Teachers, supporters rally outside Fassbender’s constituency office

Vancouver, BC, Canada / (CKNW AM) AM980

At least 200 teachers and their supporters rallied outside of Education Minister Peter Fassbender’s constituency office this afternoon.

Teachers, parents and students waved placards at honking drivers that read “Get my kids back to school” and “Invest in our real resources – our children.”

North Delta teacher Jeremy Glass became emotional when asked how it feels to be on a picket line instead of in a classroom today, the first day of school.

“Usually (the night before), you toss and turn and you can’t sleep because you’re excited. Last night, I tossed and turned and I couldn’t sleep, but I’m not in the classroom.”

Teachers also blasted the government for spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a social media campaign.

They say those funds should be re-invested into education.

Comments

  1. Should they not have the rally in front of the BCTF office instead? Convince your union to take what ever Ready can get with the government and be done with it instead of demand for a gravy train status quo.

    • And the BCTF becomes more radicalized with each passing day. They do not want an agreement, and seem to have forgotten that it takes TWO to make a deal. The union wants EVERYTHING and will settle for nothing less. That is NOT how a contract gets done. The longer a union is on strike, the worse the outcome is, for the members, as Iker sits back, still making 6 figures, while he tells the rank and file to go to war. Learn from previous protracted strikes, teachers, those unions lost and lost badly. You teachers seem intent on failing just as badly.
      Your rhetoric is falling on deaf ears, it seems you are itching for a war, but remember, wars have casualties, and its ALWAYS the rank and file, not the union bosses, who suffer for it. Those union bosses will sacrifice anyone and anything to better themselves, at your expense. Been there, and done that with unions before, they always sacrifice the useful idiots of the membership!

      • What has the government moved on in comparison the BCTF ? why are the sides now well over $100M closer ? Why is Mr Fassbender saying its $300M not $500M as he was before ? Mr Iker donates his pay check during the strike to the Teachers Hardship Fund… Doctors +20%, nurses got a bigger raise too. It’s when the teachers contract came up that Ms Clark announced a cooling off period, with zero increase, while they negotiated the other deals they now use as leverage. Some had a clause to get paid during pending teachers strike, but allowed to picket along side teachers as part of the deal. That would be the CUPE members, who’s salaries are included in the teachers benefits numbers. Do you think doctors benefits budged has nurses salaries included in it. Not likely, but neither did the other unions that settled have CUPE’s numbers in their benefits… Think about that. Go talk to your beloved Premiere about the Translink executives getting a bonus last Friday during a wage freeze. Google it, check the numbers and tell us all where that was budgeted for. Good luck in your choices.

    • yeah and ignore the findings of the courts. In fact roll over and play dead and offer to work for even less money. Then wash Factbender’s car. Boy, Sammy you sure are persuasive.

    • Agreed. Instead the BCTF assume they will bargain for a long time so they start at infinity knowing full well it’s unaffordable then go down to just two or three times above everybody else and claim they’ve come down a long ways so now it’s the government’s turn. Seriously just take what other public sector unions already got and be done with it. Stop trying to maintain the gravy train status quo.

    • Actually Eric the BCTF is asking for a 1.6% raise per year. Compared with Coquitlam fire fighters who negotiated 3% per year, or BC steelworkers who negotiated 3.2% per year, or nurses who negotiated 2.1% per year back in 2010 or BC Hydro employees receiving a raise of 2% per year, or Christy’s deputy ministers who have been receiving a 7.6% raise per year since 2008, it seems the BCTF isn’t asking enough. When you say the BCTF should be bargaining proposals that are similar to other public service unions did you mean that the BCTF should be asking for more? Get your facts straight.

  2. Sammy, Eric — once the Liberals stop classifying classroom supports and supports for special needs students as “benefits” then it’s not so “gravy train.”

    Also, when the Liberals take off E80 (which would bargain away the 12 years of court victories) then progress at the table can occur. So far, all the Liberals have offered in 18 months is NO-gotiations.

  3. I appreciate that at the end of all this, hopefully people will realize that public school teachers are not part of an essential service.

    Hopefully the government will will also give parents more choice on how education money is spent on their children.

    The less government and union influence there is in our children’s education, the better.

    • How competitive would BC be if every child were to be home schooled? If every child’s maximum educational potential were to be his or her parent’s or less. Wouldn’t that lead to an eventual regression of our society? While it may work for you and your children it would not work for the province as a whole. Sad sad sad you can’t see that.

      • I know several people who are using their 40 dollars per child on tutors and many who are sending their children to independent or private schools.

        You are making an assumption that homeschooling would lead to a regression of our society. And that is based on what you think our society should look like. I for one believe that our society would be stronger if there were a variety of differing opinions in our society.

        Ultimately, if parents had the choice of where the education dollars were spent, there would be a lot more independent schools and private tutors. This would work for all of British Columbia as parents would have ultimate oversight in their children’s education. The parents that couldn’t care less about their children’s education could continue sending their children to public school.

        • Right, so the impoverished family or the family barely making it by is going to money to send their kid to the best school or even a decent school. Take a look at the States or England. This model you propose is a classic neo-liberal two-tier model of downloading costs onto families. Fine if you can afford to send your kid to the best tutor or best private school, but for the 80% that can’t what do they get? What is left of the public schools – not for parents that don’t care but for parents that can’t afford to pay beyond the small subsidy the gov would hand out?

          • If you are getting 40 bucks a day to spend on your child’s education, then you will be able to find something better than the public education system.

