May 26, 2014 2:31 pm
Updated: May 26, 2014 9:14 pm

WATCH: Okanagan teachers walk off the job


PENTICTON – Public teachers in the Okanagan Skaha School District are among the first in the province to walk off the job as part of the rotating strikes that began today.

It’s a  move which could boot more than half a million students out of class for each day  this week.

At the same time, the province plans to start cutting teachers’ pay by 10 per cent.

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Jim Iker of the BC Teachers’ Federation says if the contract dispute between the province and educators is not resolved swiftly, another round of job action could take place next week.

“We would rather be in our classrooms working with our students today but this is a result of a government unwilling to move at the bargaining table in the last couple months on key issues,” Iker told Global News Monday.

There has been some confusion regarding whether extra-curricular activities will continue during the partial lock out.

“It’s unfortunate that the government has chosen this path of ill-conceived partial lock out notice that was unclear right from the beginning, created a lot of chaos and confusion for our own teachers, parents and students. What we need the government to do is to withdraw this partial lock out notice. Let’s deal with the issue,” he said.

While more than 40,000 teachers take turns being off the job, extracurricular activities will stop and unionized school support staff will honour picket lines.

The sticking points in the dispute are pay, class size and classroom support.

Tomorrow the rotating job action will affect the Arrow Lakes District, Revelstoke, the Central Okanagan District and the North Okanagan-Shuswap District.

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