VANCOUVER – The BC Teacher’s Federation says rotating strikes will continue this week.
They will be held on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
Education Minister Peter Fassbender called for the BCTF to return to bargaining table and negotiate a settlement.
“Children and communities are continuing to be held hostage and put in the middle of this dispute,” he says.
Fassbender says that if the BCTF backs off their strike action, and gets back to bargaining, the government will take penalties, including a 10 per cent cut to salaries on days of job action, off the table.
He also said the BCTF’s demands are not realistic or affordable.
BCTF President Jim Iker says the strikes will continue as long as the provincial government refuses “to put the necessary funding on the table.”
“We also expect the government to be flexible on their wage demands and show some good faith and willingness to move,” he said in a statement. “Teachers know that bargaining is about compromise, but we cannot be the only ones expected to move.”
He also thanked parents for their understanding and support, and said “the reaction on the picket lines has been fantastic.”
Every week of the rotating strikes saves the government $12 million. The 10 per cent wage mandated by the government on days of job action saves an additional $1.2 million, per day.
The Labour Relations Board will hear arguments Thursday on the validity of the 10 per cent wage cut.
By the end of this week, the province will have saved $40 million — eliminating almost all of any wage increase teachers could potentially get, if the wage cut stands. It’s not clear on when that decision could come down.
80 per cent of any strike savings is retained by the government, while 20 per cent will go to the school districts.
Here’s a list of the rotating strikes scheduled for next week:
Monday June 2:
Tuesday June 3:
NOTHING ON WEDNESDAY
Thursday June 5:
Friday June 6:
School District #93 (Conseil Scolaire Francophone) schools will be closed with others in their local communities throughout the week.
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