Picket lines pick up again as B.C. teachers' strike marches on

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As the intended first day of school looms, picket lines are forming once again outside area schools as the teachers’ strike heads towards its fourth month.

“Picketers are expected to set up around schools in Kelowna, Kamloops, Langley, and Vancouver Monday, with all secondary schools in Vancouver behind picket lines Tuesday,” reports Global.

On Sunday at a leadership conference, the B.C. Teachers’ Federation leader Jim Iker said while speaking to educators that he challenged Minister of Education Peter Fassbender to meet Monday for negotiations. In fact, he was hoping such a meeting would mean he had to hastily depart the conference.

 

Mediator Vince Ready has been prepared to take on the task of helping the two sides come to an agreement, but while Ready “had initial meetings with both sides,” he has since “declared he’ll only re-enter negotiations once the two sides are closer together,” reports The Province.

Both the BCTF and the provincial government’s bargaining team have agreed to not share information with the public so that focus can be placed on the bargaining table, however both Iker and Fassbender have continued to talk about the situation in public and with the media.

Monday’s picket lines mark the first job action by educators in BC since the close of the school year in June.

Parents are holding the line themselves as they wait to find out if they will be sending their kids to their classrooms come September 2, or to whatever alternate care they can arrange. A $40 stipend meant to offset the burden of childcare has been promised to parents, however that money would not be paid out until the strike is over.

 

Featured image: Teachers picketing outside a school in Kamloops, BC, August 25, 2014 (@JessicaleppNL/Twitter)

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Lindsay William-Ross Lindsay is a Senior Editor at Vancity Buzz, and currently runs the site's Food section. A fourth generation Vancouverite, she spent the last two decades in Los Angeles, where she was EIC of the city's top blog, earned her MA, attended culinary school, and was an English professor (among other things). Lindsay's first published piece was December 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa. E-mail: lindsay@vancitybuzz.com
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