Kelowna area teachers return to picket lines
KELOWNA – Teachers in the Central Okanagan School District set up picket lines outside many schools Monday.
“We all want to be back at work. We want to be teaching our kids but we want to be treated fairly and have a negotiated deal, a fair one to teachers,” says Mary Hope while holding a sign reading Locked Out.
The BC Teachers Federation hopes the resumption of picketing will pressure the government to enter mediated talks with Vince Ready.
The renowned mediator earlier said he is monitoring the dispute and will get involved if there’s a chance mediation will be productive.
The Federation, which represents 40,000 public school teachers, claims the government is stalling.
Wages are an issue in the dispute but it’s not the key one for teacher Sharon Bede who was picketing outside Kelowna Secondary School.
“Never has been, I’m not in this to get rich.”
Bede is more concerned in getting better teaching and learning conditions through improved class size and composition.
“Access to more support systems, more library services. Having been involved in special education for a long time, we have a duty as Canadians and British Columbians to support our children. If my grandchildren can at least get the same type of education I’ve seen grow, and then decrease over the years, that’s why I’m here,” says Bede.
If the dispute continues past September 2nd, the government will give $40 per day to parents of public school students under the age of 13.