Teachers ratify agreement with government

Members of the BC Teachers’ Federation have voted 75% to ratify the agreement reached on Tuesday, with the government’s bargaining agent, the BC Public School Employers’ Association.

A statement from the BCTF said that in a province-wide vote conducted June 27–29, a total of 21,044 teachers cast ballots and 75% voted yes. The turnout rate was 52%. The BCTF always refuses to reveal local voting figures so there is no way to know how Revelstoke educators voted.

BCTF President Susan Lambert claimed the results show teachers are unhappy with the agreement. She noted in the statement that the results are in sharp contrast to those of one year ago, when teachers voted 90% to launch their “teach only” campaign at the beginning of the school year.

“I doubt you could find a single teacher in BC who is happy with this agreement because it does absolutely nothing to improve the situation in classrooms for students or teachers,” she said “It doesn’t address class size and composition nor does it provide a fair and reasonable salary increase for our members, who have fallen far behind teachers in other parts of Canada.”

Lambert said the BCTF was able to get modest improvements to teachers’ benefits, which were extremely outdated, however, “the most significant achievement is that that we succeeded in getting government take its concession demands off the table.”

This does not mean the end of the BCTF’s lawsuit against the provincial government.

The BCTF will continue to seek redress in the courts for past constitutional violations and to challenge Bill 22, which ordered an end to the teachers’ job action and compelled a mediation process under threat of harsh fines, the statement said.