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BC Teachers' Rotating Strikes Begin, Schools Closed

Darpan News Desk Darpan, 26 May, 2014 03:49 PM
    Starting today, over 41,000 BC teachers are staging rotating strikes in every public school across the province. 
     
    The British Columbia Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) has divided the province into four zones. Public elementary and secondary schools in each district will each be closed one day over the next four days. 
     
    In response, the government plans to implement a partial lockdown. This includes cutting teacher’s pay by 10 per cent and limiting the time they are allowed to be at work before and after class to 45 minutes. 
     
    The rotating strikes are just the latest move in a long drawn out dispute between BC teachers and the provincial government, which arose from disagreements on pay, class room size and class support. 
     
     
    Teachers are looking for a 13.7 per cent wage increase over the next four years, smaller class sizes and a limit to the number of special needs students per class. The government is offering a 7.3 percent wage increase over six years without any compromise on class size or support.  
     
    BCTF’s president Jim Iker’s focus is still on a negotiated deal. “We didn’t take the decision to move to (rotating strikes) lightly,” Iker told the media. “This is about getting a deal at the bargaining table.”
     
    If no compromise is reached before the end of the school term, a full lockout will be imposed by the BC government for three days, after the end of the exam period. 

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