Calling it “Christy Clark’s lockout” numerous times during a morning news conference, B-C Teachers Federation of President Jim Iker is blasting a move by the government to cut teachers wages and lock them out because of their strike activity.
Iker is especially critical of a move to prevent teachers from any contact with students outside of school hours and during the lunch hour.
He says, “The Premier who once put families first and who just yesterday said that children should not be put in the middle, is launching significant disruptions to our education system. Premier Clark would rather shut down extracurriculars, prevent teachers from working with students at lunch hour, block teachers from talking to parents about a properly-funded education system, and put the marking of province-wide exams for senior grades, as well as report cards, at risk”
Earlier this week the union announced it would start rotating strikes on Monday.
Iker was asked how the teachers would compromise on wage demands if the government were to compromise on class size and composition.
He dodged the question, “I’ve been very clear that bargaining is about compromise, and bargaining is about moving forward and not backwards. Class size is an important issue for us at the bargaining table and we want to see smaller class sizes for our students come September.”
The union is asking for a 10.75% wage hike over 4 years, which the government has said is much too high.
It has offered a 7.2% increase over 6 years, with a $1200 bonus for each teacher if a contract is signed by June 30th.
Listen to the full statement below: