B.C. teachers preparing for a strike vote

Teachers in local schools will take a strike vote March 4, 5 and 6. - Morning Star file photo
Teachers in local schools will take a strike vote March 4, 5 and 6.
— image credit: Morning Star file photo

Local teachers are posed to take job action.

The B.C. Teachers Federation will hold a strike vote March 4, 5 and 6 to challenge what they call major concession demands from the employer.

“We don’t take a strike vote lightly,” said BCTF president Jim Iker.

“However, this government seems incapable or unwilling to let the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association negotiate fairly with teachers. Christy Clark, her government, and BCPSEA are insisting on rollbacks, freezing wages, and ignoring the Supreme Court of B.C.”

Iker says  the employer wants to strip all provisions on class size, class composition, and staffing levels for teacher-librarians, counsellors, special education, and other specialist teachers.

On the salary front, Iker says teachers are being asked to take up to two more years of zeros after no salary increases in 2011/12 and 2012/13.

Job action, if needed, will occur in stages, but Iker says any initial action will not include immediate school closures, stop teachers from participating in extracurricular activities or affect report cards or communication with parents.

Any escalation of job action will depend on progress at the negotiating table, he added.

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