            Why are we so adamant to send our children to a school that is ultimately run by and overseen by the government? What government run institution is there that is operated particularly well? I can’t think of one.

            In my school district, the government spends $62290506 on education. There were 6747 students in the school district. That’s $9232 per student. I know for a fact that there are several independent schools that don’t cost that much for tuition.

            So my point is that if the government were to give each student a credit for this amount, parents could send their children to whatever school they wanted. Even the students from a family with a low income.

    • It’s the same “choice” that currently exists. Private schools have always been used by the elite (such as Christy Clark’s St. George’s Academy) to keep their children away from the Great Unwashed of public schools. The other major category is those that choose it for personal, religious reasons (the numerous Christian, etc. schools).

      Both of those categories would have chosen those schools regardless. The only difference is that the Liberals are diverting $300 M of taxpayer dollars to help fund them.

      That leaves the underfunding of the public system (by the same $300 M that is diverted to the private schools — who, as we’ve established, would have sent their children there anyway) that the rest of us have.

      The LIberals are selling you snake oil with the belief that you will get “choice.”

  4. I have got a Bridge for sale for any one who believes the BCTF is interested in reaching a Settlement!!! Careful observation and examination of the following actions of the BCTF, can only be construed to maybe serve the interests of its members in one way?

    The teachers’ union passed a motion against the Northern Gateway Pipeline, which would generate $1.2 billion for B.C. taxpayers over its first three decades in operation.

    The teachers’ union rejected the Prosperity Mine in the Chilcotin.

    The teachers’ union opposed the Kinder Morgan pipeline proposal, months before any plan had been released

    The B.C. teachers’ union is fighting the Keystone XL pipeline, which would connect Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico, never coming near B.C.

    The BCTF flag flew high at an anti-fracking rally in Vancouver last month – yes, the union opposed the fledgling liquefied natural gas industry too.

    The BCTF also joined Occupy Vancouver , protesting against the same wealth-generating corporations their teachers’ pensions are heavily invested in : TD Bank ($155.7m in pension investments), Scotia Bank ($124.3m), RBC ($166.7m), Bank of Montreal ($75.2m) and Bell Canada ($61.2m).

    The BCTF opposed the Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement. Yet, the BCTF fought it – with no thought given to the $140 million their pension has invested in Chinese state-controlled companies.

    The government is focusing on growing the B.C. economy, in order to generate more money from sources other than Joe and Jane Taxpayer. That could assist in enabling the Government to provide the teachers with their wages, class size, and composition. But obviously the BCTF doesn’t like that IDEA.

    The BCTF’s long-held desire to go back to year 2000 tax levels in order to fund raises for its teachers, would gut most families financially – B.C. budget documents show a two-income family of four, making $90,000 per year, would pay $6,234 a year in provincial income tax, nearly double what they pay today. And the BCTF are hoping to make sure that happens.

    Settlement my foot!!! The only sense that I can make out of this is that: This has to be a move to get rid of the present Government. The BCTF want them out of office! It’s about political power and ONLY about political power. And that is why the Government can not and should not give in to the BCTF’s demands. PERIOD.

  5. One of the problems is that some of the general public just don’t understand what is going on here, the financial repercussions and a union that has a long history of making unreasonable demands on ______________. I’ve left this blank, because we just need to substitute the word “government” with “the tax payers”. Government represents the majority of British Columbians and were elected to be financially responsible in managing our business (revenues and expenses). So, keep n mind that it’s not $225M into a fund to manage class size and composition…….the demand is $225M PER YEAR, so over the 5-year term of the proposed contract, it’s over a $1B, all from the tax payers. And, the last time I checked, average class size has actually decreased over the last 7 years. There will be exceptions, some classes in smaller areas could be 30-31 students, that is expected, when I went to school in the 60′s most of my classes were 29-33 students, that might not have been the optimum class size but my parents didn’t jump up and down and go to the school principal or their MLA demanding smaller class sizes. BCTF and our government needs to keep class size and composition separate from wages and benefits. We all hope for 8% wage hikes but that is’t going to happen. The Minister and his negotiating team are being responsible and they have my support.

  6. Nice of the Premier to be so present through all this. She got Fassbender in just in time. The whole E80 should not even be brought up during this process, that`s a court ruling. Fassbender kept saying that the g`ment have moved and the union hasn`t and all a long they`re not budging until E80 is rectified. All he is doing is teaching the kids to BS while looking you in the face.

  7. This is what I don’t understand
    The BCTF goes on and on and on about the judgement that was rendered in their favor twice by the same court judge Do they not realize that this judgement has been appealed to a higher court and we are waiting for their decision, Until this decision comes down all previous awards are nil and void. If the current supreme court appeal goes in favor of the BCTF the gov’t can appeal the decision to the Supreme Court of Canada which could take at least two years before a final decision is made. If the Supreme Court of Canada rules in favor of the BCTF then t6he Prov Gov’t can invoke a notwithstanding clause on the whole issue of class size and comp and the whole issue is put to bed forever.

  8. Morris you’re absolutely right. The BCTF is a political movement that has spent all their strike funds (the teachers were paid only for 1 day as I recall) on fighting the last 3 elections and opposing any development of any kind. There sure were a lot of long faces at our local school after Adrian Dix and crew were defeated!

  9. I hear today the BCTF is trying to promote an increase in corporate and other business taxes as well as ordinary taxpayers coughing up more. Another is the emergency and rainy day funds be used. If any of this is true we are in trouble with people who think like this teaching our children. Please tell me this is not true.

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