As “exploratory talks” resume tomorrow between the BC Teachers Federation and its employer, the union representing thousands of support workers says members are also feeling the pinch, as they walk in solidarity with teachers on the picket lines.
Chair of the K-12 Provincial Bargaining Committee, Marcel Marsolais, says members will only be reimbursed for lost wages after a tentative deal reached with the BC Public School Employers Association is ratified by locals.
“Strike pay is there, and after the third day there is only $15 dollars a day we get from our division, CUPE BC, as of Monday, day 10, its 75 dollars a day.”
He adds “It’s not enough to subsidize wages, it’s not meant to do that, but it is enough to hopefully put food on the table for families. They’re suffering…. our members are suffering out there.”
Marsolais says support workers earn 25-30 thousand dollars a year and many are taking a financial hit as the teachers dispute drags on.
While a food bank hasn’t been set up, the union will hand out food vouchers as needed.