Not quite singin’ in the rain

Teachers on strike across the city kept smiling despite the rain on Monday. Wednesday is, for now, the last day of their three-day strike. David F. Rooney photo

By David F. Rooney

They weren’t quite singin’ in the rain, but local teachers on strike this week managed to keep smiling — and cheering when passing cars honked in support — despite Monday’s steady rain.

Many teachers hope their job action will, in some fashion, make a difference even if it is just a gesture.

“We have to stand up for our kids,” said one teacher at Arrow Heights.

Given the kind of  wages handed out to senior civil servants (see the post by Jean at end of Cheryl Angst’s piece) over the last couple of years, and the legitimate concerns of teachers regarding class sizes and the ratio of teachers to special-needs kids and others it’s little wonder that most teachers are manning the small information pickets in front of the city’s schools.

The union may have almost zero chance of forcing the provincial government to budge over its insistence that the teachers must comply with its net-zero pay increase policy, but it remains to determined to try and win public support for its stance on several classroom issues.

On Monday the province issued a statement outlining a number of facts and figures.

This morning the BC Ministry of Education sent out an information bulletin titled “BCTF Claims and Facts,” said BCTF spokeswoman Nancy Knickerbocker. “Because there are numerous inaccuracies in the bulletin, the BC Teachers’ Federation is sending the attached statement to set the record straight.”

Click here to read both sides’ take on the facts.

The teachers’ unwillingness to knuckle under may be doomed but it is certainly admirable.