Princeton Secondary School teachers join educators from throughout B.C. as they protest the government’s decision to legislate an end to ongoing job action and impose a contract on them.
Teachers throughout B.C. held union meetings at lunch hour and demonstrations after school today, in an attempt to forestall an attempt to forestall an imposed contract.
“Despite the [BC Teachers’ Federation’s] offer to go to mediation or even arbitration, Education Minister George Abbott has signalled he intends to bring in legislation as early as possible next week,” the BCTF said in a news release.
Union meeting and demonstrations will not cut into class time, the BCTF said.
On Feb. 28 and 29 (this Tuesday and Wednesday) teachers across B.C. will vote on whether to escalate the limited “teach only” job action to a full-scale walkout.
Results of the vote will be made public on March 1.
“It is clear that this strike is hurting students and any escalation in strike action will only increase the harm to students and the impact on parents,” said Abbott in a release.
“The union’s demands, which would add $2 billion in costs for B.C. taxpayers, are not acceptable given the current financial reality.”
Offering nothing and demanding “deep concessions” completely disrespects the deep commitment teachers bring to their work, said BCTF president Susan Lambert.
“[This] leads us to conclude there was never any intention to bargain a collective agreement,” she said.
“We’re worried and upset about the continued damage this government is doing to public education, with at least $100 million in cuts to come next year from inflationary pressures on a flat budget.”