Coquitlam teachers fighting over pay

VANCOUVER — Lori Leonard thought the protests were behind her, but the Coquitlam teacher is dusting off her picket sign once again.

Leonard is one of hundreds of Coquitlam teachers who say they were not paid correctly in September. Instead of being paid for eight days, her school district paid her for seven, which teachers say is in violation of the newly ratified agreement that put them back into the classroom.

“Nobody wants to be here, but when there’s an injustice it needs to be righted,” Leonard told Global News. “Part of that ratification deal was that we would be paid for that Friday,” she says, explaining teachers were back at the schools prepping, cleaning classrooms and getting things in shape.

Most teachers across the province were paid for that day, but not those in the Coquitlam School District, according to Leonard.

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“We’re feeling like we’ve been duped and we’re feeling very angry,” says Charley King with the Coquitlam Teachers’ Association.

The BC Ministry of Education says, “if teachers feel their district is not following the terms of their local agreements, they have well-established grievance procedures to resolve the matter.”

The Coquitlam District would not agree to an interview, but Global News was told the issue is due to a complex payment system which varies from district to district.

Teachers are planning a rally on Tuesday on the issue.

“I really hope the district will listen,” says Leonard.

–With files from Jeremy Hunka.

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