REPORTING · 7th March 2012
Teachers officially escalated their withdrawal of services on Monday, March 5th. Stepping out of the classroom onto to the streets outside the school armed with signs declaring a united message, “Taking a Stand for Public Education”.
A handout from the teachers explained their position. They want to have the class size and composition restored which was removed from their contract in 2002. This was found to be unconstitutional and illegal by the BC Supreme Court. This decision also cut 3.3 billion dollars for education over the last decade.
Teachers are also want this agreement negotiated fairly and not imposed by the legislation of the government. Salary wise, BC teachers are in 9th place, compared to teachers in other Provinces across Canada. In the past, they have sacrificed salary for improvements for their students. However, these improvements were taken away in 2002.
The road block in the negotiations is the Net Zero mandate by the British Columbia Government. The BC Government is choosing to ignore cost of living increases. The legislation would also cause the goal of the teachers, smaller class sizes and improved special needs assistance to be abandoned.
The information sheet also stated the teachers have been cooperating, even reducing their demands in an attempt to compromise.