B.C. teachers serve 72-hour notice, full strike set for next week

Teachers will hold a 'study session' on Monday, ahead of a planned full walkout on Tuesday.

Walking the picket line on Wednesday are teachers Margaret Carmichael and Gayle Abbott-Mackie.

Walking the picket line on Wednesday are teachers Margaret Carmichael and Gayle Abbott-Mackie.

The B.C. Teachers Federation has served 72-hour strike notice, setting the stage for total walkout next week.

BCTF president Jim Iker said escalated job action would begin with a study session Monday, followed by a full strike starting Tuesday, if necessary.

“We hope escalation can actually be avoided,” Iker said Thursday. “My message to Christy Clark is come to the table with new funding, an open mind and the flexibility needed to each a fair settlement.”

The Monday study sessions will see BCTF members meet off-site – schools won’t be picketed but teachers won’t be there.

Bargaining is expected to continue through the weekend and Iker said he’s hopeful a deal is still possible before the weekend ends to avoid a full strike.

“Let’s concentrate on getting the deal,” he said. “This can be averted by Monday or Tueday at the latest. Then we can all be back in schools.”

The issuance of strike notice followed an 86 per cent strike vote Monday and Tuesday with a record turnout of more than 33,000 BCTF members.

An email to teachers advised them to take personal possessions with them in case schools don’t reopen before summer.

A full strike would close elementary and middle schools – parents will be advised to make child care arrangements if necessary – while secondary schools would be open only to conduct exams for Grade 10 to 12 students, provided the Labour Relations Board makes exams an essential service.

The province has pledged to end its partial lockout of teachers at the end of the school year to enable summer school operations, but it’s not clear whether summer school would happen under a full strike.

The province has offered a $1,200 signing bonus if teachers accept its proposal of 7.25 per cent in wage increases over six years by June 30.

The BCTF’s latest proposal is for increases totaling 9.75 per cent over four years, plus partial cost-of-living adjustments in each year tied to inflation.

The two sides have differing estimates of the compounded grand total of the union’s wage demand – the BCTF estimates it at 12.75 per cent over four years, while BCPSEA pegs it at 14.7 per cent and says other non-wage compensation costs will further increase the bill, perhaps beyond 19 per cent.

 

Just Posted

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

From left to right: Mark Walter, BJ Gillis, Kyle Munro and Danny Gillis of the Alberni Valley Disc Golf Club stand beside one of the newly-installed baskets at Dry Creek Park. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Port Alberni’s second disc golf course on the way at Dry Creek Park

Dry Creek Park will be closed for development for a week beginning June 21

A mantle of smoke overhangs the city of Port Alberni, indicating a thermal inversion of the sort that commonly traps harmful smoke particulate in winter. (MIKE YOUDS PHOTO)
Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District one step closer to burning bylaws

ACRD staff make amendments after public engagement

Aidan See played for the North Island Silvertips during the 2019-2020 season. (PHOTO COURTESY RON HAYES)
VIJHL: Port Alberni Bombers add hometown talent to roster

Junior B hockey club signs Aidan See, Blake Power and Grayson Erickson

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Indigenous rights and climate activists gathered outside Liberty Mutual’s office in Vancouver to pressure the insurance giant to stop covering Trans Mountain. (Photo by Andrew Larigakis)
Activists work to ensure Trans Mountain won’t get insurance

Global campaign urging insurance providers to stay away from Canadian pipeline project

In the first election with public money replacing corporate or union donations, B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau and B.C. NDP leader John Horgan take part in election debate at the University of B.C., Oct. 13, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. MLAs ponder 2022 ‘sunset’ of subsidy for political parties

NDP, B.C. Fed call for increase, B.C. Liberals have no comment

Investigators use a bucket to help recover human remains at a home burned in the Camp fire, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, in Magalia, Calif. Many of the missing in the deadly Northern California wildfire are elderly residents in Magalia, a forested town of about 11,000 north of the destroyed town of Paradise. (AP Photo/John Locher)
‘Forever War’ with fire has California battling forests instead

Five of the state’s largest-ever blazes seared California last year, as authorities tackle prevention

Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto and IOC President Thomas Bach, on a screen, speak during a five=party online meeting at Harumi Island Triton Square Tower Y in Tokyo Monday, June 21, 2021. The Tokyo Olympics will allow some local fans to attend when the games open in just over a month, Tokyo organizing committee officials and the IOC said on Monday. (Rodrigo Reyes Marin/Pool Photo via AP)
Tokyo Olympics to allow Japanese fans only, with strict limits

Organizers set a limit of 50% capacity — up to a maximum of 10,000 fans

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read