Teachers resume pickets

Picket lines are going back up at schools.

Members of the Vernon Teachers Association will strike in front of W.L. Seaton Secondary today from 7 to 9:30 a.m. and such rallies will occur at various locations every Wednesday during the summer.

“We want to maintain our visibility and remind people that a fair settlement hasn’t been reached yet,” said Heather Malcolm, VTA president.

Malcolm hopes parents and students will attend the picket sessions, but she isn’t sure how many teachers will show up over the summer holidays.

“It will be interesting to see how many come out to join us.”

A court justice recently decided not to lead mediation between the teachers and the government because he said both sides were too far apart in their demands.

However, Malcolm says discussions are necessary so classes can resume in September.

“The government is coming with predetermined conditions and that’s not negotiating. If they come to the table, I believe we can negotiate,” she said.

Eric Foster, Vernon-Monashee MLA, defends the position his government has taken with the teachers.

“We are at the table and I keep hoping everyone comes to a resolution,” he said.

However, Foster insists that teachers must lower their demands for wages and changes to class size.

“It has to fall within our (budget) mandate and what we’ve given other public sector workers,” he said.


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