Picketing teachers say they will tough it out

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Picketing teachers say they will tough it out

Teachers on the picket lines are feeling the impacts of the strike on their wallets but it is not affecting their resolve.

Teacher’s I’ve spoken to at Van Tech say they feel the government is not willing to negotiate, isn’t trying to move anywhere in their direction, and it’s hurting their bank accounts.

While they acknowledge parent’s frustration, they say the strike is not easy for them, it’s costing them $5000 out of pocket, which will double in September.

Still, they’re making plans to be off the job for the entire month of September because for them, backing down now would mean no chance of improving public education.

They’re hoping parents too will find a way to tough it out and not wane in their support.


  1. It is time the Teachers started asking tough questions of their Union leadership.
    They and they alone are the only ones to blame. They knew full well where the Government was willing to go, long before they went out. What did they think the outcome was going to be??
    What did you gain during your last strike? Now the Union is telling them they must continue or all will be for Not. And no one in that Union could see this coming???

    It amazes me that not one Teacher has the jam to stand up to this militant union. Must be terrible to have a job where you are afraid to take a stand against your Union. You are forced to take a stand against, well almost everything else, but don’t take a stand against the BCTF.

  2. Two observations that I have: if you’re striking you have to” tough it out ” life is tough for most of us. We usually suffer in silence ( except for the cronic complainers ) and – public opinion has and continues to wane.

    • The teachers are in a dream world . Some teachers say the money is there (budget surplus ) give it to us . this is the main issue from the start the BCTF seeming to think they should control the budget . they get what they want and leave whatever is left for other social programs . The tail wagging the dog .OHH raise taxes by three percent to pay us off. The government will and has to sit and draw the line .Inflammatory comments that they will show other unions how to bargain . Raise the public ire.
      Some teachers are talking bankruptcy.Fools !! When I was young there were teachers down in the holds of the fish packers piking fish beside me in the summer .Fools to think that they would go back after a summer siesta and all would be well . strikes if they affected me were a time to go back and work construction, consult etc. I never, never lost money!!!Labor day will come and go . Hopefully a nice Indian summer for picketing .The union wants an arbitrator now .Vince Ready has stated there is no point as they are as yet to far apart.
      In a conversation with one who is ranted at here would like a settlement . It has to be in the parameters of the settlements with other unions ..
      Legislation the Bctf would scream and howl .Launch costly court battles. So the BCTF has cooked its own goose

  3. Fire them all now, and lets get on with it. Remember they had there pretty little Fara on the tv saying this election was about them. Well they lost. Get on with it. Fire and hire new!!!

    • Firing all of the teachers and hiring new ones would not solve the problem. Large class sizes with a composition that makes it difficult, if not impossible, to meet the needs of all students will continue. Negotiating class size and composition is absolutely necessary.

  4. Clark should resign if a deal is not done prior to the school year start date. She is a complete incompetent that is using your children in an attempt to bust the unions. She has no moral ground and is not a leader. She is following a directive given to her by Gordon Campbell 12 years ago. Christy Clark does not care about your children.

    • I gather you did not vote for her time. Look, at least the Liberals were elected. No one elected the BCTF. The government represents ALL people not just teachers. BCTF on the hand is just an ally of the NDP. That is why they agreed to a 2 year contract last, hoping the NDP will win and get everything they want.

    • Rather than Clark resign I suggest it is Iker who should resign. The entire province elected Ms. Clark as the Premier of the province. Iker heads the BCTF , ONE union in the public sector. Education is important to our children. How and where it is delivered is up to the parents and the the choices available should be much more open to interpretation. Public Education has been and should continue to be an important component. Yet, more and more parents, tired and disgusted with this years long dispute seek educational choices elsewhere. The more choice available the more parents are able to exercise their right to seek the most effective means of having their children educated.
      BCTF represents the Teachers in Public Education. More and more, because of their militancy and stubborn refusal to accept the fact that their fight with the government of the day ( and it has been the government of the day for many years now, both Liberal and NDP) seriously undermines their ability to deliver quality education to our children. The BCTF stands IN THE WAY of the Teacher’s mandate. If you are on the picket line you are not teaching. In addition the BCTF seriously undermines the Teacher’s ability to survive financially while engaged in this fight with the government. They are not teaching. They are not earning a living and they have to find a way to earn that living while being forced to support a union determined to destroy a government they hate and will destroy their rank and file in order to do it.
      I know many parents are completely fed UP with the BCTF and their constant demands for more and more and more. Where does it end? Education is one portfolio of many that must be overseen by the government on our behalf.
      Just one. An important one to be sure, but let us not assume that Public Education is the ONLY option open to government and parents.

