Teachers vote 86% in favour of a full-blown strike but…

A total of 28,809 teachers voted yes in a province-wide vote conducted on Monday and Tuesday, June 9–10.

In all, 33,387 teachers cast ballots, of whom 86% voted yes.

“With this vote, BC teachers have sent a very strong message to Christy Clark and her government;  it’s time to negotiate in good faith, put new funding on the table, and reach a fair deal with teachers that also provides better support for students,” BCTF President Jim Iker said in a statement announcing the result of the vote.

“It’s time for the BC Liberals to reinvest in public education and at least bring BC up to the national average in funding.”

Iker said educators are prepared to fully withdraw services and go on a full-scale strike, but that decision has not yet been made.

Rotating strikes will continue tomorrow in 22 school districts and across the rest of the province on Thursday and Friday, including here in Revelstoke on Friday.

“At this point, the BCTF has not served notice, but we will do so if necessary,” Iker said. “If we make the decision to escalate, we will provide three working days notice. That means there are still several days left that both sides can hunker down, reach a settlement, avoid a full-scale strike, and end the government’s lockout.”

He said the BCTF is prepared to make the necessary moves at the bargaining table that will bring the two sides together but noted that the union cannot be expected to move alone.

“We’re ready to make moves and get down to hard bargaining, but teachers need to see some good faith,” he said.

“This government still has a proposal on the table that would wipe out class size and composition guarantees that the BC Supreme Court has twice ruled were illegally stripped from collective agreements. The government is also entrenched on a salary demand that would see teachers effectively take two more years of zeros, which would make it four in a row. That’s unfair and unreasonable.”