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BC teachers still standing strong

D'Arcy Briggs

May 19, 2012

On May 17th, British Columbia Teachers’ Federation president Susan Lambert wrote an open letter inviting all BC principals and vice-principals to join in solidarity with BC teachers fighting for better classroom and student support systems.

The BC Principals’ and Vice-Principals’ Association has not always shown support for teachers. In 2002, Bill 27 and 28 were imposed which stripped many contracts and removal of class size limits. The BCPVP showed no support then nor at any time in the last decade, and is now stating that with continuing job action “school culture has been significantly eroded this year by the continuing dispute.”

In addition, teachers have escalated their job action to exclude all extra-curricular activities, such as sport and theatre programs. The union has also gone to court to ensure the Liberal-imposed mediator, Dr. Charles Jago, who will be working under the government’s net-zero mandate, be replaced by a mediator with labour and mediation experience. Jago was involved in drafting sections of Bill 22, though BC Education Minister George Abbott maintains that Jago simply helped with “wordsmithing.”

Teachers remain hopeful in their struggle. Popular opinion has remained on the side of the teachers while support for the Liberals has continued to plummet.

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