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.

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

Quesnel RCMP report a spike in thefts from cars

Police provide a list of tips to help mitigate the risk of parking downtown

RCMP investigate suspicious death near Williams Lake

Body found in home on Mountain House Road Tuesday night

Stranded B.C. trucker writes final wishes before being rescued 3 days later

‘I was just praying someone would come along’

Column: using waste forest products to reduce carbon emissions

The potential for bioenergy production from the forestry industry

Construction zone – Quesnel to see new housing and public projects get underway in 2019

Mayor outlines the many construction projects slated to begin in the next 12 months

Omar Khadr wants changes to bail conditions

‘My life is held in suspension’, says the former Guantanamo Bay detainee

Sissons scores OT winner as Predators beat Canucks 4-3

VIDEO: Vancouver battles back to earn single point in Nashville

Lions announce seven members of coaching staff not coming back for 2019

The operational moves come two days after the Lions announced DeVone Claybrooks as the team’s new head coach

$12K awarded to atheist family who oppose Christmas, Hanukkah in B.C. classroom

Gary Mangel,May Yasue said holidays, Remembrance Day and Valentine’s Day not appropriate in preschool

Coach accused of sexual assault says apology letter was misinterpreted

Dave Brubaker has pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual assault and one count of invitation to sexual touching

Give the gift of nature this holiday season

Please don’t be mad, but I bought you a moose

Aboriginal poet faces backlash for calling out NHL-themed totem poles

Rebecca Thomas says she received backlash for asking a drugstore chain to remove NHL merchandise

No plans yet for free WiFi on BC Transit buses

BC Transit says they are monitoring the roll-out of free WiFi on Translink vehicles

Some Kotex tampons recalled in Canada and U.S.

In some cases, tampon users sought medical attention “to remove tampon pieces left in the body.”

Most Read