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

Needles far more prolific than public realizes, says local biohazard company

Local company makes one to two calls per week to clean up needles, drug paraphernalia

Upgrades to Millstream overpass to begin Feb. 1

Project includes addition of left hand turn lane onto highway to Victoria

Woodwynn Farms to be shut down and sold

The rehabilitation program at Woodwynn Farms is being shut down. According to… Continue reading

Whooping cough detected in Claremont student

15 Greater Victoria schools have been informed of a student with pertussis since September

Langford loses bid to host Amazon HQ2

Mayor hopes to attract more tech jobs to city

WATCH: Giant waves smash Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point

Folks made their way to Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point Lighthouse on Thursday, Jan.… Continue reading

New meeting structure saving Saanich staff time

The decision to separate regular council meetings from committee-of-the-whole meetings has shown… Continue reading

WestJet appeals lost bid to scrap harassment lawsuit

Airline argues judge was wrong to have dismissed the company’s application to strike the legal action

Can U.S. border guards search your phone? Yes, and here’s how

Secretary of homeland security explains a new policy that let’s border guards check phones

‘Beautiful writer’ Nancy Richler dies of cancer in Vancouver hospital

Montreal-born author spent most of her adult life in B.C. as a fiction writer and novelist

Jury convicts spear-wielding Duncan man in 2015 Ladysmith RV park murder

Trever George Meers used a handmade spear to stab Rayna Johnson at the Campers Corners RV Park

Students frustrated by UBCO response to harassment allegations

Students on the Kelowna campus were unaware of resources and worried about lack of communication

No crackdown, just education as BC Ferries enacts smoking ban

Fines and extra patrols not happening at this time as ban begins Monday

Funding brings more tech spaces to UVic and Camosun

Students can look forward to the addition of hundreds of tech-related seats… Continue reading

Most Read