BCTF formally issues 72-hour strike notice


VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – The union representing BC teachers has formally issued 72-hour strike notice.

A full walkout is set to begin on Tuesday.

The BC Teachers’ Federation has also announced that Monday will be a day for “study sessions” for teachers to review the revised bargaining package. That means tomorrow could be the last day of classes for students in public schools if the BCTF and the province don’t reach a deal.

BCTF President Jim Iker made the announcement this morning after union members voted 86 per cent in favour of a full-scale strike to back demands for higher pay and better classroom conditions.

Iker was asked about the Monday study sessions and why parents have not been given an extra day to make arrangements for the end of the school year.

He said it is 72-hour notice for a full scale strike, but only 48 hours notice are needed for one-day job action, “and we’ve followed those requirements to give the notice.”

Iker adds the BCTF executive intends to bargain non-stop through this weekend in the hopes of averting further job action. “What we’re hoping for is that this potential full-impact strike will put pressure on government.”

He gave the same answer to questions about the effect of the strike on all school year-end activities and summer school.

Iker deflected many questions about key issues in the dispute, instead repeating that the union would like to reach a deal. He says the BCTF is willing to compromise, but the province also needs to be flexible.

“We have a revised wage proposal… We know that part of this deal is wages and we know to get a deal, we have to compromise. We’ve said we’re willing to compromise,” says Iker.

“We have the next few days to avert a full-scale strike. And that’s what we need to be thinking about. Let’s get this deal done now,” he adds.

Teachers have been without a contract since last June and began withdrawing supervisory and administrative services earlier in the term before moving to the rotating strikes.

The provincial government responded by partially locking out teachers, docking their pay 10 per cent and announcing a lockout for all secondary school teachers on June 25 and 26, with elementary teachers added to the lockout on June 27.

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