BCTF will continue rotating strikes as local teachers will hit picket lines on Thursday

By on June 4, 2014

On the picket lineThe ongoing battle between the provincial government and 29,000 members of the British Columbia Teachers Federation (BCTF) continues to ramp up.

Late last week, the BCTC announced rotating strikes that saw public school teachers across the province – the teachers in Osoyoos and Oliver and across School District 53 hit the picket lines last Wednesday – will continue this week.

Teachers from the local school district will continue their rotating strikes next Thursday, June 5.

Every school district will be closed down for another full day one day this week between Monday and Thursday.

“B.C. teachers are committed to negotiating a fair and reasonable settlement at the bargaining table,” said BCTF president Jim Iker. “That agreement, however, needs to include adequate funding to make improvements to important learning conditions, which are teachers’ working conditions. It’s time for Premier Christy Clark to free up the resources that will bring the two sides closer together and ensure students start the next school year with smaller classes, more support for children with special needs, and extra one-on-one time.

“We also expect the government to be flexible on their wage demands and show some good faith and willingness to move. Teachers know that bargaining is about compromise, but we cannot be the only ones expected to move. Collective bargaining is about compromise and moving forwards, not backwards.”

Iker thanked parents for their ongoing understanding and support. “The reaction on the picket lines has been fantastic,” said Iker. “Parents know that we are working to improve the education system for their children. I also want to thank B.C.’s teachers who have remained so professional and committed to their students despite Christy Clark’s ill conceived, confusing, and chaotic lockout that was drummed up to justify her attack on our wages. BC teachers have showed incredible strength and resolve to achieve a fair deal for ourselves and better support for our students.”

While school facilities will remain open under the supervision of school administrators, teachers will be unable to provide students with instruction or appropriate supervision,” said School District 53 board of trustees president Marieze Tarr, in a press release issued last Thursday morning.

Parents should make alternate arrangements for their children and buses will not run, she said.

Early learning programs and evening programs that utilize school facilities may be disrupted due to picket lines.

Parents are being asked to contact their early learning provider to confirm.

“If we receive notice of any future planned school closures, we will inform you as soon as possible through local media, our website at www.sd53.bc.ca and through letters sent home with students,” said Tarr.

“Additional information related to the strike and partial lockout of teachers is also posted on our website. Local schools will also post information on local websites and social media.

“It is our sincere hope that this dispute will be concluded quickly and that normal school operations will resume. In the meantime, we are doing everything possible during this challenging time to keep the focus on students and minimize any impact that this current labour dispute may have on their education.”

KEITH LACEY

Osoyoos Times

 

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