WATCH: BCTF President Jim Iker fired back at Premier Christy Clark and the Liberal government over the imposed lockouts
(Global News) The B.C. Teachers’ Federation says the provincial government is putting its own political agenda before students and families.
On Wednesday, the BC Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) sent a letter to the BCTF in response to their escalation of strike activities to Stage 2, which involves rotating strikes.
The letter states that effective May 26 and continuing until further notice, BCTF members will be locked out from doing any work during recess or lunch, or doing administrative tasks. It says a secondary school lockout will be in effect for June 25 and 26 with a general lockout happening on June 27.
In addition to the partial lockout, BCPSEA says salaries will be reduced by five per cent for all employees in the BCTF bargaining unit who are scheduled to work, beginning May 26. And if the union moves to Stage 2 activities, the salary reduction will be 10 per cent.
BCTF president Jim Iker says they have referred the matter to the Labour Relations Board.
“It is more of the same behavior from the Premier and the government that the B.C. Supreme Court ruled had bargained in bad faith with us,” he says.
Iker says a series of partial lockouts imposed by the government will have wide-ranging impact on students, parents and teachers.
“It will shut down schools completely, and put the marking of province wide exams for senior grades as well as report cards at risk.”
Iker says on June 24, all grade 10 English students and Social Studies 11 students are writing their provincial exams.
“Christy Clark’s lockout starts the next day, and that will prevent thousands of students’ exams from being marked,” he says.
Extracurricular activities, field trips and sport tournaments will be at risk because teachers will be locked out of their work sites, according to Iker.
Graduation ceremonies may also be impacted.
Iker says by directive, teachers will now be prohibited from interacting with students during lunch hour, stripping them of valuable one-on-one time with their teachers.
“Christy Clark’s lockout means that teachers will be insubordinate if they helped a struggling child or a child with special needs during lunch hour. Shameful,” he says.
READ the BC Public School Employers’ Association’s letter in full