From the BCTF. Following a historic and decisive province-wide 86% vote that saw the BCTF’s highest ever turnout, the BC Teachers’ Federation has served notice to escalate job action on Tuesday, June 17 to a full withdrawal of services, BCTF President Jim Iker announced today.
“This week’s vote made it clear that BC teachers care deeply about the state of public education and their ability to meet the needs of all their students,” said Iker. “As well, it showed how firmly teachers are committed to doing what’s necessary to reach a fair deal.
“After 12 years of deep cuts, 3,500 teaching positions lost, and 200 schools closed, we are urging this government to reinvest in public education. Teachers are doing their utmost in an underfunded and under-resourced system, but students are not getting the support or one-on-one time they need. Our kids deserve so much more.
“There are still several days left, during which both sides can hunker down, reach a settlement, avoid a full-scale strike, and end the government’s lockout. We’re ready to move, but my message to Christy Clark is, come to the table with new funding, an open mind, and the flexibility needed to reach a fair settlement that will support teachers and students.”
Iker explained that the BCTF has provided the employer with notice that the full withdrawal of services will commence on Tuesday, June 17. In addition, the BCTF has provided notice that Stage 2 job action will be extended to Monday, June 16, with all teachers participating in study sessions province-wide. Teachers will gather together off school property. Schools will not be picketed, but teachers will not be on site.
For the balance of this week, rotating strikes will continue according to the schedule announced earlier. Teachers remain locked out by their employer during recess, lunch, and 45 minutes before and after school, preventing them from doing their regular work during lockout hours.
“To get a fair deal and avert a full-scale strike, BC teachers are looking for improvements to class size, class composition, and staffing levels for specialist teachers to increase one-on-one time for students,” said Iker. “In addition to improvements to student learning conditions, a fair deal must also include a fair wage increase for teachers.”
From Minister Fassbender. Education Minister Peter Fassbender has released the following statement this morning:
“I appreciate that everyone — especially parents, students and teachers – had hoped to see an agreement over the weekend.
“The bargaining teams worked hard through the weekend. When negotiations adjourned late last night it was with the expectation that talks would continue today.
“Specifics around proposals will be shared when appropriate, but I can say that BCPSEA tabled a significant, affordable and creative set of proposals to help end the stalemate, get kids back in school and create long-term stability for parents, students and teachers. BCPSEA worked hard to put its best foot forward.
“They tabled a comprehensive settlement that includes an improved wage offer and commits to realistic and flexible solutions to address class composition.
“BCPSEA has worked very hard to put together a settlement that is fair for teachers, fair for taxpayers, and fair to the 150,000 public-sector workers who’ve already reached agreements.
“Our goal remains to get to an agreement by June 30 and put this disruption behind us. I’m certain that everyone involved wants to head into the summer with the assurance that our education system is on a path to long-term stability.”
From the Chilliwack School District #33
Letter to Parents