Escalating job action plannedThe withdrawal of non-essential duties is part of the first stage in a multi-level strike action that was announced by the B.C. Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) last week.
Their contracts expired last June, and the federation says it's being forced to take action because negotiations are slow.
Iker won't say how long the initial phase will last, but says the lack of progress at the bargaining table will lead to rotating strikes across the province, with 48 hours' notice.
Wages and class sizes have been a major stumbling block between teachers and the provincial government, leading up to Wednesday's job action.
The B.C Teachers' Federation wants to see smaller class sizes, and its president says members earn lower salaries than their colleagues in other provinces.
But Education Minister Peter Fassbender says research from around the world proves class size is not a prerequisite to student success.
He says the wage demands of teachers are also out of step with other unions in the public sector.
Fassbender has said there has been virtually no movement at the bargaining table, adding that the BCTF appears to have been busier planning its strike action than resolving the labour dispute.
The relationship between the B.C. government and teachers has been contentious for more than a decade.
In 2001, the province passed legislation that stripped teachers of their right to negotiate class size, class composition and staffing levels.
In April 2011, the B.C. Supreme Court ruled the legislation was unconstitutional and gave the province one year to restore teachers' collective bargaining rights.
When the government failed to do so, however, it was fined $2 million in damages.
The province says it is appealing that ruling, and has been granted an injunction delaying the restoration of teachers' pre-2001 bargaining rights until the appeal can be heard.
So teachers have it rough and they do it because they love their jobs. They are building our children's foundation and all our government wants to do is fight with them. I think it is wrong and I will be doing all that I can to help. The best way you can help is to get out there and volunteer, support your teachers choice to strike, and do anything you can at home to help your child learn so that all that stress is not placed on the teacher. They are school teachers not daycare workers, they can't do everything for us!
Thank you Rachel Maurer for opening my eyes today! Rachel is a mother of 2 beautiful kids that has her own dreams of becoming a teacher. She also has an amazing little business called rainbows and ribbons that you can find here: https://www.facebook.com/RainbowsandRibbons
May 6, 2014 is National Teacher Day, a time for honoring teachers and recognizing the lasting contributions they make to our lives. This week, May 4-10, is designated Teacher Appreciation Week by the National PTA. It's a time to strengthen support and respect for teachers and the teaching profession. Do something special for teachers this week. I will be showing you what I am doing soon.