Haven't seen much info on the ongoing teacher strike in British Columbia on the evening news or even education blogs but it's happening.
Teachers chose to go on strike and only teachers can end the job action, Premier Christy Clark said Wednesday in her first recent public comments about the strike.
Clark was pressed by reporters on how long her government would allow the strike to continue, but she insisted a deal must come through negotiation, not legislation.
“We need to get teachers to suspend their strike while we get back in the classroom and while we bargain,” Clark said. “If we really want to put students first ... we will all make sure that they are in school tomorrow.”
B.C. Teachers’ Federation president Jim Iker responded that teachers will not suspend their strike.
“Our members are standing strong and they are resolved,” he said Wednesday at a news conference. “We’re not suspending any strike right now ... We need government to enter into full-scale mediation.”
In the past, when teachers have been on strike, the government has legislated them back to work before students lost too much of their year. During this strike, schools have already been closed for 15 days, although those days are split over two school years.
B.C.’s 40,000 teachers initiated rotating strikes last spring, closing schools one day a week for three weeks, after which they went on a full-scale strike and closed schools for the last two weeks of June. During the job action, the employer instituted a partial lockout and a 10-per-cent pay cut.