Teachers vote for job action in face of stalled negotiations

Teachers in Revelstoke and across British Columbia have voted in favour of a strike if there is no progress in negotiating a new contract by the beginning of next school year, the British Columbia Teacher's Association announced Wednesday.

Teachers in Revelstoke and across British Columbia have voted in favour of a strike if there is no progress in negotiating a new contract by the beginning of next school year, the British Columbia Teacher’s Association announced Wednesday.

“[Teachers] a’re definitely dissatisfied with how negotiations have gone – we’re talking about provincial negotiations,” said Jennifer, the acting president of the Revelstoke Teacher’s Association in an interview.

“We, locally are very respectful,” she added

According to the BCTF, 90 per cent of teachers voted yes in a province-wide strike vote conducted June 25, 27 and 28. About 70 per cent of all teachers took part in the vote – 28,128 in total.

Woolney said the job action would begin Sept. 6, 2011, the first day back at school, with a “teach-only” campaign – if there’s no progress on talks during the summer. She said teachers would continue their classroom duties but would stop doing administrative tasks.

“What it means is no formal report card writing but we will still be in touch informally on their children’s progress,” she said, adding there would also be no supervision during recess and before school. Involvement in extra-curricular activities such as coaching sports teams would be left up to the individual teachers.

School district superintendent Anne Cooper said she was confident local teachers would remain professional and provide “high quality instruction to students” in event of a job action.

As for going on strike, Woolney said it would depend on how negotiations progressed following the first job action. “The series of events after that all depend on what the situation is.”

Negotiations at the provincial level are moving slowly and no decision has been reached on which issues will be negotiated provincially and which will be table locally.

Locally, negotiations have been going well and have been respectful both sides of the bargaining table reported.

Cooper said there has been seven meetings so far and agreements were reached on matters that were negotiated locally last time around. She did not provide any details.

“Because we haven’t conclude our local round of bargaining – we still have a couple of issues to come back to in late-August or early-September – I’d really prefer not to comment on a piecemeal basis for where we’re at,” she said.

Woolney said only that, “the RTA and the board have table numerous clauses.”

“It’s still very up in the air,” she said. “Nothing has been decided provincially, which then guides our local bargaining.”

In a press release sent out on Wednesday, Susan Lambert, the president of the BCTF, said the strong yes vote represented a show of unity amongst teachers and they were prepared to take action “to achieve their goals of improved teaching and learning conditions, fair improvements to salary and benefits, and restoration of local bargaining rights.”

“Facing a concerted campaign by the government and the employer to turn back the clock on teachers’ rights and reverse hard-won provisions on due process, we have no choice but to take a stand for ourselves, our students, and our profession,” Lambert stated.  “The employer is offering nothing and at the same time demanding we make many significant concessions. That’s not collective bargaining. It’s just bullying.”

Negotiations have been complicated by a court decision earlier this year that struck down a law that removed class size and composition out of bargaining.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

WATCH: North Okanagan seniors stay fit in self-isolation

Residents have taken to their balconies to follow along in exercise class

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

The Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

Paddling through life

Pehowich is a mother, business owner, basketball coach and paddleboarder

General exposure to public low after inmate tests positive for COVID-19: Interior Health

The Okanagan Correctional Centre inmate is receiving appropriate care

Emergency services respond to numerous incidents in Revelstoke

Today there were multiple semi truck crashes on Highway 1 and a collision by the hospital

‘Hold our line’: 29 new cases of COVID-19 announced in B.C.

Saturday’s number of new cases marks the lowest in weeks.

COVID-19: Staying home in Shuswap is difficult when you don’t have one

As the snow flies, people without homes in Salmon Arm talk about how tough life is

Okanagan family shares story of son’s cancer recovery to encourage blood donation

Finlay Ritson’s parents can’t donate blood, but hope his story will encourage others to do so

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

‘Always look on the sunny side,’ Okanagan senior says

Heaton Place resident shares story of growing up in Roaring Twenties

COVID-19: ‘Think before you click,’ north Okanagan city says

City of Armstrong urges residents stay safe online as phone, email scams on rise amid pandemic

North Okanagan district discourages campfires amid COVID-19

Campfire ban in effect for RDCO but not for neighbour district in the north

Vernon Superstore sees long lineups amid COVID-19

Long lineups Saturday evidence customers following social-distancing protocols

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

Most Read