Students protest outside the Fleetwood office of Education Minister Peter Fassbender.

Students protest outside the Fleetwood office of Education Minister Peter Fassbender.

Students, parents call for end to ‘feud’

Surrey protests part of message to teachers union and government to increase efforts to end job action

  • Jun. 4, 2014 10:00 a.m.

The impasse between the B.C. Teachers Federation and provincial government continued this week with rotating strikes and a partial lockout still in effect – and the voices of frustrated students and parents joining the fray.

Disruptions to the school schedule remained, in spite of an expected three days of ongoing negotiations between the BCTF and B.C. Public School Employers Association.

Rotating strikes, which began last week, continued in Surrey Tuesday, while the lockout – which prevents teachers from assisting students during recess and lunch and limits help before and after school – was still in place.

The latest word at Peace Arch News’ press time Wednesday was confirmation that the BCTF is willing to come down by one per cent on its most recent wage demands (a 15.9 per cent increase over four years) – still a long way from the province’s most recent offer (7.25 per cent over six years, plus a signing bonus).

The B.C. Labour Relations Board was also due to hand down a ruling on the legality of the government’s decision to cut teachers pay by 10 per cent during the lockout.

B.C. School Trustees Association president Teresa Rezansoff said in a news release that, regardless of the outcome of the ruling, the organization stood by its ‘Stability for Students Action Plan’ emphasizing that student success “must not be compromised in any way.”

“The time for serious and concentrated bargaining is now,” she said. “We call on the BCTF and the government to redouble their efforts and negotiate all summer if necessary to end the current unrest.”

Students were also getting into the act this week, with two events originating in Surrey.

Tuesday, students Raaj Chatterjee (Semiahmoo Secondary) and Heewon Oh (North Surrey Secondary) organized a rally at the Fleetwood office of Education Minister Peter Fassbender.

Chatterjee and Oh said they were protesting for public education, and against underfunding and labour disputes. Cash-strapped districts, they said, are forced to cut programs, while “students are falling between the cracks due to class size and composition issues.”

A provincewide walkout of students was planned for Wednesday, spearheaded by Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary Grade 12 student Victoria Barker, who told media her entire academic career has been overshadowed by struggles between the union and province.

Meanwhile B.C.’s senior parenting group encouraged parents to write to Fassbender and BCTF president Jim Ilker to explain the effect rotating strikes and lockout is having on families.

BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils called for an immediate end to what it describes as a “feud” between the BCTF and the provincial government.

BCCPAC president Terry Berting said the strike and lockout is having a detrimental effect on students – particularly the most vulnerable – as well as creating financial hardship for families.

The cancellation in some schools of extra-curricular activities, end-of-year celebrations and sporting events is also of concern, Berting said, adding that such disruptions, more than simply impacting Grade 12 grads, “affect successful outcomes for all students.”

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fentanyl test strips are designed to work in seconds and give a person a negative or positive sign that fentanyl is present in a substance. It also works with other analogues such as carfentanil. (Photo: ASHLEY WADHWANI)
21 people died of overdoses in Surrey in October

Provincewide, more than five people died a day from overdoses

Surrey City Councillor Linda Annis and her dog Randi (foreground) bring toy donations to Saverio Lattanzio of Surrey Firefighters Association (holding toy) and fellow firefighters. (submitted photo: Pace Group)
Firefighters’ ‘Drive-by toy drive’ for Surrey Christmas Bureau, as SuperChefs cooks up kits

‘It’s been a particularly tough year for so many of our Surrey families’

File photo
Surrey RCMP investigating death threat against councillor Hundial

‘On Monday morning I received a threat on messenger that basically said to put a bullet in me,’ Councillor Jack Hundial told the Now-Leader

Pastry chef Eric Fernandez stands alongside some of his many creations at Popup Patisserie, a pop-up pastry shop on 176th Street that will be open until the end of December. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Popup Patisserie opens in Cloverdale

Handmade holiday pastries shop located on 176th Street

Crew works to remove the Toys ‘R’ Us sign from the North Surrey store in late October, in video posted to Facebook by Scott Dombrowski.
Closure of Toys ‘R’ Us store in Surrey a step forward for ‘Georgetown’ development

Video of toy store sign’s removal stirs memories on Facebook group

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Okanagan campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

B.C. projects targeting the restoration of sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser and Columbia Watersheds will share in $10.9 million of federal funding to protect species at risk. (Kenny Regan photo)
13 projects protecting B.C. aquatic species at risk receive $11 million in federal funding

Salmon and marine mammals expected to benefit from ecosystem-based approach

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Krista Macinnis displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
B.C. mom angry that students asked to list positive stories about residential schools

Daughter’s Grade 6 class asked to write down 5 positive stories or facts

Barrels pictured outside Oliver winery, Quinta Ferreira, in May. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
B.C. Master of Wine reflects on industry’s teetering economic state

Pandemic, for some wine makers, has been a blessing in disguise. For others, not so much.

Most Read