      • So the entire province elected Ms. Clark? Really? She didn’t even win her own riding. The liberals only won 44% of the vote, hardly the entire province.

        BTW what was the liberals mandate on eduction? I believe they ran on the lie that they would put “children and BC families first”, not a mandate to bust unions.

        • Your argument fails. Everyone that cared enough to vote voted and the Liberal Party under the leadership of Christy Clark won a majority. That’s how it works R and that’s how it’s always worked.

    • I believe it was the previous BCTF leader that said just before the last election.
      ” Christie’s goose is cooked”. I remember the teachers laughing and clapping. My how things change.

  5. Good luck to teachers, but the Liberals have no intention to bargain in good faith! They are intent on destroying public education and breaking the BCTF. The real issue is Class size composition – the Courts will sort that out eventually, but the victims are today’s students. The public will be reminded at the next election – it will cost dearly.

    • Lorax, why do you continue to try and mislead. Read your demands on the BCPSEA website. Then come back and tell us all, that it is about the kids.
      I, for one, have had it with you Teachers still saying it is only class and comp. yet knowing full well that the BCTF haven’t lowered demands at all.
      Still want 2X more than any other public sector workers got. $3,000.00 for massages,
      $150,000,000.00 for a signing bonus?
      Lets hear it Lorax!

      • And what makes you think that BCPSEA is telling the unvarnished truth?

        Are you aware that BCPSEA is costing the supports to Special Needs children as a “benefit” for teachers?

        • Well, Bob, unlike the BCTF they have gredibility. Something sorrly lacking in the BCTF.
          Why do you just prove that they are wrong Bob, or are you going to Turtle like the rest. Show us where they are lying.

      • @Dwight

        The government is most certainly attempting to mislead the public by including classroom size and composition as part of the BCTF’s benefit package proposal. It would be interesting to hear from Fassbender as to why they chose to define that as a benefit.

        As for your claim on massages, I have a more personal story to tell. I was born with congenital lymphedema in my right leg. This is something that never goes away, it is always with you and there is no cure. If left untreated, it is possible for the swelling to become sooo big that it can impact mobility. In some of the most severe cases, you can lose your limb. As a form of ongoing treatment, I have been prescribe a compression sock that I wear daily. This is covered by my extended health care. I also see a registered massage therapist that specializes in lymphatic therapy. $3000 will most certainly help me financially and help me maintain an active and healthy lifestyle for years to come. (fingers crossed)

        • Go on the BCPSEA website. Where are they doing what you are saying.
          It is just not truly.
          Why don’t you tell us what your wages demands are then?
          You know, prep time, changes to salary grid, nedd I go on.
          Anyway, I am sure you will point it out for us. Right?

          • @Dwight

            Actually that’s where I got the information from. Under benefits you will notice that BCPSEA lists classroom size and composition as part of the BCTF’s benefit proposal package. I guess my question still stands then. I wonder if Fassbender can explain why he merges benefits (medical, dental, massages etc…) with classroom size and composition. This, in my opinion, greatly overestimates the true asking price of the BCTF as it relates to benefits.

            If you are referring to the same website, then I guess there should be no confusion between us. Take Care.

  6. If anything close to positive has come from this 1 1/2 year dispute, it’s that teachers have effectively shown some of the difficulties in our classrooms. Class size, composition and even funding have been better understood by the public who seem to have come to agree these need fixing. These issues can be fixed (and I firmly believe this government wants well functioning schools) but with the individual complexities of each one, the bargainning table obviously isn’t the place to do it well and the trade union aren’t the right people to make the desisions.
    The BCTF could right now easily spin the long procces up to today into a win and get back to the classroom with public support to take a role along with other relevent skills and professionals for needed changes. To encourage teachers to give up the way of life they worked hard for, their commitment to teaching, and even their homes (and forcing their co-workers to do the same) is asking far too much.
    Stick to the pay package and workplace safety issues like every other union and get teacher back in the classroom. It’s evident right on this page that hungry, indignant and bitter people cannot bring positive changes, only further division.

