Teachers on strike

Teachers in District 69 (Qualicum) and across B.C. are off the job

Teachers took their protest to the front of the school board office on Monday as job action escalated across B.C.

B.C. teachers are in the middle of a three day strike while they wait for movement on contract negotiations and around legislation they have been fighting in court.

Schools in District 69 are open, but they are asking students not to go to school if parents can make other arrangements.

Superintendent Jim Ansell said there was a trickle of students picking up work Monday morning, but things were very quiet.

In allowing the three day strike, the Labour Relations Board ruled that teachers could not picket, but they are out in front of local schools protesting, which the provincial union said is different. They are not wearing sandwich board style signs or impeding access.

The LRB ruled teachers could strike three days this week and one day in following weeks, with two days notice for each.

Mount Arrowsmith Teachers’ Association president Debbie Morran said they are busing a number of local teachers to the big provincial rally Tuesday (today) in Victoria and they are optimistic there could be movement on the offending class size legislation at any time.

“Teachers are determined and united in their opposition to Bill 22 and to the bullying tactics of a provincial government that has deliberately underfunded public education for a decade,” BC Teachers’ Federation president Susan Lambert said last week.

A B.C. Supreme Court decision last year ordered the government to fix that legislation.

B.C. teachers have been without a contract since June and have been staging work to rule job action since the start of the school year.

Lambert has said teachers would resist the back to work legislation currently being debated in the legislature.

Ansell has pointed out that the second term has eight more days than the first this year, so high school students have a bit of extra time before feeling the effects.

 

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