Reaction from both sides about tentative B.C. teachers’ contract

FROM BCTF NEWS CONFERENCE:

FROM GOVERNMENT NEWS CONFERENCE:

 


 

British Columbians will be hearing from both sides of the B.C. public education labour dispute today. Government leaders Christy Clark and Peter Fassbender are up at 2 p.m., then Jim Iker of the BCTF will speak at 4:30 p.m. From a government media advisory:

Premier Christy Clark and Education Minister Peter Fassbender will address the tentative agreement with the BCTF from the Premier’s Vancouver Office.

And a memo from the teachers’ side said this:

BCTF President Jim Iker will speak to media today, September 16, at 4:30 p.m. at the BCTF Building, 550 West 6th Avenue, Vancouver. His remarks will be live streamed at https://new.livestream.com/BCTF/Sept162014.

Stay tuned for developments from these media availabilities.

Group solicits donations to send ‘5 angry teachers’ to B.C. Liberal fundraiser

Teachers crowdfunding for tickets at BC Liberal event

While BC students are still not in classes the BC Liberals are having yet another golf course fundraiser. Since MLA’s and Liberal party members refuse to meet with us to discuss the future of education, we are seeking help to buy a table at the fundraiser to make our voices heard face to face….

Striking teachers are hoping to crash a B.C. Liberal party fundraiser by buying tickets to a party event at a golf course. While the party plans to set up a place for protests to be heard outside, teachers are using an online fundraiser of their own to buy their way inside.

“While B.C. students are still not in classes the BC Liberals are having yet another golf course fundraiser.  Since MLAs and Liberal party members refuse to meet with us to discuss the future of education, we are seeking help to buy a table at the fundraiser to make our voices heard face to face,” organizers state on their GoFundMe website.

“You can rest assured that the 5 angry teachers who are planning to attend will be happy to share any and all of your valuable concerns with our most trusted leaders.” As of Thursday afternoon, they were close to reaching their $1,000 target.

Jillian Stead, a media spokesperson for the B.C. Liberals, said the party is planning to provide an outlet for protest at a fundraiser on Friday in a designated area, but protestors will not be invited out on the golf course. The event isn’t even advertised on the party’s website.

Education Minister Peter Fassbender said in an interview that he respects the right of teachers to demonstrate, but added: “I would only hope that it remains respectful. …  It’s unfortunate when it gets out of hand. This is an emotion time for everyone – for me as well. I don’t like where we are. We need to get back to the bargaining table.”

UPDATE as of 1:30 p.m. on Friday: The group, in a message posted to the GoFundMe page, says it has reached its fundraising goal:

Thank you all so much for your support in our fight to improve public education in BC. In four days, we have surpassed our fundraising goal. YOU ALL ARE AMAZING! We are now closing the draw for the extra seats as of 9am, today, September 12. Winners will be notified soon. Any donations that continue to come in will go to the BCTF Hardship Relief Fund. Thank you!

What to expect Thursday from B.C.’s teachers’ strike: Why the 99.4% BCTF vote figure is misleading

If you’re looking for information on Thursday, Sept. 18, go here.

Late Wednesday night, B.C. Teachers’ Federation president Jim Iker stood before TV cameras to report that 99.4% of teachers who voted were in favour of ending the strike if the government would agree to drop proposed provision E-80 and accept binding arbitration. The figure is high, and has been cited often this morning on social media and in news reports. But it’s worth noting that the BCTF represents approximately 41,000 public school teachers, meaning around 10,331 teachers didn’t cast votes. That would put the number of ‘yes’ votes at 30,485, or 74.4% of BCTF members.

What to expect Thursday

There are no events scheduled from either bargaining group, though teacher picket lines are still up across the province. As always, we’re keeping an eye out for significant events.

Reported elsewhere

Following news of the BCTF vote, CBC Radio’s The Early Edition interviewed both Mr. Iker and B.C. Education Minister Peter Fassbender on the results and the stalemate that is keeping schools closed. The audio of that interview is below, including a remark from Mr. Fassbender at the 16:40 mark that prompted host Rick Cluff to exclaim: “You’re going to wait till October?”


BC’s small businesses are worried about the BCTF strike: CFIB

Nearly half of BC small businesses say the teachers’ strike will have a negative impact on their bottom line, according to a new survey.