Teachers and parents rally at the Legislature

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Teachers and parents rally at the Legislature

Teachers and parents set up a desk in front of the Legislature this morning, complete with an apple, a globe, and a sign reading “Christy’s Class”.

It kicked off an all-day rally that puts the blame for the ongoing labour dispute squarely on Premier Christy Clark.

Rally organizer Renay Maurice blames the Premier for everything from cancelled programs to dirty schools.

“My daughter’s going to a school that’s dirty, yeah, I’ll say it, public schools have had to cut back on custodial stuff–this is unacceptable.”

Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin will be facing voters in this labour-friendly town in just a few months and took a turn at the microphone.

“We need our government to get back to work to find a just and fair agreement so our children can get back to school.”

About one thousand people attended the rally, calling on the government to properly fund education.




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  1. Christy Clark, take a real leadership role now. Instead of making comments on twitter, do everything in your power resolving the teachers dispute and get half a million children back to schools.. That is your job and that is what people elect you to do. People in BC do not elect you to make comments on social media. They elect you to solve problems in times of crisis in the province. Half a million of students can not attend schools on their first day? That is a crisis in our province at the moment. Get down to work and act like a leader with a great vision. Lead the people in BC out of this mess.

    • Not to worry Murray, …. the Liberals will “stay the course” unless the BCTF agrees to settle the appeal as part of the negotiations. Unfortunately the children suffer in the interim. Arbitration is the answer – if the BCTF is as unreasonable as you believe, then they will lose at arbitration, but the children will also be back in school.

      • Lorax, you underestimate the resiliency of children, they can be out until Xmas and with good teachers can make up the year. The caveat tho is” good teachers ” So sad that the BCTF doesn’t support the booting out of the ones just putting in time and wasting space. It’s the BCTF and parents that have their knickers in a knot…

        • If you say so….. careful what you wish for….. right now it looks like the only resolution is arbitration, court order – Good faith has appeared to evaporate in posts like yours.

    • Yes – stay the course! Just keep flying this bird right into the side of the mountain so we can show these teachers who’s boss! Or, do the right thing and negotiate fairly!

    • What course? Do you meant the course that Christy Clark’s Yacht is sailing along? Sipping Pina Coladas while lounging on her yacht while tweeting her policy on this mess; that is unacceptable. Not only unacceptable, but also very cowardly.
      There must be a few people that agree and support the Liberals stance, that can see that Trixie is a complete Bimbo. Liberals need de Jong to take over, he actually has leadership skills.

  2. The gov’t is implementing delay tactics in order to get the BCTF to capitulate. They need to get the union to absolve them on the court rulings with the E80 clause. If the teachers last until the appeal is heard, the gov’t is in trouble. Fassbender and Clark must not be very confident of the impending outcome of that appeal. The gov’t is using BC’s kids as pawns in order to cover up their big mistake 12 yrs ago.

  3. I do not think that Christy Clark should get directly involved in negotiations that is for the
    bargaining team, Teachers please think about the taxpayers and the children and modify your demands.

  4. I am both a tax payer and a parent. I agree with argument for class size and composition, but I don’t agree with the BCTF’s requested benefits package. How do I protest my children being out of school, without supporting the teachers position or the government position? I don’t want to walk the line with the teachers nor do I want to protest in front of the legislature.

    • That is actually a very good point! I think the benefits package should remain the same, but I also don’t think the government can throw in the cost of class size and composition and call that part of the benefit package! I think the only way out for the teachers is legislation. I think the only way out for the government is to honor what happens in October with the supreme court. Otherwise, no school for quite a while!

      • No, but you can put your kids in private school. The Gov’t is the problem, not the BCTF. If you don’t like it, feel free to put your kids in private school. You do have that option. Oh wait, you can’t afford it?? I wish all the teachers would quit and find other jobs.

  5. The BCPSEA should give the BCTF a “Final Offer”. the Union can then take it back to their members for a vote. What ever happens after that is up to the Union.
    Time Teachers starting thinking about where they are going. It seems everybody , but them, can see where the settlement is. The Government will not go farther with Teachers then they have for other public sector worker, and rightfully so. The “me to” clauses would break what was left of the Provinces finances.
    Get yourself an Association. Get your Professional status back, and sit down and work with the Government, Parents and Admin. on solutions to the composition problems. THe BCTF way has not worked, time for a different approach.

