BC teachers to serve 72-hour strike notice


VANCOUVER – (NEWS1130) – The BC Teachers’ Federation has told its members the union will serve notice that a full-scale strike could begin next Tuesday.

Teachers earlier voted overwhelmingly in favour of a full-scale walkout to back their contract demands.

The union has sent an email to members that says bargaining is expected to continue in the meantime and that it’s possible an agreement could be reached before next Tuesday. But the email says teachers should nonetheless take personal items home this week.

Although a full-scale walkout would begin on Tuesday, the last day of school for many students could be Friday. The email suggests Monday will be a “study session” for teachers, which would mean class would not be in session.

The BCTF is expected to make a formal announcement at 7:30 a.m.

The main issues in the dispute have been wages and issues related to class size and composition. Teachers have been staging one-day rotating strikes for the past three weeks, which prompted their employer to partially lock them out and cut wages.

Terry Berting with the BC Parent Advisory Council says he was surprised at the news.

“The BCTF has stopped communicating with us. Normally we get a heads up if something is going to happen, but they’re pretty much going it alone.”

And like many parents, he’s disappointed.

“Dissapointed, frustrated , tired of everything. We’re all worn out by this,” says Berting.

“It’s really serious stuff for especially high school kids. My own daughter is in grade 12 and has to write that English final exam to graduate.”

He adds parents he’s spoken with have generally supported teachers so far but if a full-scale strike hits, that could change.

“I think it may. They seem to have the upper hand in public opinion but now that things might shut down completely that may turn.”

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