Sea to Sky teachers will be voting on job action March 4,5 and 6.
“For teachers, our only recourse in response to the unfair, unreasonable, and deliberately confrontational proposals at this point is to apply pressure through a strike vote," said Jim Iker, BC Teachers' Federation president.
" Such a vote, however, does not mean imminent school closures. We will consider all job action options and timing very carefully. Our goal is to reach a negotiated deal at the bargaining table without having to resort to job action.”
Once a strike vote is taken, the union has 90 days to activate it with some sort of job action.
Bargaining has been going on between teachers and representatives of the government for about a year. Recently the union won a decision on class size and composition in BC Supreme Court.
"Since January 27, when the BC Supreme Court released its ruling that found the Christy Clark government had acted in bad faith, BCPSEA has tabled unreasonable proposals," states a press release from the union.
The unions concerns include:
•New language that would yet again strip all provisions on class size, class composition, and staffing levels for teacher-librarians, counsellors, special education, and other specialist teachers.
• A salary offer that starts with a 0.5% increase on the date of ratification. The increase is not retroactive. Because the previous contract expired last June, this means zero for all of 2013–14 school year to date. The proposal is followed by another zero for 2014–15 school year and then various ones and point fives over the next four years. The last four years of the 10-year term, an idea teachers rejected in June by a province-wide vote of 96%, features an ill-defined indexing scheme that even BCPSEA’s negotiators could not explain.
Iker said there are no imminent strike or school closures, but it is time to pressure the provincial government, which he said is "bent on concessions."