    • Why don’t we let the Easter Bunny decide composition. Why let a learned court decide the matter, twice? The govt has no intention of bargaining. Okay, I have no intention of slowing down my targeting the premier for contempt. “The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who in time of crisis remain neutral”, Dante. My kid is more important than the province’s public finances. Get my kid in school or get out of office.

      • Mike, get real. The court ruling had nothing to do with how Composition
        is to work. You guys will say anything in an attempt to get support.
        The ruling was on the constitutionality of removing the relevant clauses.
        The misinformation that you and the BCTF spew froth is unbelievable.
        And to think you are allow to teach our children.
        But don’t let the facts bother you Mike.

        Please, next you will be spouting your leader’s historian. Wasn’t that a great sign of someone to lead you? What was it he was recommending, something like Arab Spring, or Occupy Wallstreet ? Excellent well thought out idea., eh Mike. Is that how to solve a Labour dispute?
        You just keep following those leaders Mike. I am sure you will get noticed eventually. Look how well your Abbotsford leader did, with that kind of attitude.

        • Disagree – go read the court decision! The clauses that were removed by the Liberals were Class Composition Clauses, which teachers bargained for during their negotiations. To obtain the language teachers conceded and waived wage increases. The Court held that teachers as a bargaining unit were entitled to include class size composition as working conditions prevalent as part of their employment.

    • Iker was asked just that by a reporter yesterday (i.e. will the BCTF take a vote from the teachers to determine whether to return to work or not). Iker refused to answer and moved on to the usual speaking points. This isn’t an attack on Iker (I think he is just a spokesman for the BCTF brain trust, and as I understand it was elected in part because he is considered a moderate). What this indicates however is that the teachers are divided and the BCTF can’t afford to look internally divided. I might not agree with their demands but I think it would be folly for them to have a vote on whether to return to work or not.

    • What planet are you coming from to state,Time Teachers starting thinking about where they are going. It seems everybody , but them, can see where the settlement is. Is this the problem with some of you commenters stuck in the stone age? Teacher for the most part are brighter than any of the brightest and best commenting here, that think that these teachers are nothing and do not understand what the union is doing, they are the union and know very well what is at stake. The government needs to get the union to absolve them on the court rulings with the E80 clause. That is why this treatment from Fassbender and Christy Clark is behind this rest assured.

    • Dwight. When I read the proposal from the BCPSEA that was posted here at CKNW a few days ago, it seems to me the offer is a fair one all round. In reading the fine print, it seems they give deference to the BCTF regarding class size and composition and I do not see anybody talking about that. At least that is the way I read it. If that is correct, then the issue must be that the BCTF does not want to be consulted in conjunction with principals, teachers and parents at each district level. They want complete control. Something else that is not mentioned is that in addition to their wage increase they also get a cost of living increase.
      As far as their benefits are concerned, the massage at 3000 bucks was taken out last week apparently, but was certainly there before that with no mention of it being removed and the signing bonus of $5000 is still there. Doesn’t signing bonus mean just that and was that not withdrawn by the government because they did NOT sign by June 30th and the bonus was $1200. I should think that at this stage any signing bonus would be off the table since they decided to strike rather than sign.
      In discussing the cost of the demands of the BCTF for class size and composition, which have been submitted at 1.67 billion dollars per year for the term of the contract ( 5 or 6 years , whichever is agreed upon) it seems clear this is outrageously expensive and something completely out of the question. What the employer has offered seems much more workable and does address the issues surrounding class size and composition except for two things, as I see it ( any clarification and input would be appreciated if this is not correct) One: The BCTF wants full control of the determination of each districts class size and composition, rather than the district after consultation with the principal, teacher and parents and the BCTF. Two: the exorbitant costing the BCTF insists on stems from their insistence that Teachers are to be hired rather than TA’s , who are under the auspices of CUPE. ?
      If either, or both, of these are correct it would seem to me that the government MUST hold firm . With the actions of the BCTF since the end of August up to now they appear more like a political party campaigning rather than a union. I know well they do not like the government nor do they care for the Premier. We elected them because we felt they would do a much better job running the province than the NDP. A fact they must live with until the next election. Yet, they seem to have not accepted the results of that election , going out of their way to insult and smear the Premier, the government and ministers and by association, every last one of us . Because they do represent us, the taxpayer and their mandate is to do what is necessary and best to spend our tax dollars wisely. The BCTF can argue about other issues all day long, but in this , regarding public education, our government must be firm and they must be fair. BCTF seems to accept neither.