Teachers unveil plans for impending strike

By: The Canadian Press

 | Jun 12, 2014 - 11:14 AM |
B.C. Teachers' Federation president Jim Iker speaks in Vancouve, on May 26, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

B.C. Teachers' Federation president Jim Iker speaks in Vancouve, on May 26, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

VANCOUVER - Teachers across British Columbia have served 72 hour strike notice and could be on the picket lines by Tuesday, potentially ending the school year more than two weeks early for thousands of school children.

B.C. Teachers' Federation president Jim Iker has announced the plans after union members voted overwhelmingly earlier this week in favour of a full-scale strike to back demands for higher pay and better classroom conditions.

More than 40,000 teachers will be in a legal strike position by Tuesday, but all schools will be idled one day earlier as the union is calling for a day-long, province-wide study session on June 16.

Iker says the BCTF executive intends to bargain non-stop through this weekend in hopes of averting further job action, and he urges Premier Christy Clark to provide more money to permit a settlement, saying political will and good faith can produce a deal.

Teachers have been without a contract since last June and began withdrawing supervisory and administrative services earlier in the term before moving to the rotating strikes.

The provincial government responded by partially locking out teachers, docking their pay 10 per cent and announcing a lockout for all secondary school teachers on June 25 and 26, with elementary teachers added to the lockout on June 27.

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