The B.C. Teachers’ Federation membership has voted 86 per cent in favour of a new contract, ending the teachers’ strike that has kept more than half-a-million students out of the classroom.
Of 31,741 ballots cast, 27,275 were in favour of the new six-year contract, BCTF president Jim Iker announced Thursday night. There are roughly 41,000 members in all.
“With the ratification of the new collective agreement, the strike and lockout are now over,” Mr. Iker said. “Teachers and students will be back in school on Monday.”
Mr. Iker said there was a “strong vote of support for the collective agreement” despite the fact the union did not get everything it needs.
“We all know that this deal isn’t perfect, but it does provide gains for teachers, it protects our charter rights, it increases support for our students,” he said.
“There will be more classroom and specialist teachers in schools to help our students; our teachers on call will get fair pay for a day’s work and all our members will get a salary increase.”
However, several teachers have said they are not happy with the new deal. (Read our story on that here.)
Education Minister Peter Fassbender issued the following statement after the BCTF’s announcement:
“We have one of the best public education systems in the world, and that’s in large part because we have such great teachers.
“We can now focus on the path forward. This long-term agreement is an historic opportunity to work together for students – to enhance their education experience and to support their achievements.”
Mr. Iker said no lost time will be made up, though former education minister George Abbott has suggested otherwise:
Former education minister told me ministry working on plan to make up lost time, Iker says final decision is three weeks lost. #bced
— Justin Giovannetti (@justinCgio) September 19, 2014
Meanwhile, Thursday’s turnout was higher than the past few ratification votes:
— BCTF (@bctf) September 19, 2014
Find more in the story on our main site here.