Teachers across British Columbia have voted overwhelmingly to back their bargaining demand for a fair and competitive salary increase.
A total of 85.2 % of teachers voted yes in a province-wide strike vote conducted June 7 and 8, 2006. In all, 30,202 teachers cast a ballot, of whom 25,698 voted yes.
“This vote sends a strong message to the government and the employer that teachers are serious about their need for a significant salary increase,” said Jinny Sims, president of the BC Teachers’ Federation.
“Our salaries haven’t kept up with inflation, nor have they kept up with colleagues in other provinces. The finance minister’s own research showed that BC teachers are 20% behind Alberta and Ontario.”
Sims said the strong yes vote once again demonstrates that teachers are united behind their bargaining goals and ready to take action to achieve them.
“Last fall our members took a courageous stand to achieve improvements in students’ learning conditions and a significant salary increase,” she said. “We went back to work based on government’s assurances that they would deal with our concerns. To some extent, they have addressed the issues of class size and composition with Bill 33 but there has not been an adequate response to our need for a fair salary increase.”
The BCTF has tabled an opening position of 24% over three years, while the BC Public School Employers’ Association has offered 8% over four years. Many teachers consider that offer to be insulting because it does not keep up with inflation and widens the gap between teachers’ salaries in BC and other provinces.
The current contract, the second one to be imposed through legislation, will expire June 30, 2006. Sims emphasized that teachers will continue to seek solutions at the bargaining table.
“We are ready to work 24–7 to reach a negotiated settlement prior to June 30,” Sims said.
From CBC: Teachers ready to strike for more money
Last updated Jun 9 2006 11:27 AM PDT
B.C.’s public school teachers have voted 85.2 per cent in favour of strike action to back their contract demands.
The B.C. Teachers’ Federation’s current contract expires at the end of the month, and the union is prepared to begin strike action this September. Download full story here
Canoe News Story: Teachers Vote to Strike
VANCOUVER (CP) – British Columbia teachers voted 85.2 per cent Friday in favour of going on strike in the fall if they are unable to negotiate a new contract with school employers.
The strike vote was taken amid contract talks that have been hung up over wage demands.
More than 30,000 teachers voted. Download full story here.
Last fall BC teachers walked out on a two-week illegal strike with strong backing from the public. As the deadline looms for completing negotiations on a new contract, teachers have voted 85% in favor of a another province wide strike unless the employers give them a significant salary increase. (Source: Where the Blog hs no Name)