BCTF President says lack of strike pay won’t stop full-scale strike

Vancouver, BC, Canada / News Talk 980 CKNW | Vancouver's News. Vancouver's Talk
BCTF President says lack of strike pay won't stop full-scale strike

BCTF president Jim Iker says a lack of strike pay won’t prevent teachers from going on a full-scale walkout.

At the end of the second week of rotating strikes, Iker echoes what picketing teachers at Templeton Secondary in Vancouver say – the union war chest might be running dry, but 50 dollars a day is not what this dispute is about.

He says, “You have to look at why we’re in this position. It’s the continual litigation with this government.”

As for the government’s promise that students will be able to write final exams and get final marks, Iker says he wants a deal, instead of having to figure out how that’ll work.

Teachers are set to vote Monday and Tuesday on a full-on strike.


Leave a Reply

  1. BCTF administration consumes 72% of members’ dues annually. The precise breakdown of budget expenses is not disclosed to members. Since 2002 there have been 4 full strike votes, only one vote resulted in a negotiated settlement in 2006. Since 1992, every contract except the one in 2006 has been imposed. The Saskatchewan Federation of Labour has litigation pending with SOCC regarding essential service designation. Final judgment is forthcoming. You’ve made significant progress on associative rights and collective bargaining in court, with more gains likely. The executive would like strike escalation. It’s negotiating record since 2002 doesn’t support this request. Teachers, wait for the courts and clean up your union.

  2. This dispute would be closer to being solved if the BCTF accepted a reasonable wage increases as the other unions did.
    It’s the teachers that pass kids who aren’t ready on to the next grade – so they need take some of the blame for class composition.
    Usually union leaders & staff draw full pay during strikes- if that’s the same for the BCTF then loosing the $50 a day is not going to be a bother for Jim Ikr.

  3. “You have to look at why we’re in this position. It’s the continual with this government.” This guy is amazing. THIS government? The BCTF can’t get along with ANY government. They hated the Social Credit government, couldn’t get along with their socialist allies , the NDP and now they have a hate on for the present Liberal government and more openingly making it personal with their hatred for Christy Clark.

    A lesson in history tells us that in 1989 the Berlin wall came down signifying the beginning of the end of the industrial age. Yet the BCTF which is just a trade union leaving any vestages of being professionals far behind still want to use industrial age tactics to extort as much as they can from the taxpayer. Living in their insular cocoon they haven’t moved from their steam engine thinking to the new digital world.

    I’ve watched the teachers and BCTF fighting since 1972 and the conclusion I’ve arrive at is there is NO amount of money that will ever satisfy them and they think they should be running the education system with the government (taxpayers) just funding whatever they want. 42 years of the same old fighting when different governments have come and gone and the only common denominator is the BCTF. So where’s the problem?

    “You can’t solve a problem with the same level of thinking that created it” Albert Einstein

  4. Is this what will eventually happen to education in BC . . .
    A district in the city of New Orleans will close all of its city-run schools next week. Permanently. The teachers will never again exercise the strike threat against the district.
    Charter schools have replaced the public schools. Charter schools are funded by taxes, but they do not answer to elected officials. Elected officials can no longer count on support from the teachers’ union. Charter schools can fire teachers. They can replace teachers. Union membership counts for nothing. Wages will become competitive. Coercion has been reduced. Teachers will get paid closer to what they are worth.

    • I hope you’re not looking to education in New Orleans as a guiding light for education in BC. Charter schools are essentially private schools paid with public dollars. As such students apply to get into them. In a system where there are only charter schools, the rich will get richer, those students that are already very capable will get the plum schools. So what happens to the others? Is that what you want here? Look at education across the entire southern US. I’d wager that our worst public schools would still be in the top 5-10% of public schools and top 25% of charter schools in these states. The union or the system is not the problem here, it’s a lack of understanding from the public (see your above comment) or a complete disregard for what builds strong communities and societies for the long term vs. the short term. ie. that being a good education for all vs. political quick wins like LNG.

      • You miss the part about “Elected officials can no longer count on support from the teachers’ union.” Hi wages in Ontario and Albert are direct result of this type of relationship.

        Actually Alf . . . education in LA has made great strides in the last 5 years.
        Wisconsin is another state that has given vouchers to the kids so they can choose their school. Choice is a good thing . . . yes !
        Competition raises all boats . . .

        Unlike our system here that continues to go sideways at best. We are not as bad as most of the US yet . . . but trying hard to emulate them every way.

        • Dale, do you complain about the corporations or small business owners that fill Liberal coffers? It’s not just teachers making more in Alberta and Ontario, it’s everyone! Is everyone paying into the gravy train in these provinces?

          LA education has made great strides, they’ve increase math and language competency to the 55% range (as of 2012). Unfortunately the latest California state test scores show a regression from previous years, although in their defence they laid off 30,000 teachers in California last year. But I thought that Charter schools and competition were supposed to raise everyone’s boat? Or just those who are lucky enough to access this system perhaps. Too bad for the other 905 of students that have to deal with larger classes with more special needs students because charter schools are a bit more selective in many cases (strict caps on special needs).

          Lastly, when you present points make sure you don’t counter your own conclusion. If we’re trying so hard to emulate the US and how bad their system is then you might not want to use them as a means of improving ours.

  5. I think it’s time members start crunching the number and figure out if the BCTF inability to manage this bargaining is worth the increase they are going to end up with.

  6. Unbelievable – where’s all the money? I applaud teachers who are willing to continue a strike for solely idealistic reasons – maybe it’s not all about money. Teachers, don’t vote for the full strike! Don’t waste your money – go back to class and wait for the court decisions – these will improve your negotiating position, legally and publicly.

    • Who knows eh? Budgets are made and are required to be submitted to the membership for approval right? That’s why it’s this current news of lack of money is so odd. Perhaps an audit should be considered.