Parents anxious over escalating labour dispute with teachers

Vancouver, BC, Canada / News Talk 980 CKNW | Vancouver's News. Vancouver's Talk
Parents anxious over escalating labour dispute with teachers

Parents are frustrated extra-curricular activities including graduation could be cancelled as the BC Government threatens to lock out teachers amidst its escalating labour dispute with the BC Teachers Federation.

Chair of the Vancouver District Parent Advisory Council Monica Moberg says teachers have backed out of planning the grad ceremony at her daughter’s school- John Oliver Secondary School.

“I had hoped to sit in the audience to watch her walk across the stage, now there’s a very good chance that, I possibly even be handing it to her.”

Moberg is concerned some students might not graduate this year.

“I know of several kids who have said they don’t know what they’re going to do and how they’re going to pass their exams, because they can’t get extra help during lunch hour, they can’t get extra help after school, this is a huge problem for kids.”

President of the Surrey D-PAC Bob Holmes says clarity is needed.

“How is this going to look, it’s very confusing with it being both a strike and a lock out at the same time.”

Holmes says the back and forth threats are causing more confusion for parents.

“It feels like a couple years ago all over again, but perhaps even more acrimonious this time around. It’s going to cause a lot of confusion for parents and students, I would really like to see the two sides come together, and come to an agreement on the whole thing, but if that’s not the case, it would be nice to have some clarity, how are things going to look.”?

The employers’ action was in response to the union’s decision to hold rotating strike action for one day in each of BC’s school districts over a four-day period next week.

The B.C. Public School Employers’ Association insists the only thing that would be significantly affected during the lockout is teachers’ pay.


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  1. Parents have every right to be concerned over the ill-conceived lock-out letter sent by the government to the teachers.

    Imagine saying to your employees that “you are locked out but it is your decision to come to the school and engage in volunteer activities. And if you do not volunteer, it will be your fault that graduations, field trips, track meets and field trips are cancelled or disrupted.”

    Complete nonsense-like burning a candle on two ends. THe BCTF should call him his huff and bluff.

    • locked out or volunteer. they both use this tactic to get parents annoyed. it is time to either pay the teachers for their time or get rid of all the free extras. marking report cards is part of their job. doing extras on comities, coaching, helping students after school, and all the other extras are not part of the job. they volunteer all this because they want to. it is the parents that want the teachers to look after their kids so they don’t have to. I have worked in sports for over ten years and sent out thousand of e-mails for help [ volunteers ] everyone passes the buck and want others to help [ not them ] the only thing that works for any is we had to fine them for not doing there volunteer time. 4 hours or $150.00. teachers should be paid for any extras

  2. Attention local house contractor.

    You are hereby directed to build a house, but you are locked out from building the bathroom and the laundry room. You are also locked out from installing any windows. Oh…except for the really important windows that we forgot needed to be put in for the house to be secure. You are also locked out from putting the roof on the house. You will not be paid for any work designated as locked out. However, you should really consider coming back after work hours to volunteer to put the roof on, because it would be really bad for the homeowner if you didn’t.


    The Government

    • My wife teaches elementary and secondary, under Michael Marchbank’s kabuki theatre notice, she is required to teach at 9:00, picket at 10:00, back on the line at 11:45, teach at 2:00 and get paid less. Huh? Can she use the washroom at 10:00 am? If she phones the school from the picket line to talk to a colleague about her class at 2:00, is this insubordination?

    • More like.

      Dear House contractor.

      I understand you only work 9.5 months a year. That I can’t fire you based on job performance, that you make the same as someone else with the same number of years in the workforce in a competitive job yet only work 9.5 months a year. Your union can’t get a contract with either government and now you want more money to your job. In fact you want 3 times the money we just gave your fellow public unions in nursing.

      Now you say you aren’t going to your job and walk off the job site in rotating strike. I say, do your job and or you’ll be locked out and guess what, you aren’t going to to get paid while your dig your heels in the sand.

      Your employer. The public tax payers.

      Sound about right?

      Hey if this was only about class size and composition, you’d have the whole province behind you, but you want 3 times the raises every other union got, that’s where people get angry and your militant BCTF group of unionists.

      Teachers make exactly what they should be making. Most people out of university don’t make more than $40 000 and most people that work for 10 years at something deserve about $70 000. So I’m not buying the money aspect. Plus teachers get summers off, spring break off, christmas off and pro D days. You have it good. If you don’t like it, go to Calgary.

  3. Negotiations between the BCTF and the employer (government/taxpayer) have been dragging on for OVER A YEAR! It’s a fact that the employer has moved on different fronts even to the point of offering a signing bonus to get a deal finally done. Why has the TF has not moved from it outrageous demands? A YEAR to do a fairly basic task. I just don’t understand why anyone would think the attitude of the TF is anything but a continuation of their clear pattern of antagonism and simple greed. The current situation was obviously timed as usual by the TF’s stalling to hit the fan at the close of the school year. Now students are telling news sources that they are hearing the TF message in their classrooms. The TF is nothing more than a distainful, self-appointed expert on proper education with absolutely no accountability to parents or the general public. Nothing could be further from the noble intent of the union movement. The BCTF must be put in it’s place once and for all.

    • Your views may be far more compelling if you only stuck to the facts of the issue and stop repeating the same BS that you spout every day.

      Your problem is that you react emotionally-like a spoiled child. You’ve provide a factual perspective but you then you knock the wind out of your sails-destroyed any credibility-by letting your emotions get the best of you.

      You’ve obviously have had a bad experience as a young student. While you’re not the only one, others have too-but have gotten over it.

      Grow up!

        • Ronnie:

          I take that as a compliment.

          It reminds me of the time a lawyer was grilling me as a witness at an inquest.. Finally, after trying unsuccessfully to discredit me, he made a similar “doctor” comment. The spontaneous response from those present, including the presiding coroner, confirmed what I had known-that I had integrity and would not compromise my ethics.

          Nice that I can hold my own-isn’t it?

          So you are very welcome.