B.C. teachers’ strike: Vancouver parents to rally for binding arbitration on Sunday

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      A group of parents is organizing a protest in support of binding arbitration to end the B.C. teachers' strike.

      One of the parents, Nadia Roberts, told the Georgia Straight by email that the "entirely parent-driven, grassroots effort" is being coordinated by a small group using Facebook.

      The rally will take place on Sunday (September 14) at 10 a.m. in the Vancouver Art Gallery's north plaza. Participants are asked to bring signs, noisemakers, and, of course, their kids.

      The protest's Facebook event page states:

      We all want students back in school now. Eighteen months of negotiation and mediation have failed. This is a grassroots parent-driven rally to make our voices heard. The organizers are parents who have never met but have banded together through Facebook for the common goal of schools resuming.

      On Wednesday (September 10), the B.C. Teachers' Federation announced its members had voted overwhelmingly in favour of ending the strike if the province agrees to binding arbitration. 30,490 of the 30,669 teachers who cast ballots, or 99.4 percent, voted yes.

      In his announcement of the results, BCTF president Jim Iker stated:

      The BC Liberal government’s refusal to accept binding arbitration is now the only reason children won’t be back in class.

      Every single one of those MLAs must ask themselves what is the real reason they are keeping schools closed.

      For his part, Education Minister Peter Fassbender issued a statement on Wednesday evening, reaffirming his rejection of binding arbitration. Fassbender said:

      As we have consistently made clear, binding arbitration would lead to unacceptable tax increases in this case. That's because the two sides remain too far apart on wages and benefits.

      The best way to resolve this labour dispute remains at the negotiating table.

      On Sunday, parents will have their say.




      Sep 11, 2014 at 11:24am

      if arbitration leads to tax increase for taxpayers, then it is only right for the govt not to agree to arbitration. Its the right thing to do. With higher taxes, I might as well send my kids to private school with the money. Teachers can go on living with little money from BCTF. See how they pay their bills and cut their children's activities with less pay or no pay!


      Sep 11, 2014 at 11:45am

      Why did over 10,000 teachers not vote at all? That's 25% of the BCTF membership that did not support the union's request to vote. Hmmm.....wonder why.


      Sep 11, 2014 at 11:46am

      Sarah, you are too gullible. In this dispute, do you honestly believe the "have to increase taxes' line from Clarke? Did she have to increase taxes to pay for the roof, or the California hydro, or anything else.
      If you want to spend $15,000 to $30,000 to send your kid to private school, rock on. You obviously have more than the rest of us.


      Sep 11, 2014 at 11:47am

      The teachers voted on something that wasnt even on the table they had been told no to arbitration. How does that work

      ursa minor

      Sep 11, 2014 at 12:01pm

      You know what else leads to tax increases? The Liberals hiring 'Digital Influencers' like Sarah to parrot Christy Clark's assinine, dumbed-down talking points.

      Arbitration doesn't mean giving one side everything they want - it's a process by which an Arbitrator weighs the proposals from both sides, and weaves those proposals into an agreement that's in line with precedents established by earlier agreements between the parties and with agreements that have been recently negotiated in the same employment sector.

      I simply cannot believe that for a province where almost 1 in 3 workers is a Union member that there are so many British Columbians who are this ignorant about how Collective Bargaining works...unless of course they're being paid to be this ignorant...


      Sep 11, 2014 at 12:16pm

      Sarah-Please show me the private school you can send your kids to for $200/year. It's a choice. What value do we the public put on education?


      Sep 11, 2014 at 12:52pm

      Anne - even if you assume the other 25% would have ALL voted no - that would still be nearly 75% approval rating - much higher than the Liberal approval rating in getting elected.


      Sep 11, 2014 at 12:55pm

      If they govt are so afraid of binding arbitration then it's because they know they are in a poor position ethically, morally, and even numerically. They have an agenda and it isn't good for our province.


      Sep 11, 2014 at 1:31pm

      What a nonsense vote by the teachers. By their logic, they should have voted on "million dollar salaires for teachers", and then demanded the government respect it.

      Utter nonsense by the teachers.

      Remember people, their salaries are your money. It does not fall from the sky, it's tax dollars, money not available for BC Ferries, money from post secondary education. It's all the same money.

      BC Taxpayer

      Sep 11, 2014 at 2:03pm

      Despite what the BCTF says about it being for the kids, it is really about WAGES and BENEFITS.
      Which is why the teachers voted to go back to school if the government agrees to binding arbitration on wages and benefits.
      For the teachers binding arbitration is a win-win. At worst case they get what the government puts on the table, best case they get what they demand.