Revelstoke teachers rally on June 20 in Grizzly Plaza at a protest organized by the Revelstoke Teachers' Association to mark a year since B.C. teachers have had a contract. The B.C. Teachers' Federation organized similar rallies across the province on June 20.

Revelstoke teachers rally to mark year without contract

Revelstoke teachers rallied in Grizzly Plaza on June 20 to mark one year since they've had a contract

Revelstoke teachers rallied in Grizzly Plaza to mark one year since they’ve been without a contract.

A small group of teachers held placards and at the Victoria Road intersection, getting honks of support from some drivers.

Revelstoke Teachers’ Association (RTA) president Bill MacFarlane has spent much of the past year at the bargaining table in the Lower Mainland, but was back in Revelstoke for the rally.

He said he felt the B.C. Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) has been at a disadvantage from the start, saying the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) anticipated the government would step in: “[The BCPSEA] knew that Abbott would legislate right from the beginning, so, right away, that puts them at an advantage. They’ve got all the power … through the government.”

Currently, the year-long struggle is held up awaiting a court decision on the appointment of mediator Charles Jago. His appointment was contested by the BCTF, who claimed he lacked mediation experience and is biased. A judge has yet to rule on the teachers’ challenge.

MacFarlane says he’s concerned the whole process is heading towards an imposed contract. “We’ve lived through imposed contracts before. They don’t work,” he said. “They just make everybody unhappy. It contributes to bad feelings in the school, bad morale as far as the relationship between the employer and the employee.

“The best way to resolve any of that is of course through negotiated settlement, which we couldn’t achieve because there was never any intent on the part of BCPSEA to come to an agreement in my opinion,” MacFarlane said.

B.C. teachers have been in a battle with the government for the past year when their last contract expired in June, 2011. The teachers’ union has argued for an increase in wages, benefits and better working conditions, including smaller class size and composition, a reduction in case loads, more class preparation time and improved learning specialist ratios.

But the government has maintained all public sectors must accept a net-zero contract, which has resulted in a tumultuous stand-off between the union and the education ministry.

Last September, the union entered phase one of job action, resulting in no teacher supervision during recess, and before and after school care; no teacher attendance in administrative meetings; and no teacher-written report cards. Job action escalated in March to a full-scale walkout that lasted three days.

Shortly after, the government passed Bill 22 legislation that forbade further strike action and imposed a six-month “cooling off” period, which completes in August.

One month later, the teachers’ union voted in favour of withdrawing from extracurricular activities.

~with notes from Katie Bartel/Chilliwack Progress/Black Press

 

 

Just Posted

Grizzlies program a pinnacle in the KIJHL

Monday to Thursday it’s a grind but playing in front of a full barn is fun-Ryan Parent, GM

See David Mamet’s The Frog Prince in Revelstoke this weekend

The show goes Saturday and Sunday at Track Street Growers

Photos: Revelstoke’s ninth annual Emergency Services Food Drive

It’s one of the largest yearly food drives for Revelstoke

‘I shouldn’t have done it,’ Trudeau says of brownface photo

Trudeau says he also wore makeup while performing a version of a Harry Belafonte song

35 of 87 dogs in 2018 Williams Lake seizure were euthanized due to behavioural issues, BCSPCA confirm

The dogs did not respond to the behaviour modification and remained terrified of humans

Vernon race organizer head-butted by homeless man won’t be stopped

Man arrested after allegedly stealing race flags, assaulting woman in Kalamalka Lake park

B.C. ‘tent city’ disputes spark call for local government autonomy

UBCM backs Maple Ridge after province overrules city

WHL action returns to Okanagan, Rockets GM anxious for season’s start

Big off-season changes, the Memorial Cup; it’s all coming together for Bruce Hamilton

B.C. drug dealers arrested after traffic stop near Banff turns into helicopter pursuit

Antonio Nolasco-Padia, 23, and Dina Anthony, 55, both well-known to Chilliwack law enforcement

Lake Country aims to find happy-medium in Airport Inn shutdown

Airport Inn residents will have until Oct. 5. to find a new home unless an appeal is approved

Most Read