UPDATE -Teachers strike in Alberni starts on Monday

Port Alberni teachers will begin a full-scale three-day walk out starting on Monday.

Teachers will stage a full scale three-day walk out starting Monday, Alberni District Teachers Union President Ken Zydyk said.

The initial walk out will last from Monday to Wednesday next week, then subsequent walk outs will occur one day per week until March, Zydyk said. The scheme is consistent with conditions set out by the Labour Relations Board in its ruling earlier in the week. The LRB will re-examine its ruling in March.

On Wednesday night, teachers voted 87 per cent in favour of escalating job action: 32,209 ballots cast; 27,946 voted yes. The BCTF announced enhanced strike action starting Monday.

In Port Alberni, more than 300 teachers from School District 70 cast their ballots at the Steelworkers Hall regarding legislation that may pass next week. No local voting numbers were available.

Families will be left in a lurch for child care, an impact no one wanted, especially teachers, Zydyk says. “Teachers are doing this reluctantly,” he said. “We’ve tried to minimize the impact to students since September but we’ve exhausted our alternatives.”

On Tuesday, Education Minister George Abbott introduced a bill in the B.C. Legislature. The Education Improvement Act calls for a cooling-off period, appointment of a mediator and a ban on any strikes, with significant financial penalties to both individuals and the BCTF if there are work stoppages during that six-month period.

The bill establishes a net zero mandate with respect to salaries. But more importantly, Zydyk said, it worsens educational impacts on children instead of bettering them.

It lifts class size limits, disregards students with special needs and doesn’t reflect an earlier court ruling regarding both, he added.

Calls to School District 70 for their response to the move weren’t answered Thursday morning.

A spokesperson with the B.C. Public Schools’ Employers Association said that districts are planning to communicate about this issue with parents.

The BCPSEA is sorry though that the issue had to come to this . “We’re very disappointed that we weren’t able to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement with the BCTF and avoid this disruption to families,” the spokesperson said.

The BCPSEA is at the ready to resume CBA negotiations and intimated that one week before the teachers’ vote on Wednesday. “But we need to have an agreed up on agenda that uses our time constructively,” the spokesperson said.

Schools won’t be completely empty as support staff and exempt employees will be showing up for work, the spokesperson said. Alberni CUPE support staff ratified their local collective agreement on Feb. 24.

Teachers across B.C. have been without a contract since June 2011.

Teachers commenced phase one of their job action last September when they began refusing to perform administrative and supervisory tasks.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

Just Posted

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
B.C. teen who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

Emergency vehicles are parked outside of the Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni RCMP investigate stabbing on Fourth Avenue

Two men were found with ‘significant’ injuries near Wintergreen Apartments

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

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

Dry Creek Park will be closed all week as city parks crews remove hazardous trees and prepare the site for a new disc golf course. (SUSAN QUINN/ 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

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
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

Bernadette Jordan addresses the media following a swearing in ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on January 14, 2019. Jordan says the government will provide $2 million to allow First Nations to continue to strengthen the marine safety system across Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
First Nations receive federal funds to purchase marine rescue boats

Quatsino, Heiltsuk, and Kitasoo First Nation’s among eight across Canada to receive funding

A blood drive in support of 1-year-old Rielynn Gormley of Agassiz is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at Tzeachten First Nation Community Hall in Chilliwack. Rielynn lives with type 3 von Willebrand disease, which makes it difficult for her to stop bleeding. (Screenshot/Canadian Blood Services)
Upcoming blood drive in honour of Fraser Valley toddler with rare blood condition

The Gormley family has organized a blood drive in Chilliwack on June 28

One Reconciliation Pole and two Welcome Figures were unveiled during a ceremony in honour of truth and reconciliation on National Peoples Indigenous Day at the Vancouver School District in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday, June 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Horgan marks Indigenous Peoples Day by urging recognition of systemic racism

National Indigenous Peoples Day has been marked in Canada since 1996

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

A man makes his way past signage to a mass COVID-19 vaccination centre at the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canadians encouraged to see mRNA shots as interchangeable as more 2nd doses open up

Doctors urge people not to hesitate if offered Moderna after getting Pfizer for their first shot

Most Read