Ahead of the Easter long weekend, BC Teachers’ Federation announced today that teachers will begin low-level Stage 1 job action that targets administrative duties.
“On March 6, after over a year of negotiations, 89% of BC teachers voted in favour of potential job action to help secure a fair and reasonable settlement,” said BC Teachers’ Federation President Jim Iker. “The overwhelming vote was a strong and decisive mandate from teachers to put pressure on Christy Clark’s government and the negotiators for the BC Public School Employers’ Association. Teachers hoped that the vote would encourage the government and employer’s association to back off key demands, strips, and unreasonable positions.”
“Unfortunately,” Iker said, “more than six weeks since that vote, the government and employers’ unfair positions have barely moved. The government and BCPSEA continue to demand concessions while ignoring the BC Supreme Court ruling on class size, composition, and staffing levels. In addition, the unreasonable 10-year term and salary proposals, which include up to two more years of zeros, are still on the table.”
Job action will start on Wednesday, April 23, after the Easter weekend. There will be no immediate school closures or disruptions to students. This first stage is administrative in nature only. Teachers will continue to teach, write report cards, communicate with parents, and participate in their volunteer extracurricular activities.
During Stage 1 job action teachers will not:
Iker also explained that any escalation of Stage 1 to Stage 2, which would mean rotating strikes, will depend entirely on progress at the negotiating table. “Teachers expect the government to abandon the ill-conceived 10-year scheme, make improvements to working and learning conditions like class size, class composition, and specialist staffing levels as well as offer a fair and reasonable salary increase. Our hope is for a negotiated deal at the bargaining table and not escalating job action,” said Iker.
Featured Image: Students via Shutterstock