BCTF president sends teachers back to picket lines beginning this week

Nelson Daily Staff
By Nelson Daily Staff
August 25th, 2014

Get ready for another round of labour action as British Columbia Teachers’ Federation president Jim Iker told teachers Sunday at the annual summer leadership conference rotating pickets going up beginning Vancouver, Langley and Kamloops.

The BCTF president announced the picket schedule at the union’s summer leadership conference in Kamloops.

Teachers have been on strike since June to back wage demands and more control over class sizes and composition.

Following a summer of rhetoric, veteran mediator Vince Ready agreed earlier this month to work with the two sides — BCTF and BC Teachers Federation and B.C. Public School Employers’ Association, the bargaining agent for the government.

However, very little has been accomplished as Ready said he can’t begin the process until the teachers and government get closer to an agreement.

Iker, during a speech to the teachers in Kamloops, challenged Education Minister Peter Fassbender to get a deal done.

“The holdout has been government and their unwillingness to enter full-scale mediation and compromise,” Iker said. “We’re ready to negotiate anytime. We’ve been ready all summer.”

Public schools are scheduled to resume Tuesday, September 2.

The government has proposed to pay parents $40 for every day the strike affects the school year for parents with children under the age of 13 years.

The money would theoretically go toward the cost of tutors or day care.

The government estimated that some 300,000 students would be eligible for the subsidy, which would be paid out of the $12 million per day that the government would save from not paying the salaries of striking teachers.

Iker is holding out hope a deal can be reached soon.

“I know its been a summer of uncertainty and there’s much to do in the days ahead, but I’m still hopeful we can reach a negotiated settlement so that we can get back to what we want to be doing, what we love to be doing, and that’s teaching,” he said.

This post was syndicated from https://thenelsondaily.com
Categories: General

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