  7. Class size ? Baloney. A red herring. Get the special needs kids out of the regular classes and into ones where all attention is devoted to them and this issue is solved. As I have said in the past, the class sizes for all the years I spent in elementary and high school varied between 18 and 32 with the majority being at the top end. Those of us that made it did, those that didn’t , didn’t . This world is made up of winners and losers and class size is not a factor. As difficult as some of you parents may see this, maybe your little darling ain’t going to make it regardless of what you want the government to do…

      • Interesting that you say that. Don’t know how young you are, I am 75, but if you are a young snot nose, remember this. My generation and the one before me, discovered or brought about the following: TV, polio vaccine, the jet plane, transistors, early computers, went to the moon and beyond, penicillin , the Jewish state, defeated Naziism, rebuilt Europe, founded universal health care, built the St. Lawrence Seaway etc. etc. etc. and surprise surprise without the concern nor care about class size. So, may I suggest to you and all your ilk… put your brain in gear before you put your mouth in motion… Happily yours. Murray.

      • @bob. Murray’s response to your comment that this isn’t the 1800s shows that he hasn’t grown up or acted his age either. While he spouts off all the marvelous technological advances by his generation, one wonders what his contribution was….

        As for me, while I am a retired engineer and worked on the CF-105 Arrow interceptor project, I would not put younger people down to make myself look good.

        Young people are the present and those even younger are our future. It’s a shame that he would pull the ‘AGE’ card-but hardly unexpected of him.

        • Oh Insite, you really are a bore. Reread what I said and try and understand. The point was we accomplished these things regardless of class size . Our young people are definitely our future but that doesn’t entitle them to all and everything just because it may be someone’s idea. As to you. Others here also have also noted that you really do have difficulty in expressing yourself without resorting to name calling or derisive comments. May I suggest to write whatever and hold until you calm down and then make the decision as to whether you really want to send. Much easier on your blood pressure. As to my contribution, just glad I made it this far.

          • Neither your first post or your clarification attempts served you well. In fact, you dug a bigger hole. You have not altered the perception that you do act much older than your age.

            If we do the math, it should put you in the 1800s. Bob is soooo correct.

        • Dwight, if you still have parents ask them how it was. The problems we had were dealt with, but no one used the problems as bargaining ploys or pawns. We did what had to be done with the tools that were available, hoping to build a better future for all. Also in my reply to Bob,above, a very significant discovery was The Pill, which freed women from endless births and back alley abortions.

          • Murray, you are right. You are a pensioner, how was your last raise?
            What do the Teachers want Pensioners to give up so they can have a Wage and benefit package, that most would die for?

      • By comparing classroom conditions between then and now is nonsense because special needs children are mainstreamed. Segregation is not going to happen. We are not going back to the age of the dinos.

    • Well put. I’m 36 and went to public and private school. Class sizes were always in the mid 20s. Not al kids will make it. There’s a bell curve in life. Some kids are just plain dumb and will not be the leaders of tomorrow.

      Special needs kids should be in the special needs class room like they were when I was in school so the rest of the kids can learn at a regular pace. There’s too much pandering to the minorities in this country. It’s destroying us.

    • Nope. If there was no savings for government from not paying wages, there would be no $40. It’s a break-even cost. I guess it could have gone back to general revenue but this at least helps defer some of the parents costs brought on by the TF’s choices.

  8. Maybe I am wrong, but I thought that by law we MUST to send our children to school. How can this be if schools are locked up and the government doesn’t even care if our kids are going to school … CC needs to step down NOW … no I am not a teacher, no I am not a BCTF’er, just a fed up member of the public … and this feeling is spreading amongst the masses!

    • “J” the Liberals response to this strike is inept and shameful. They have avoided their primary responsibility under the School Act and blame the BCTF. True, the BCTF started this strike but its responsibility is to its members, in contrast to the Government which has a responsibilty to discharge its lawful duty as set out in the School Act. This will cost the Liberals next election.

      • Back from Vacation are we Lorax.
        They are starting to come out now that Iker is back and has given them their marching orders, as misleading as they may be. Like it’s all about class and comp.
        I tell you , it is almost cult like.

