Vancouver School Board Press release

Oct. 6, 2005
VSB trustees deeply frustrated over necessity for teachers’ strike

Trustees of the Vancouver School Board (VSB) say the provincial government has not acted in the best of interests of students in
provoking a province-wide shutdown of the public education system.

“Bill 12 does nothing to ensure long-term stability in public education,” says Allan Wong, VSB Vice-chairperson. “Legislated solutions and imposed settlements have contributed to the deterioration of relations among those who care about the quality of educational offerings for our students.”

Wong says the VSB has worked hard to repair those relations, which will suffer setbacks because of Bill 12. “We are still living with the scars of previous contract disputes that were settled through legislation.”

Trustees believe that long-term stability of the system is best achieved through respectful and productive labor relations, not by the heavy hand of government. They say Bill 12 will provide a short-term solution that will only exacerbate a long-term problem. Wong says a strike is the teachers’ last resort in their attempt to improve education for the province’s students.

“We call on the provincial government to do what’s right for public education,” says Wong, “and allow teachers to exercise their right to a freely-negotiated collective agreement.”

Wong says teachers want to meet the needs of their students, but are getting no help from government.

“When almost 91 per cent of the province’s teachers vote to take such action,” says Wong, “the provincial government needs to realize that these professionals have been deeply offended.”

For further information:

Allan Wong, VSB Vice-chairperson, 604-437-6074

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