B.C. teachers vote for job action

Terrace teachers took part in a province-wide strike vote that could see them taking job action in the fall if bargain talks don't progress.

In numbers released this morning from the BC Teachers' Federation, 90 per cent of teachers have voted yes to taking job action this September if negotiations fall through.

At issue are improved teaching and learning conditions, improvements to salary and benefits and the restoration of local bargaining rights.

Karen Andrews, president of the Terrace District Teachers’ Union, said that teachers have a duty to stand up for the services students need and the resources required to meet those needs.

If progress is not made in bargaining, job action will take place beginning September 6, 2011 in the form of a “teach-only” campaign that would see teachers continuing with teaching duties but halting administrative work.

Andrews reassured students and parents that teachers will be maintaining a full commitment to students.

“This initial job action is designed to put pressure on the employer and the government, but to maintain regular classroom instruction for students and ongoing communication with parents,” she said.

Susan Lambert, president of the BC Teachers Federation said teachers take this action very reluctantly but after a decade of cuts are determined to achieve improvements to teaching and learning conditions in B.C. schools.

A total of 28,128 teachers cast their ballot during the strike vote June 24, 27 and 28, with 25,282 of them voting in favour of strike action based on about 70 per cent of teachers in schools and on-call participating.

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