Island

Louis Jobodin shares photos and video of his experience

VIDEO: B.C. Lions sign defensive back T.J. Lee to contract for upcoming season

The four-year veteran had a team-high four interceptions and 49 tackles last season with B.C.

How an immigrant to Canada helped Donald Trump prove his mental health

Test that cleared Trump was developed by doctor associated with McGill and Sherbrooke universities

Premier touches on multiple topics ahead of Asia trade trip

Housing and childcare are expected to be the focus of the BC NDP’s first budget in February.

Premier offers condolences to family of boy, 15, killed in Vancouver crossfire

John Horgan: ‘No stone is to be left unturned until we find the perpetrator of this heinous crime’

VIDEO: Explorers uncover Canada’s deepest cave in Fernie

The cave, named Bisaro Anima, was confirmed to have broken the record on New Year’s Day

Players sought for National Aboriginal Hockey Championships

ISPARC calls for bantam/midget players to register for selection camp in Kamloops

New funding opens for industry innovation

Northern Development Initiative Trust opened new funds, focused on areas impacted by the pine beetle

Vernon to host largest Special Olympics B.C. Winter Games in 2019

Games to be held Feb. 21-23, with more than 800 athletes expected to take part

Most Read