Kootenay Columbia teachers’ spokesperson states case in Letter to the Editor

Kootenay Columbia teachers assert their intention to support one another

On March 8, the NDP Opposition put forward the following “reasoned amendment” which would stop the progress of Bill 22 through the Legislature:

“It is not in the best interests of the education system in British Columbia for the government to legislate teachers back to work when an independent mediator could be appointed by the government and the Labour Relations Board to resolve the collective bargaining dispute without legislation.”

The amendment would remove all of the heavy handed components of the Bill such as contract stripping and fine provisions.

The NDP’s rationale:

“We believe that the best thing for the education system is to give the parties a chance to try to find a mutually-agreed resolution.

Prior to the introduction of Bill 22, British Columbia Public School Employers’ Association and British Columbia Teachers’ Federation had both agreed to mediation.

We have heard incredible support from parents, teachers, trustees and others for a solution that allows the parties to work together.

We want to see a solution that has kids back in school learning from teachers who feel respected and in classes that work for all students.

We believe that Spring Break provides an opportunity. It is a chance to move away from legislation that has inflamed the situation and created more conflict.

Teachers have opted to hold off on further escalated job action – this is an opportunity for cooler heads to prevail and for government to allow mediation to go forward.”

The BCTF and the Kootenay Columbia Teachers’ Union support the “reasoned amendment.”

We have sent out the following message to all of our members and request everyone who cares about public education in this province to email Premier Clark at premier@gov.ca   and let her know that you support it as well.

“We Stand Firm with Hope and Resolve”

We stand firm with hope and resolve that the government considers the reasoned amendment and steps back from the brink of a precipice and does not push the public sector over the edge into a chasm of massive collective resistance.

We stand firm with hope and resolve that the government reconsiders its appointment of a mediator and agrees to an independent party appointed by the Labour Relations Board and removes the Net-zero “handcuffs” and “club of fines” that currently exist in Bully Bill 22.

We stand firm with hope and resolve that common sense and reason will prevail and the government will recognize the ground-swell of support and need for hard caps on class size limits and composition.

We stand firm with hope and resolve that Premier Clark turns off the pump that is currently pouring gasoline on a fire that is licking at a forest of protest in this province and threatening to ignite an inferno.

We stand firm with hope and resolve that our union brothers and sisters will honour what they have promised us when they stood with us at the Legislature and in each of our communities, namely, “That We Are One”.

We stand firm with hope and resolve against those that choose to violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Rule of Law.

We stand firm with hope and resolve to protect our collective bargaining rights, due process, and professional autonomy.

We stand firm with hope and resolve to support each other as we move forward in our collective struggle with those that would do harm to us and to our young charges.

We stand firm with hope and resolve to defend public education in this province.

We stand firm with hope and resolve up to those who would bully us in the name of progress.

We stand firm with resolve and hope that we do not stand alone.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Andrew Davidoff

President

Kootenay Columbia Teachers’ Union

 

Here’s a related story published in the Castlegar News