BCTF Online Museum

1980s Cartoons Collection

  • Item 1 of 23

    The BCTF campaigned during the 1980s to gain full collective bargaining rights. BCTF lawyer David Yorke wrote a report that outlined some of the options. By teacher cartoonist John Nolan.

    Cartoon image
  • Item 2 of 23

    Teacher cartoonist John Nolan pokes fun at the 1981 Annual General Meeting.

    Cartoon image
  • Item 3 of 23

    Teacher cartoonist John Nolan provides context for our struggles compared to those elsewhere.

    Cartoon image
  • Item 4 of 23

    Teacher cartoonist John Nolan captures the procedural wrangles that sometimes impede progress at the Annual General Meeting.

    Cartoon image
  • Item 5 of 23

    John Nolan's bunk desk cartoon has been used many times as part of campaigns to lower class size.

    Cartoon image
  • Item 6 of 23

    Curriculum change is a perennial challenge, captured here by teacher cartoonist John Nolan.

    Cartoon image
  • Item 7 of 23

    In 1983, the Social Credit government brought in legislation that gave employers the right to fire workers without cause. Operation Solidarity brought 25,000 people to the legislature lawns in protest. Cartoonist Bob Krieger imagines what Premier Bill Bennett must have been thinking.

    Cartoon image
  • Item 8 of 23

    A perpetual conundrum in education—what should the report card report?

    Cartoon image
  • Item 9 of 23

    This is more subtle than most Nolan cartoons, even though the drawing is meant to represent a box of condoms. The key to the message is the list of numbers under the quote “For that special union.” These are the numbers of legislation brought in during the 1980s and fought or neutralized by the BCTF. 



    Cartoon image
  • Item 10 of 23

    Bill Vander Zalm, appointed Education Minister in 1982 to attack teachers.  The flies around the apple are a reference to another cartoon showing him pulling the wings off a fly as an indication of how he felt about welfare recipients in his previous ministry.

    Cartoon image
  • Item 11 of 23

    Cartoonist Bob Krieger imagines how teachers view Education Minister Bill Vander Zalm during his tenure in 1982-83.

    Cartoon image
  • Item 12 of 23

    Education Minister (later Premier) Bill Vander Zalm was always a favorite target of cartoonist Bob Krieger; here, Vander Zalm is depicted targeting teachers.

    Cartoon image
  • Item 13 of 23

    Bills 19 and 20, introduced by Premier Bill Vander Zalm (right) to limit the labour rights of workers, were met with opposition from Elsie McMurphy, BCTF president, and Ken Georgetti, BC Federation of Labour president. The labour movement responded with a one-day general strike that shut down much of the province. McMurphy and Georgetti were charged with the crime of sedition, but the charges were never prosecuted.

    Cartoon image
  • Item 14 of 23

    The characters in this cartoon are the education minister on the left and Premier Bill Bennet on the right. The context for the cartoon is obscure—why cartons of Chairmen Mao’s little red book. If you know the context, send a message with the information to lkuehn@bctf.ca.

    Cartoon image
  • Item 15 of 23

    Kreiger’s take on the end of the textbook as the heart of education.

    Cartoon image
  • Item 16 of 23

    The teacher doesn’t know what to expect with the new education minister. Bill Vanderzalm was identified with pulling the wings off flies as a symbol of his put-downs of the vulnerable. The symbol grew out of a cartoonist who was sued for showing him pulling the wings off flies.

    Cartoon image
  • Item 17 of 23

    Bill Vanderzalm was appointed education minister and carried from his time as minister of social services a reputation for cutting services.

    Cartoon image
  • Item 18 of 23

    Beside the two teachers on the picket line (one who looks like Kit Krieger) is a character who looks like Bill Bennett, the premier who brought in the legislation that led to the Solidarity strike in November 1983.

    Cartoon image
  • Item 19 of 23

    The consequence of large classes — no time left after going through an attendance roll call.

    Cartoon image
  • Item 20 of 23

    Education minister Jack Heinrich is distributing new funding — chickenfeed only.

    Cartoon image
  • Item 21 of 23

    Education minister Jack Heinrich brought in education policies that were seen to be more negative to teachers than even Bill Vanderzalm.

    Cartoon image
  • Item 22 of 23

    “Let’s talk about schools” was supposed to be a consultation with the public about education policies — but education minister Jack Heinrich was really the only significant voice on policies.

    Cartoon image
  • Item 23 of 23

    Education minister Jack Heinrich fired the Vancouver School Board for refusing to carry out budget cuts.  In a special election, the fired board members were re-elected.

    Cartoon image