Some hard-pressed teachers to get assistance during strike

Vancouver, BC, Canada / News Talk 980 CKNW | Vancouver's News. Vancouver's Talk
Some hard-pressed teachers to get assistance during strike

As BC teachers enter the second day of a full scale strike, some local teachers’ associations are setting up food banks for its members.
President of the Surrey Teachers’ Association Jennifer Wadge says with teachers not getting paid, and the union’s strike pay fund dried up, some are facing financial hardship.
Wadge says they are even handing out 75-dollar gift cards to grocery stores.

“We bought approximately $5000 worth of gift cards, those went in about a week, the beginning of this week we bought another $5000 worth of gift cards for members, and we will be setting up our food bank at the end of this week.”

Some more well off teachers are also donating their strike pay from earlier this month to the “membership support fund.”

Teachers launched a full-scale strike this week to back contract demands after three weeks of rotating strikes that closed schools in each district for one day.
The union has asked for an eight-per-cent wage hike over five years and a five-thousand-dollar signing bonus while the government is offering seven per cent over six years and a 12-hundred-dollar bonus if a deal is reached by the end of the month.


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  1. I support every teacher walking the strike but am seriously disappointed in Jim Iker. He should walk a picket line and put a teacher in charge of the negotiations.

    I applaud the help but it is an outrage that well intentioned teachers are put in a position of such need – it shows their individual sincerity and their collective blind faith in flawed leadership. Whatever happened to all the money the union saved after the 2005 strike when the court ordered the union not to pay strike pay to teachers as the strike was held illegal? The union saved approximately 2 weeks of strike pay, where is it? Teachers you collectively need to make the union accountable.

  2. Not a surprise that some teachers, like any other family, may have financial issues especially if both spouses are on the picket line. Having said that, this speaks to the resolve of the teachers. Hopefully, there will be a good outcome for them down the road.

    Kudos to the other teachers who are stepping up to help.

  3. They only lose about 2 weeks of pay for going on strike, what a bunch of dramatic children!!!! In Chilliwack I drove past a school that had picketers there at 8:00am and the next few times I drove past that school there was no one on the picket line, so that means that they picketed for 2 hours. They shouldn’t get any strike pay if they didn’t do a full day of picketing.

        • Why is Dan a hypocrite? I’m sure he pays his taxes like everyone else but he probably isn’t entitled to $3000.00 worth of massages a year. These teachers are the most narcissistic group who want to be called professionals. There was a union leader on Bill Good the other morning who said this is the worst union in Canada. If they can’t have exactly what they want then it’s the governments fault because they won’t negotiate.
          The taxpayers really need to have a good look at their contract and then see whose side the public is on.

    • We’re not getting paid moron…zero…Have you been keeping up…And by the way we doing this for your kid…What have you done to better the problem…Let me guess…You don’t have kids or you pay taxes … If more people thought like you than I shudder to think what type of society we’d live in…

      • Oh, so here we go again. It’s all for the children. How are teachers massages going to help the children. You people are just plain greedy.
        Name calling only shows your lack of intelligence!

        • Is that the best you’ve got Rose…watch out…I’ll going to lobby the Gov’t about removing free hip surgery for the old…You better start collecting your cans…Educate yourself before you speak…I thought old people were supposed to be smarter…Go figure…

        • Me to James…I’ve had plenty of parents like you unfortunately…You sound like you really appreciate what teachers have done for your kids…Complain complain complain…

  4. I’m glad this is being done for teachers who really need the support but where is the support for CUPE members that are supporting teachers and getting nothing right now either?

  5. PLEASE publish these guys wages and benefits. They want more paid massages?? Do we pay more into their pension plan than they do?? Why is their pension and benefits guaranteed ?? Mine are not, are yours?

  6. Teachers have been on strike for 5 days. They had 16 months to prepare and now they need food banks? Sorry that your union ‘lost’ those 10s of millions in union dues but should the members had a better understanding of what was happening prior to voting to strike?

    Does anyone recall when the BCTF had their 3 day strike a few years ago. When people said it was a hard ship to have to lose 3 days pay, especially with just 72 hours notice from the BCTF teachers took to the airwaves to mock them, ‘it’s not a free daycare, it’s school’ , ‘it’s a small price for fighting for a good education’.

