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Teachers issue strike notice

The BC Teachers Federation has issued 72-hour strike notice, with some services to be withdrawn by Wednesday after Easter.

BCTF President Jim Iker says the BC government has offered only three quarters of one per cent in a wage increase offer.

“Despite our patience and our measured approach in bargaining, Christy Clark and her government are once again trying to provoke BC teachers and shut down BC schools,” said Iker in a release.

The teachers are asking for smaller class sizes, more specialized teachers, and are not interested in a 10-year deal as the premier has suggested.

The teachers union is also seeking a three per cent yearly raise and cost of living increases.

In response, B.C.’s Education Minister Peter Fassbender issued a statement calling the teachers’ strike notice “disappointing.”

“It appears the BCTF has been more focused on implementing its strike plan than bargaining at the table,” said Fassbender. "There has been virtually no movement from the BCTF on their wage and contract positions.”

Next week’s job action is described as “stage one low level action,” where B.C. teachers will not do certain administrative tasks such as attending meetings or communicating with school administration via email.

Iker also underlined that the job action will not disrupt classes, students or the preparation of report cards.

Teachers will also continue with volunteer activities such as coaching school sports teams but will not engage in student supervision outside of regular class time.

The BCTF said it does not want to escalate job action, but is prepared to move to rotating strikes if negotiations do not progress.

Iker said a rotating strike would see one day a week in which all schools in the province would be closed.

Read more: http://bc.ctvnews.ca/b-c-teachers-issue-strike-notice-1.1781311#ixzz2zBqaKzls


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