The BC Teachers’ Federation is calling on Premier Christy Clark to appoint mediator Vince Ready to help sort out their labour dispute.
The union says the time has come, following what it calls two more days of face to face bargaining and continued stonewalling from the government.
Union president Jim Iker says while teachers have put forward a fair and reasonable framework for a settlement, there is no progress, or counter-offer from government.
He says while a facilitator has been part of the bargaining process all along, more pressure must be placed on government to move it off what he refers to as an “entrenched position.”
As for the full-scale strike dragging on in B.C., Iker say the teachers who earn the least are suffering the most, especially as the union’s strike pay fund runs dry.
“Because we have a number of teachers teaching on call who actually live below the poverty level because of the amount of work they get. Yes, there is some hardship, but our members are taking a stand for what they know is right for our students and our schools and what we need for September.”
Iker went on to explain money spent on advertising during the strike isn’t coming from his group.
“There are some radio ads on right now that are sponsored by the Surrey Teachers Association and maybe some other locals.. and we thank them for that.”
Meanwhile, hundreds of supporters rallied for striking teachers outside the premier’s downtown Vancouver office at Canada Place Thursday evening.
Speakers included Iker, the new head of the Canadian Labour Congress, Hassan Yussuff, BC NDP leader John Horgan and BC Federation of Labour president Jim Sinclair.