BCTF Teachers Claim to Be Committed to Mediation; Threaten “Job Action”
Friday, February, 21, 2020
BCTF teachers stated they were “100 percent committed” to mediation attempts regarding their contract talks with the province.
Amid talks, the teachers voted on a plan of job action should talks fail. Representatives speaking on behalf of the teachers claimed there was no timeline set for job action, nor was there an official vote. However, the group did develop a plan for job action that would come in four phases, the first of which is wearing red clothing and the fourth of which was a full-blown strike.
According to BCTF president Teri Morring in a letter to teachers, “The BCTF Representative Assembly approved a multi-phase contingency plan to help build pressure on the bargaining table that will be put to members for a vote if and when mediation concludes, and the Executive Committee determines there is a need, and that appropriate provincial discussion and consultation has occurred.”
Phase 1 is reportedly wearing red shirts in support of teachers, creating a petition, and holding general meetings to keep teachers updated on the current talks. The second phase would occur if “additional pressure is required.” This phase would withdraw administrative duties and only allow teachers who are on call to fill in for absent teachers, not administrative staff. Phase three is rotating strikes and phase four is a full-blown strike.
Among teacher demands holding up negotiations are a salary increase to “bring them close to other teachers across the country.” BCTP representatives claim an increase in pay is necessary to attract and retain new teachers.