UPDATED: BCTF tells members full-scale walkout to begin Tuesday (June 17)
The BC Teachers’ Federation didn’t wait long to announce plans for a full-scale walkout, beginning Tuesday (June 17).
One day after receiving an 86 percent strike mandate from members, and a day after saying it would withhold serving notice, the BCTF told members in a letter it will begin a full-scale walkout beginning Tuesday.
The BCTF also announced Monday will be a study session throughout the province, meaning Friday is the last day of school.
In Kootenay Lake School District 8, Thursday will be the last day of class as the teachers walk the picket line as part of round three of rotating strike schedule.
“We believe that the combined actions of bargaining hard and the solidarity of standing together are the key ingredients needed to get a deal that works for teachers and for our students before June 30 and hopefully sooner,” said the letter.
“Please know that both parties are currently involved in discussions,” the letter continued. “Our intention is to bargain non-stop throughout the weekend.
“We believe that a small, but important window to negotiate a fair deal exists and we want to take every opportunity to get that deal.”
The BCTF also said the strike could last into the holiday break and members should take personal items they will need for the summer before ending class.
The two sides were at the Labour Board Wednesday discussing whether exams are an essential service.
The province announced earlier this week plans if the BCTF staged a full-scale walkout.
Minister of Education Peter Fassbender responded to the BCTF strike vote.
BC Teachers vote 86 percent in favour of full-scale walkout; BCTF president Jim Iker said strike on hold for now
B.C. Teacher’s Federation president Jim Iker said Tuesday night during an online news conference from headquarters in Vancouver a full-scale walkout is on hold after teachers voted 86 percent in favor of strike action.
“We can avoid a full scale strike if this government comes to the table and negotiate a fair deal, and most importantly a better support system for our students,” Iker said during Tuesday’s press conference.
Iker said more than 33,387 teachers voted during the two-day process — Monday and Tuesday — with 28,809 voting in favour of full-scale strike action.
The union is required to give three days notice before members walk off the job.
Iker, who would not confirm when the BCTF would implement a full-scale strike, hopes the two sides can put an end to this fight and get a deal negotiated before the school term concludes later this month.
The key sticking points throughout this 16-month labour dispute remain class size limits, class size composition guarantees and guaranteed staffing levels for specialist teachers.
Iker said it’s never been about moving to the next stage of job action, it’s more about negotiating a fair deal for teachers and students.
“This government has come to the table empty handed, now it’s time to change that,” said Iker.
Round three of the rotating strike schedule continues Wednesday.
The rotating strike schedule has closed every school in every district in B.C. for one day the past two weeks.
Students in Kootenay Lake (Nelson-Creston) School District 8 get a long weekend as teachers will be off Friday.
Schools in Arrow Lakes will be behind picket lines Wednesday while Kootenay Columbia teachers are out Thursday.
Here’s the schedule for the upcoming week of rotating strikes.
Monday, June 9
- No rotating strike
Tuesday, June 10
- 61 — Greater Victoria
Wednesday, June 11
- 06—Rocky Mountain
- 10—Arrow Lakes
- 40—New Westminster
- 44—North Vancouver
- 45—West Vancouver
- 46—Sunshine Coast
- 48—Sea to Sky
- 50—Haida Gwaii
- 52—Prince Rupert
- 54—Bulkley Valley
- 58—Nicola Similkameen
- 64—Gulf Islands
- 67—Okanagan Skaha
- 79—Cowichan Valley
Thursday, June 12
- 05—Southeast Kootenay
- 20—Kootenay Columbia
- 23—Central Okanagan
- 42—Maple Ridge
- 59—Peace River South
- 72—Campbell River
- 74—Gold Trail
- 82—Coast Mountains
- 83—North Okanagan-Shuswap
- 84—Vancouver Island West
- 91—Nechako Lakes
Friday, June 13
- 08—Kootenay Lake
- 47—Powell River
- 49—Central Coast
- 53—South Okanagan-Similkameen
- 57—Prince George
- 60—Peace River North
- 81—Fort Nelson
- 85—Vancouver Island North