Teachers begin rotating strikes

Vancouver, BC, Canada / (CKNW AM) AM980

This is day one of the rotating strikes by B-C teachers.

Standing in the pouring rain outside an East Vancouver elementary school are a handful of the school’s teachers, who say they’re standing up for what’s right.

Hearing that BC’s Education Minister this morning put out a statement saying it’s the teachers union that’s keeping kids from learning, one teacher says “it’s demoralizaing” and didn’t deny those words sound like fighting words.

Jerry Kent, walking with a placard is the President of the Vancouver Elementary School Teachers Association, has been a teacher since 1979.

He says as teachers they have few options to take actions, other than what they’re doing now.

He says, “We can write letters, we can have media interviews, but in the end of the day as employees, you have to withdraw services. I mean that’s the last step.”

Kent says after 18 months at the bargaining table, there’s little else they can do.

Vancouver and New Westminster teachers are joining their counterparts in 15 other provincial school districts today.

The rotating strikes will continue through Thursday.

Other Lower Mainland districts affected today are Sea-to-Sky and Mission.

No rotating strikes are planned for Friday in any district.

The two sides resume bargaining this afternoon.

Comments

  1. Jerry Kent has been a teacher for 21 years. Why would anyone stay at the same employer for 21 years if they are being mistreated, underpaid, under appreciated, and forced to work in such a toxic working environment? Is is pure altruism or an admission that the job is pretty sweet?

    • Don, I think this Union is more of a Cult.
      Why else would educated, reasonably intelligent people not see what this Union/Cult
      has done to their Profession. OH right, they lost their designation as Professionals, thank to the BCTF.

    • For the poor Jerry Kent’s in the system, why not provide more funding to alternative schools (say through offering a voucher system)? That way the poor, unhappy, underpaid and ill-treated teachers will have alternatives to move their skills to; and the taxpayer has a choice of which system they wish to support with their money. But then again, according to some, I’m just an evil ‘right winger’ for even suggesting this.

      • The problem with a voucher system is where do the special needs students go? How about ESL? Vouchers establish charter schools, which attract students by offering something, eg higher test scores (done easily by not accepting any students who struggle) or a special niche (eg. hockey/soccer academy). This leaves average and struggling students all together in even more poorly funded schools struggling even worse than now. As a right wing person myself I say copy the business that is more successful than you (Finland small classes lots of special need help no standardized tests) rather than copying the one you already outperform (eg the US and school vouchers).

        • I don’t believe for a second that it is a right-left issue. It is big versus small government and personal responsibility and freedom versus control and the ‘Nanny State’. There are lots of right wing Progressives out there. Progressives only hate big government when they aren’t in control of it. Look across our border; look at many of our governments in Canada (including BC).

          You think the public sector are the only ones that can provide services for special needs children? From what I’ve seen, the public sector breeds inefficiencies and waste – not to mention generally poor/sub standard performance. You want to subject our children to that? I think we have to get away from it as much as possible and expect better for our tax dollar and our children.

          In regard to ESL- I believe a condition of being accepted into our country is having a working knowledge of French or English. Why should the taxpayer be forced to teach one of our official languages to children entering the school system; many of which are born in our country? Just where does parental responsibility enter the equation? But leaving English to the teachers enhances employment for more bureaucrats; no wonder the teachers are all for that one.

          I don’t believe you can compare Finland with the situation here. They are totally different societies. As far as I know, Finland is culturally an ‘almost homogeneous’ community with certainly different social standards; not that we can’t look to others for examples.

          So if not vouchers, suggest a viable alternative for the current system. One thing vouchers breed is competition; as a ‘right wing’ individual, I’m sure you know what lack of competition creates. What happens when individuals or cartels control a market or commodity?

        • Darcy, how about something closer to home, like California. There they spent Billions to get smaller classes and how did that work?
          They are BROKE.. And the students did not improve at all. But hey, who cares. WE have lots of money.

          If your are trying to suggest that private schools only cherry pick their students, you are WRONG.
          It always sounds good so promote that, but it is simple not true. Do they have the same average as the public schools?, no, but I am sure you can figure out why without me explaining.

      • I totally agree with the Voucher system, and the more the BCTF keep up this kind of crap every negotiations, the more the Taxpayer will too.
        Why is it I can go through school in B.C. pay Taxes in B.C., but can’t be a Teacher in the Public System that I help paid for in B.C. unless I join this radical Cult/Union.
        What is wrong with this picture. If that doesn’t demonstrate that this Cult/Union is running the Public School system , then what does?
        You can’t even work for your own Province, unbelievable.

          • I think there are career politicians because that is the best job they can land. Those politicians make a good case for term limits; but at least they do not whine and complain about being mistreated and then choose to stick around for more perceived abuse.

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