“Teachers care deeply about our schools, our students, and our communities. We don’t take a strike vote lightly,” said Iker. “However, this government seems incapable or unwilling to let the BC 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 British Columbia.” -- BCTF President Jim Iker outlining some of the concerns of the BCTF
In a press conference Tuesday and through a press release, BCTF President Jim Iker outlined some of the concerns that his membership has with the current state of negotiations with the Liberal government of Christy Clark.
Offering up the thought, that behind closed doors the Government was acting in bad faith. Suggesting
that in the opinion of the teachers, the government was continuing to provoke the teachers.
|BCTF President Jim Iker|
Among those many issues that are of concern to the BCTF, one that would appear to be non starter from this point on; are the plans of the BC Liberals to have in place a ten year contract with the teachers of the province.
That proposal from the Liberals was rejected last June by 96 per cent of the BCTF membership. And judging by the comments of Tuesday, that won't be much of a discussion point moving forward.
In wrapping up the surprise announcement of Tuesday morning, Iker explained the mechanics of the province wide strike vote, which will be conducted March, 4, 5 and 6.
With results to be announced in the evening of March 6th.
The BCTF outlined that Job action, if recommended by its membership would take part in a number of stages. But would not impact on the following areas:
--result in immediate school closures or disruption for students.
-- stop teachers from participating in extracurricular activities
-- affect report cards or communication with parents
The final comment on the situation from the BCTF was that any escalation of job action would depend on whatever progress takes place at the negotiating table.
You can review more of the BCTF position points from the Tuesday press release.
Video of the BCTF news conference can be viewed here.
The British Columbia Government and Ministry of Education has not offered comment yet, on the latest twist in the deteriorating nature of labour relations between the province and its teachers.
As developments continue to evolve towards the March strike vote, further background on the issue will be updated on this article on the blog through the week and beyond.
March 6-- The Tyee-- Government bargained in bad faith with teachers: ex-negotiator
March 5-- Global BC-- Leaked teacher strike documents prompts BCTF denial
March 5-- Vancouver Province-- Leaked document says B. C. teachers set to strike, but BCTF accused government of writing it
March 5-- Globe and Mail-- Battle of Numbers: How much does an average teacher make?
March 5-- CTV BC-- B. C. Teachers say leaked strike plan document not theirs
March 3-- Royal City Record-- Teacher's soap opera drags on and on
February 27-- Global BC-- Tough talk on the BCTF bargaining table (video)
February 27-- Van Province-- B. C. Teachers' union needs to name its price now
February 27-- CBC Radio-- The Toxic climate in the BCTF B. C. Government dispute (audio)
February 27-- CBC Radio-- Government Negotiator with BCTF (audio)
February 26-- Van Sun-- BC Liberals hire legal superstar, upping the ante in festering teachers dispute
February 26-- Canadian Labour Reporter-- B. C. Teachers' Federation calls for a strike vote
February 26-- Victoria T C-- B. C. Teachers union announces strike vote for next week
February 25-- BCCPAC-- B. C. Teachers' Federation calls strike vote
February 25-- CKNW - Interview with Jim Iker (audio Vault 12:15 PM to 12:45 PM)
February 25-- CBC-- B. C. Teachers' strike vote to be held in March
February 25-- The Tyee-- Teachers hiding behind "rhetoric": government negotiator
February 25-- The Tyee-- Stalled negotiations driving teacher strike vote: union
February 25-- Globe and Mail-- BC Teachers to take strike vote as negotiations with province grow more tense
February 25-- CTV News-- B. C. Teachers' union to hold strike vote next week
February 25-- Global BC-- B. C. Teachers to take strike vote next month
February 25-- Van Sun-- Peter Fassbener responds to BCTF strike vote announcement
February 25-- Van Sun-- Public bargaining between teachers, government leads to predictable results
February 25-- Van Sun-- BCTF calls for strike vote in March
February 25-- Vancouver Courier -- B. C. Teachers' Federation to hold strike vote