Provincewide ‘day of action’ precedes strike vote

Teachers holding provincewide vote Tuesday and Wednesday on escalating their strike action. Results of the vote expected sometime Thursday

  • Feb. 27, 2012 2:00 p.m.

Teachers in B.C. could walk off the job as early as Friday.

The province’s 40,000 teachers are planning to ramp up pressure on the government following an announcement that the province could legislate an end to the ongoing strike. Teachers in B.C. have refused administrative duties and are not including grades on students’ report cards. The job action began last September.

Education Minister George Abbott announced Thursday (Feb. 23) that he intends to end the job action and impose a contract. That followed assistant deputy minister Trevor Hughes’ comment that he believes it is unlikely the B.C. Teachers’ Federation and the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association will reach a voluntary settlement.

Teachers are holding a provincewide vote Tuesday and Wednesday on escalating their strike action. Results of the vote are expected sometime Thursday, and teachers could walk off the job as early as Friday – depending on Abbott’s actions over the next few days, according to Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association president Tara Ehrcke.

Greater Victoria and Saanich school districts participated in a “Day of action,” Monday (Feb. 27). The “bell-to-bell” demonstration signified the period of time educators spend inside schools. After the final bell of the day, teachers demonstrated outside schools and at busy intersections in an effort to share their message with the public.

“It’s not a picket line, it’s just an information demonstration,” said Sean Hayes, president of the Saanich Teachers’ Association.

Some teachers also participated in a demonstration on the legislature lawn later on in the day.

Ehrcke said parents have shown a lot of support for the GVTA leading up to the demonstration.

“We’re asking for mediation or even arbitration as a way to get through the impasse,” she said. “We think legislation is not fair, not reasonable and not necessary right now. … That they would simply use the legislative hammer without exploring those other options, I think is unreasonable.”

The B.C. Federation of Labour commissioned a telephone survey that found 53 per cent of 400 people asked about the labour dispute last week were on the side of teachers, compared to 39 per cent who supported the government. The survey, conducted by Environics Research Group, also found 89 per cent of those polled felt the government should agree to arbitration if teachers stop job action and abide by an arbitrator’s ruling.


-With files from Christine van Reeuwyk

Just Posted

The District of Saanich has pinpointed funding requests to Oak Bay and Victoria to help offset the purchase price of the Kings Park greenspace and keep the property intact. (Courtesy District of Saanich)
Saanich requests funding help from neighbours to preserve Kings Road green space

District hopes Victoria and Oak Bay will join them in protecting urban green space

According to Statistics Canada, the unemployment rate in Greater Victoria stood at 6.3 per cent in May 2021, nearly unchanged from April’s rate of 6.2 per cent. (Black Press Media File)
Unemployment rate in Greater Victoria stagnates at 6.3 per cent in May

Latest figures reflect conditions before lifting of public health measures

North Saanich council Monday will consider the results of a survey conducted by the North Saanich Residents Association that finds little support for increased densification. (Black Press Media File)
Survey finds little support for increased density in North Saanich

North Saanich Residents Association conducted the online survey

An example of the forest land in the Port Renfrew and Fairy Creek area of Vancouver Island is shown on May 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne
Old-growth logging opponents launch hunger strike as arrests continue at Fairy Creek

Zain Haq says the hunger strikers will gather today at Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver

The City of Victoria is hoping to ring in the summer by celebrating local art and offering some distanced, live music to surprise people in parks, plazas and other public spaces. (Photo courtesy of the City of Victoria)
Live, pop-up concerts and local art being showcased in Victoria this summer

People will see surprise serenades at 16 locations throughout the summer

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read