BCTF running out of options: expert


VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – One expert is saying escalating teachers’ job action does not necessarily mean a walkout is imminent.

Over the next two days, members of the BCTF will vote on whether to implement a full-blown strike.

University of the Fraser Valley Professor Fiona McQuarrie says there aren’t many more options available for the union. “Depending on the situation, sometimes a complete walkout is the last big thing they can do. Once they shut the workplace down they don’t have too many other options other than public opinion to get things on their side.”

McQuarrie says there’s a lot at stake. “Whoever decides to escalate this first is going to take a big risk in the sense that if the dispute then blows up, totally out of hand, they’re going to be seen as the ones that made that happen.”

Results of a strike vote are expected Tuesday night, and the union is required to give three days notice before members walk off the job.

Teachers will continue rotating strikes for a third straight week.

Meanwhile, after seeing 10 per cent of their pay clawed back by the government for the job action, teachers have found out strike pay is running low.

Colin McLean, a teacher at Templeton Secondary School in east Vancouver, has been working in the public school system since 2009.

He says the union filled him on the strike funds dwindling.

“Everyone’s got bills to pay, at the same time we are thinking of the bigger picture and thinking longer term. This will get settled hopefully sooner rather than later. The consequences of the settlement will last longer term, so we are looking down the road at not just next week and further in the future,” he says.

Teachers have been told their $50 per day strike pay will run out soon.

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