Through two days of voting, 33387 teachers cast ballots with 86% – or 28,809 – voting yes.
BC Teacher’s Federation President Jim Iker says teachers have to give 72 hours working notice, and have the weekend to get down to it and bargain, and get a deal done before any further action needs to be taken.
He says rotating strikes will continue until decision on full-scale strike made.
Jennifer Wadge is the President the Surrey Teachers Association, and she says they are very pleased with the vote.
She says “We knew it would be in the sort of higher 80′s or 90′s. So we’re really happy with the percentage. It just shows that you know teachers took the time to be thoughtful in their vote and to show the government and BCPSE that they stand behind their bargaining team. And we’re really excited about the turnout. As Jim Iker said, that’s one of the biggest turnout’s we’ve ever had in the history of the BCTF so it really the teahers were engaged in this vote.”
Turnout was about 81%
Meanwhile Education Minister Peter Fassbender says vote results are not unexpected.
Fassbender adds that since next Monday is the earliest a full walkout could take place, they still have five days of bargaining to go.
“It took five days of hard bargaining to get a framework agreement with school support staff. They did not need to strike to get a fair deal and neither do teachers.”
So, how do parents feel about all of this?
The president of the BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils (BCCPAC) says while the result from the BCTF vote was predictable, he’s disappointed that there is potential for job action to escalate.
“I just wish there was some other way to deal with it. I’d like to extend open arms to the BCTF to work with us to, you know, really get the message through to the government. I think we can do that without shutting down the schools.”
Terry Berting says he thinks having an independent arbitrator would be a better way to negotiate a deal than threatening to shut down BC’s schools.