From left: teachers Selena Jensen

Teachers stand pat on picket line

Strike still in session over summer for some teachers

While school is out of session, Victoria teachers will be holding the line at two locations this summer, although with minimal attendance.

Tara Baird, who teaches at Monterey middle school, has taken 22 four-hour shifts picketing outside Greater Victoria school district headquarters on Tolmie Street, along with four other teachers from 5:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Thanks to a $1.5 million donation from Ontario teachers, those who sign up to picket are given $50 per shift, a respite after not receiving any strike pay during the last two weeks of the school year.

“A lot of teachers have to take other jobs during the summer,” Baird said. “I’m just really lucky because my husband isn’t a teacher.”

Along with the school district headquarters, a two-person picket line is in place at Uplands elementary, which houses the Victoria International High School Program’s administrative offices.

The Tolmie and Uplands buildings are the only locations open during the summer in the school district, aside from the facilities department offices adjacent to Burnside elementary school, which teachers will not be picketing due to a court injunction.

“The point of a picket line is to disrupt the employers’ ability to do work as usual, and we can still do that during the summer,” said Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association vice-president Jason Gammon.

“We also need to keep the public informed on what’s going on… public support has been pretty positive so far.”

CUPE representative Kevin Rose said his union’s plan for the summer remains the same – if members see a picket line, they’ll respect it. He said that most CUPE workers across the province have been able to continue work as usual, though picketing “remains an issue in pockets.”

While numbers in Victoria have dwindled since the end of the school year, other school district’s such as Sooke are still seeing strong numbers.

Paul Waterlander, who teaches at Belmont secondary in Langford, said pickets are taking place at eight locations each day, with lines up to a dozen strong. He also said that a large protest event to be held in late August is currently in planning.

“We need to show people that teachers are committed to getting a good contract, and a good education system,” Waterlander said.

“We want school to start as normal on Sept. 2, and we want to be there teaching.”

Just Posted

Cordova Bay group against plaza redevelopment

Cordova Bay shopping centre has three, four-storey buildings

Whisky society commits to charity donation in wake of whisky raids

Refund of Victoria Whiskey Festival tickets won’t impact charity beneficiaries

Victoria housing provider launches crisis prevention program to combat homelessness

Pacifica Housing aims to address challenges before tenants risk evictions

Victoria wins crucial WHL contest over Giants in Langley

Royals take over second in B.C. Division ahead of Vancouver

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

Leaving needles around ‘considered bad form among intravenous drug users’

WATCH: Giant waves smash Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point

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

Wind warning back in effect around Vancouver Island

80 km/h winds expected Saturday, Jan. 20, on east coast of Island, 100 km/h on west coast

VIDEO: Thousands join women’s march events across B.C.

Today marks one year since the first Women’s March on Washington

UPDATE: BC Transit’s handyDart service strike delayed

LRB application by contractor means new strike notice must be issued by union

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

B.C. woman who forged husband’s will gets house arrest

Princeton Judge says Odelle Simmons did not benefit from her crime

Women’s movement has come a long way since march on Washington: Activists

Vancouver one of several cities hosting event on anniversary of historic Women’s March on Washington

Liberals’ 2-year infrastructure plan set to take 5: documents

Government says 793 projects totalling $1.8 billion in federal funds have been granted extensions

Most Read