Greater Trail teachers will put full-scale walkout to a vote this week

Greater Trail teachers will be casting a vote on whether they support a full withdrawal of services Wednesday, February 29, 2012.

Greater Trail teachers will be brought up to speed on the provincial battle underway between its union and its employer today before casting a vote on whether they support a full withdrawal of services Wednesday, according to the president of the Kootenay Columbia Teachers Union.

The B.C. Teachers’ Federation is threatening a full-scale walkout should the provincial government leave the bargaining table and legislate an end to an apparently deadlocked labour dispute.

Though a province-wide day of action has some school districts planning lunch-hour and after-school rallies today, it will be a regular day of school for students attending class in Kootenay Columbia.

While the union applied for a mediator to get involved in the year-long contract dispute, and the BC Public School Employers’ Association agreed, B.C. Education Minister George Abbott has since announced that he intends to introduce legislation this week to end the impasse with public school teachers.

“This agreement by our employer to go to mediation appears to be disingenuous because they’ve agreed to a mediator but the political wing who basically is in charge of our employer are saying there is no other solution other than legislation,” said Davidoff.

“I don’t think the employer intends to allow for proper mediation of this dispute, that’s my opinion.”

A vote has been called in anticipation of legislation but the union would still need approval to escalate its job action from the Labour Relations Board, explained Davidoff, calling the process “fluid” and “confusing.”

“The way it’s unfolding, it’s going to be very difficult for teachers to withdraw their services legally,” he said.

Darrel Ganzert, chair of School District 20’s board, said this is a provincial matter that he stays out of.

“The teachers will do what they have to do, the provincial government will do what it has to do and in the end we’re left to pick up the pieces in a way,” he said.

Regardless, Ganzert said the school board will be discussing the current situation with talks of preparation at its budget meeting tonight.

“The government’s got a real balancing act to do because they were ruled a few years ago that stripping contracts was illegal to do so I doubt that they would head down that path,” he said.

“The best that teachers can expect from the government is a no-stripped agreement and a zero per cent increase but I know that isn’t what they’re after.”

Ganzert, who was previously in Davidoff’s role after working as a local teacher for 35 years, said he is personally frustrated by the consistent fight between teachers and the government.

“What it really does, and to me this is the sad part, is it makes teachers who are working extremely hard believe that their work isn’t valued and I think that’s really hurtful.”

Just Posted

Discussion centres on the future of English Grade 8 at RSS

Parents met with the principal to discuss the future of English Grade 8 at Rossland Summit School.

Rossland St. Andrew’s United Church planning for restoration

Rossland’s United Church has received a CBT grant to support a restoration of the Red Roof Church.

Interior Health facilities score high in housekeeping audits

Housekeeping audits for health facilities in the region show most are above the auditor’s benchmark.

RCMP urge drivers to be more cautious

The top causes of accidents in the West Kootenay are distracted driving, impaired driving and speed.

FortisBC explains rate change proposal

FortisBC met with customers in Castlegar to explain their new time-of-use rate proposal.

B.C. Games open with Olympic touch

The 2018 B.C. Winter Games kicked off in Kamloops

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

B.C. ski cross racer wins Olympic gold

Kelowna’s Kelsey Serwa wins the gold medal in thrilling fashion in PyeongChang

New charges against ex-Trump campaign associates

More charges were laid Thursday against President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman and his business associate

Man accused in death of Winnipeg teen Tina Fontaine not guilty

Raymond Cormier was accused of killing Indigenous 15-year-old and dumping her body in the Red River

Okanagan real estate agents brace for speculation tax impact

“There’s a real potential for a domino effect to hurt the market in Kelowna.”

Alberta drops B.C. wine boycott, Notley says Horgan ‘blinked’ on pipeline

B.C. government announces court reference on proposed diluted bitumen restriction

UPDATE: Northern Health dealing with lack of 121 registered nurses

Auditor General says officials need to improve internal management, track effect of new policies

B.C. businesses say new health tax will raise prices for consumers

Province announced that MSP will be gone by 2020

Most Read