B.C. teachers to strike Monday

Princeton teachers, along with all teachers in B.C., will hold a three-day strike starting Monday, after 87 per cent of teachers voted yes.

Princeton Secondary School teachers join educators throughout B.C. Feb. 27 as they protest the government’s decision to legislate an end to their ongoing job action and impose a contract on them.

Princeton Secondary School teachers join educators throughout B.C. Feb. 27 as they protest the government’s decision to legislate an end to their ongoing job action and impose a contract on them.

Princeton teachers, along with all teachers in B.C., will hold a three-day strike starting Monday, leaving parents scrambling to find alternate childcare.

B.C. Teachers’ Federation president Susan Lambert announced the strike on Thursday morning, after confirming 87 per cent of teachers in B.C. voted yes to strike.

“We articulated our objectives as clearly and respectfully as we could, but unfortunately we were pleading to deaf ears,” Lambert said.

“The bill tabled on Tuesday was a sign of the appalling disrespect for the profession of teaching, for students and for public education in B.C.”

Schools will remain open during the strike. Principals, vice-principals and non-union staff will be there to watch students, but parents who can make alternate arrangements are encouraged to do so.

Education Minister George Abbott introduced Bill 22, the Education Improvement Act, on Tuesday. It is intended to suspend the current job action, set a “cooling off period,” appoint a mediator and implement a new $165-million Learning Improvement Fund.

Abbott plans to move second reading of the bill in the legislature Thursday afternoon.

Any continuing strike action would be illegal if the bill is approved. Fines would be given for each day of strike action — around $1.3 million for the union and up to $475 for individual teachers.