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BC teachers stand strong

D'Arcy Briggs

March 9, 2012

Among the ongoing stalemate between the BC Liberals and the BC Teacher’s Federation (BCTF)—including a three day strike by 41,000 teachers—March 6 saw over 5,000 teachers and supporters gather on the lawn of the provincial legislature to send a message – Kids matter and teachers care!

“We’ve only just begun,” said BCTF president Susan Lambert. “Yes, they need to know we will resist. And they need to know that we’ll do whatever it takes to restore the conditions that we need to teach our students because we are teachers. We are united, we are resolved and we have powerful, powerful allies.”

The BC Supreme Court found the government’s last legislation against collective bargaining illegal. In response the government has introduced Bill 22, which still attacks teachers and tries to pit them against public education. But a poll conducted by Viewpoints Research shows that over 70 per cent of British Columbians support the teachers’ right to strike and “among those who believe education has worsened [over the past 10 years], 68 per cent blame the government.”

The teachers are fighting Bill 22 as other unions are entering bargaining. As Jim Sinclair, president of the BC Federation of Labour, stated in relation to the high turnout of the event, “You will see a lot of people coming because people know that what is happening to the teachers will happen to them. As far as I know this is about solidarity, and people respect picket lines.”

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