VANCOUVER – An exclusive Global News poll by Angus Reid shows more British Columbians support the teachers over the government as the second stage of job action began Monday.
Rotating strikes will be held in a number of school districts each day until Thursday.
A poll of 804 randomly selected adults in B.C. shows 41 per cent of people support the teachers in this dispute, with 30 per cent backing the B.C. government.
Among parents and caregivers, that number rises to 51 per cent in support of teachers, compared to 28 per cent of parents who say they support the government. One-fifth (22 per cent) of respondents say neither side deserves support, with 15 per cent of parents with children in public school saying the same.
On the first day of rotating strikes, 62 per cent of parents asked say the job action would have an impact on their families, but they would be able to manage. About one-fifth of parents say the strike would have a “major impact.”
Among parents who have children in school 56 per cent say they believe the strike is reasonable, with 44 per cent voting they are unreasonable. Overall, 47 per cent of people say they support the strike, with 53 per cent saying it is unreasonable.
There is also majority support among parents for binding arbitration rather than negotiated settlements to settle contract disputes between the BC Teachers’ Federation and the government. Fifty-seven per cent of parents would like to see this and future deals settled through arbitration rather then negotiation.
In terms of all the issues facing people in B.C. today, 59 per cent of respondents say the current dispute between teachers and the government rates as “an important issue.” 27 per cent say there are more important issues British Columbians are facing.
The school closures that began Monday are part of a two-stage strike plan voted on by teachers in March.
At the same time, they also offered all teachers a $1,200 bonus if a new collective bargaining agreement is reached before the end of the school year.
A day before, the Minister of Education announced the government would be offering a six-year proposal instead of the original 10-year deal.
Phase One of the strike was rolled out last month and involved teachers not meeting or communicating with school administrators.
Watch: Day one of rotating strikes:
– With files from Paula Baker and Justin McElroy
© Shaw Media, 2014