Teachers vote 89% for strike option

BCTF president Jim iker says no immediate disruptions to schools, Education Minister Peter Fassbender wants union to reveal demands

B.C. Teachers' Federation president Jim Iker

B.C. public school teachers have voted 89% to give their union authority for strike action in three stages.

B.C. Teachers’ Federation president Jim Iker said there is no set schedule on when work-to-rule action would begin.

“There will be no job action tomorrow, there will be no job action next week,” Iker said after the vote results were in Thursday evening. “It will depend entirely on what is happening at the negotiating table and whether or not the government and the employers’ association are prepared to be fair and reasonable.”

After a year of bargaining sessions with an expired contract, the BCTF still has not presented a specific wage and benefit demand. Education Minister Peter Fassbender urged the union to present its opening position as negotiation sessions resumed Friday.

Union members were briefed before the vote on the initial wage offer delivered by Peter Cameron, chief negotiator for B.C.’s 60 school districts. It describes pay increases totalling 6.5% over six years.

Fassbender reiterated that class size and composition are up for negotiation as well as wages and benefits. Iker said the strike vote shows the members’ rejection of “unfair and unreasonable proposals that would undo the class size, class composition and specialist teacher staffing levels we just won back in a B.C. Supreme Court ruling.”

More than 29,000 teachers voted, with 26,000 saying yes to the strike option that can be activated on 72 hours’ notice for 90 days.

Details of the strike plan have emerged from several school districts, where BCTF members have voted to authorize the first two phases.

Phase one is refusing meetings or communication with administrators, and working to rule on hours, except for pre-arranged voluntary activities. According to one summary released by the government, teachers are to arrive at school no more than one hour before class time and leave by one hour after classes, with no supervision of students outside of class time.

Phase two is rotating one-day walkouts in districts around the province. Phase three, a full-scale strike, would require a second vote by members to authorize.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Severe storm warning remains in effect for the Kootenays

Two special weather statements have been issued for the West Kootenay

Update: Suspect in Montrose gas station stabbing new to the area

Police say the 30-year-old suspect stabbed a Montrose gas station employee

‘I knew what he wanted’: Man recalls black bear chasing him up tree in Slocan Valley

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

RDKB launches survey to address housing needs in the district

Communities in the district include Trail, Grand Forks, Rossland and Fruitvale

No passenger flights at West Kootenay Regional Airport until at least September

This is the third time Air Canada has announced changes to flight operations out of the airport

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

PHOTOS: U.S. cities brace for increasing unrest over police killing of George Floyd

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has fully mobilized the state’s National Guard

$200,000 Maybach impounded after ‘L’ driver caught excessively speeding in Vancouver

Meanwhile, the supervisor sat in the passenger seat, police said

Most Read