Teachers mark a ‘dark day’

Anniversary of contentious bills marked by teachers in District 69

Teachers in District 69 (Oceanside) joined counterparts across the province Friday marking the 10th anniversary of Bills 27 and 28.

Calling it “A dark day for public education in B.C.” teachers wore black on January 28 to mark the anniversary of the passage of the bills they said ripped up teachers’ collective agreements and eliminated provisions protecting class size, class composition and services to students with special needs.

“Over a single weekend in January 2002, the BC Liberals wiped out decades of advocacy and sacrifice by teachers and launched a decade of cutbacks, school closures, and untold damage to teaching and learning conditions,” said BCTF president Susan Lambert in a news release.

In April 2011, the BC Supreme Court found the bills to be unconstitutional and invalid, but there has been no provincial change in response.

“B.C. teachers are sending a message to government that it’s time to respect bargaining rights and come to the table to reach a fair and reasonable agreement with teachers,” she said.