Teachers in Gold Trail have joined with their colleagues across British Columbia in voting to take job action if there is no progress in collective bargaining by the beginning of next school year.
A total of 90 per cent percent of teachers voted yes in a province-wide strike vote conducted last week. In all, 28,128 teachers cast their ballots, of who 25,282 voted yes. About 70 per cent of teachers in schools and teachers teaching on call participated.
BCTF President Susan Lambert said the strong yes vote shows that teachers are united and are prepared to take action to achieve their goals of improved teaching and learning conditions, fair improvements to salary and benefits, and restoration of local bargaining rights.
“Facing a concerted campaign by the government and the employer to turn back the clock on teachers’ rights and reverse hard-won provisions on due process, we have no choice but to take a stand for ourselves, our students, and our profession,” Lambert said.
Cam Rittinger, president of the Gold Trail Teachers’ Association, echoed Lambert’s statement. “There is no question that teaching has become more difficult in the past 10 years. Teachers welcome the challenge teaching children brings and no one holds higher expectations for students than teachers. However, as we are continually asked to do more with less support, it takes a toll on teachers and classrooms. We are at the point where we need to take a strong stand for the betterment of students and teachers.”
Failing progress in bargaining, job action in the form of a “teach-only” campaign would begin on Sept. 6, the first day of the next school year.
“This initial job action is designed to put pressure on the employer and the government, but to maintain regular classroom instruction for students and ongoing communication with parents,” Rittinger said