    Hard to have a great deal of sympathy

  7. Good question. What is the BCTF doing for the CUPE members who are out because of them?
    Teachers who’s average wage is about$73,000. are “hard pressed” but don’t show much concern for their support workers make about half a Teachers wage.
    Interesting that Iker and wife take over $220,000 per year out of this under funded system.

  8. Thanks to the Brilliance of Iker . . . the Teachers will pay for their own increase when all is said and done. Iker is another in a long line of BCTF presidents that are not up to the job.
    Been watching the circus for 30 odd years now . . . nothing changes.

  9. yes publish the wages and benefits. but when you do publish every buddies. the people that comp[ain that they don't have a pension what happened to there CPP & OLD AGE. what are you making. somewhere you pay a percentage into your pension threw your wages. if you want a pension you have to put so much a hour into it. no one not even union people gets a free ride. we pay so much a hour into pensions, MSP [Medical glasses, etc. ] those that can put into RRSP. pensions are not guaranteed. you read all the time that companies go broke and there is no money in the pension plans. the federal government over the years said there would be enough money in Cpp but they borrowed it and spent the money and borrow more to keep it going. nothing is guarranted for anybody.

  10. I sympathize with any teachers who may be up against it. But, they did vote to go on strike and they have known for some time that this was a real possibility. In the end, teachers will, when retired, have pensions far superior to what most other people could ever dream of having. So, it is a bit much to ask those who have to provide for their own retirement to bail teachers out when their current predicament is of their own making. They will never make up the economic loss for being out on strike. The difference between what they might get in salary increases over what has been offered isn’t enough to make up this difference except for the very youngest teachers, who have more years for the difference to be accumulated.

    This strike is foolish and unnecessary. And-it will drive more kids and parents into the private school system. And that, in the long run, is probably for the best.

  11. I’m afraid that if these teachers are needing assistance already , then i would guess they are not very bright. Even a moron would be putting money aside to carry them through a strike everyone knew was coming for months. I for one would not give a penny to a striker. It’s their problem !!!

  12. If you are earning around $70 thousand per year and you need a food bank , what does that say about some of these educators financial planning .Just how smart are they . What about the other CUPE workers who earn half of that , I wonder if Iker will arrange for the teacher to contribute some of their signing bonus to help these less fortune workers who are unable to work because of this trike .

    its for the kids right , who believes that?

  13. A few points:
    (1) This hardship support for teachers is not being funded by taxpayers, but instead by teachers helping each other out. Some are single parents with kids and may only work part time. No matter how much you plan for it, you only make so much money in a year (and believe me, even after 18 years of teaching, I sure as heck don’t make the $80,000 / year that I keep hearing about.)
    (2) Teachers DO plan financially (I put aside money each month to help me pay for my mortgage and other payments (groceries, gas, etc.) through the summer when I make $0). However, even while doing this, I still have taken a huge hit this month. I certainly don’t live extravagantly and losing a paycheck this close to summer, along with the 10% reduction in my wages has made it hard to pay my bills.
    (3) We knew this before going on strike? Absolutely. Yet, we still felt that it was crucial to stand up to this government for illegally stripping class size and composition out of classrooms (leading to classrooms – MANY – with at least 4 special needs students in them, with cuts to support staff on top of it). Am I taking a financial hit for massages? No bloody way. Do some of you seriously think this is the main focus? Really? I am taking a hit (and not asking for assistance from my colleagues, btw) because I have seen first hand how the state of classrooms has deteriorated over the years. This did not have to happen.
    (4) No teacher wanted to go on strike. Especially this time of year, when we’d rather be having our final projects occurring with our classes. I always have an amazing year-end wrap up with my class. It seriously depresses me that it probably won’t happen this year. But, if anyone has a better way to stand up against the illegal actions of the government, please let me know, as apparently court rulings are not enough to have the government return classrooms to at least a teachable state.

    • You do make some good points, but the fact is, many of us taxpayers, including myself, make far less money and have either less benefits and pension, or none at all, and we work 12 months of the year, so it is very hard to be sympathetic to your wage and benefit demands. Many of us have just as much education and experience as you do.
      However, I do agree with you on the class size and composition issue, but to think it will be returned to previous levels is not realistic. Where is the funding supposed to come from? Thin air? The taxpayer in this province cannot give any more. We have to live too, and if I have to choose between keeping a roof over my head or paying more taxes so that class sizes can be smaller, sorry, but I don’t want to be homeless.