      • This will cost the election 3 years away? To whom? The BC Conservatives or the NDP who have been strangely silent throughout this dispute and change their minds (and leaders) with the tides? Say what you will about their policies, but at least the Liberals can’t be said to be wavering push-overs.

        • I do agree with you – we have had no opinion from the NDP; a government in waiting. And, I agree that the Liberals are no push-overs!

          Problem is that the Liberals have adopted an education policy with conflicts with the best interest of public education. They are entitled to form their policy – but they will account for that policy at the next election. As I see it, the Liberals are the only ones with the legal authority to end this dispute through legislation or arbitration. They do not appear interested in arbitration.

          • You’ll need to flesh that out a bit Lorax. I just looked at the BC Ed Plan again and although it’s rather broad and a bit of a dull read, nothing jumps out to me as a conflict. They appear to be on the right track as far as bringing education more up to date (using techonolgy better), sticking to the 3 R’s, and instructing and encouraging student to use the latest resources to learn for themselves (I guess as opposed to being spoon fed information).
            The latest news I’ve heard is that Mr Reddy is watching the process and will get involved when he thinks that he can effectively help. Both sides have said they are prepared for that – although nothing will be binding.

        • That is a good point, Ron, where is the NDP on this?
          Are they going to demand that the Government Legislate them back?
          Isn’t that against everything the NDP stand for??
          But, of course, this is different, right?

  9. Accordng to the School Act, there are a minimum number of instruction days to be provded. Using a typical school calendar year, this works out to 194 in-session days. Allowing for pro-D days etc., a minimum of 187 days of instruction days would be provided in 2014/2015.

    Assuming no pro-D days are scheduled, September has a capacity to deliver 21 days of instruction. A strike lasting throughout September will result in a loss of 21 instructional days.

    Cancellation of scheduled Winter Vacation (8 days) and Spring Break (assuming 10 days for some districts) will allow 18 lost days to be made up if the school calendar day does not spill over into July 2014. That leaves a shortfall in possible contravention of the School Act.

    Somehow, cancellation of the winter Vacation and Spring Break will not be too popular. Therefore, should the teacher strike be allowed to run its course through the entire month of September, to meet the minimum instructional days, the 2014/15 SWchool Calendar will have to run into the 2015/2016 School Year.

    In either scenario oulined above, the changes in regulations will require sanction via ministerial powers and/or by Order-in-Council-backed up by legislation where necessary..

    Of course, the government holds the power and can adjust the School Calendar in any fashion deemed necessary- including sanctioning a shorter school year.

    It would be interesting to see how this will all unfold as the government seems completely intent on forcing the teachers into submission through financial ruin.

    I wonder what teachers would have to say about that. This may provide a way for making up lost salaries if the days that may be lost in September are slated to be made up within the time frame up to June 30, 2015 or beyond.

    Ifvthat is the case, allowing the strike to run throughout September may just be a waste of time and exceedingly disruptive to everyone concerned.

    • The Liberals attitude is totally inconsistent with “essential service” legislation – that does not trouble the Liberals. Busting the BCTF and encouraging private education is on the Liberal agenda. Either way educational budgets are reduced.

      • I for one hope they destroy this union once and for all. I’ve looked into homeschooling and have chatted with many parents that have done it. Turns out you can complete an entire grade in 3 months. So what the #$%^ do teachers do for the rest of the time?

  10. I see no point in continuing the strike. Nothing substantive has happened at the bargaining table. Teachers have lost a lot of money, and have gained a high level of demoralization and hopelessness. The BCTF has no momentum.

    Back off to a ‘work to rule’ format so that the kids, parents and teachers can begin the year on a positive note. This is a small victory for the government, but they’re winning anyway. It would pay off in PR for the BCTF.

    • Do we really want our kids going back into that kind of a toxic situation?
      I think not. This cycle has to be broken.
      We can’t have the BCTF filling our students’ heads with their misleading , and unchallenged opinion of the strike situation. We have already heard stories of this happening.
      Either get an agreement or stay on strike.

      • My money is on the professional ethics of our teachers and the teaching profession-not on stories.

        I wouldn’t put any credibility into conclusions based on someone hearing stories that only reinforce his distorted view of reality.

        Try respect for a change by employing your labour relations skills..