The BC Labour Relations Board has ruled that BCTF members may initiate job action up to and including a full withdrawal of services for a maximum of three instructional days, with notice of not less than two school days. Subsequently, teachers may withdraw all duties for one out of five days per week, again with notice of not less than two days.
“Teachers would prefer to be engaging in a meaningful mediation process to resolve this dispute rather than escalating it,” said BCTF President Susan Lambert. “But given the government’s ongoing refusal to meet us half way, we’re compelled to try to increase the pressure on both our employer and government.”
Pointing out that the BCTF called for a mediator over a week ago, and that the employer agreed to mediation last Friday, Lambert queried the delay in the appointment of a mediator. She called on the government to request that BC Supreme Court judge Stephen Kelleher step in and help bring both parties together.
“Judge Kelleher is a respected labour relations expert with years of experience in the public education sector,” Lambert noted. “We need someone with his kind of independence, integrity, and authority to play an effective role in this difficult situation.”
At the same time, with legislation to impose a contract expected to be tabled this afternoon, the government has demonstrated once again its unwillingness to listen to teachers’ appeals for improvements they know are desperately needed in BC schools.
“For an entire decade, BC teachers have been speaking out about the underfunding, the oversized classes, the scarce textbooks, and other learning resources, the lack of support for our students with special needs,” Lambert said. “This government has failed the children and the teachers of the province once again.”
The full ruling can be found under Labour Relations Board rulings at bctf.ca.