Education crisis in BC: Teachers to go on full strike from June 17

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Labour Relations Board has termed provincial exams are an essential service. Grades 10 to 12 will be able to write their exams

 Vancouver:  BC Teachers’ Federation has served notice to escalate job action on Tuesday, June 17 to a full withdrawal of services.

86% voted for the job action escalation to full strike. “This week’s vote made it clear that BC teachers care deeply about the state of public education and their ability to meet the needs of all their students,” said Iker. “As well, it showed how firmly teachers are committed to doing what’s necessary to reach a fair deal.

“There are still several days left, during which both sides can hunker down, reach a settlement, avoid a full-scale strike, and end the government’s lockout. We’re ready to move, but my message to Christy Clark is, come to the table with new funding, an open mind, and the flexibility needed to reach a fair settlement that will support teachers and students.”
In addition, the BCTF has provided notice that Stage 2 job action will be extended to Monday, June 16, with all teachers participating in study sessions province-wide. Teachers will gather together off school property. Schools will not be picketed, but teachers will not be on site.

“To get a fair deal and avert a full-scale strike, BC teachers are looking for improvements to class size, class composition, and staffing levels for specialist teachers to increase one-on-one time for students,” said Iker. “In addition to improvements to student learning conditions, a fair deal must also include a fair wage increase for teachers.”

Education Minister Peter Fassbender issued the following statement on the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) issuing full-strike notice:

“While this is disappointing news for students and parents, the strike notice was not unexpected. Our main focus though, is to get to an agreement by June 30, 2014, and put this disruption behind us.”

The British Columbia Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) had applied last week to designate provincial exams and report cards for senior grads as an essential service and the Labour Relations Board agreed that provincial exams are an essential services.Students in Grades 10 to 12 will be able to write their exams as scheduled and Grade 12 students will receive their final marks in a timely manner.