Lakecity teachers to join provincial demonstration

Teachers in Williams Lake will be joining teachers across the province in conducting a Demonstrative Day of Action this Monday, Feb. 27.

Many teachers in Williams Lake will be joining teachers across the province in conducting a Demonstrative Day of Action this Monday, Feb. 27.

The demonstrations will not disrupt school activities, says Joan Erb, Cariboo-Chilcotin Teachers Association president.

She says teachers in Williams Lake will stand with placards and information outside of Marie Sharpe Elementary School for about a half hour before school starts in the morning and for a half hour after school ends in the afternoon to let the public know they want a fair alternative to an imposed contract now being sought by the provincial government.

Erb says she has discussed the impending demonstration with the district superintendent and has written a letter asking the School District 27 board for its support.

“We are willing to work with a unilaterally appointed mediator or an independent arbitrator. Teachers want to be at the bargaining table and negotiate in good faith,” Erb says.

“Since day one, teachers have publicized their willingness to compromise and make concessions but our efforts have been disregarded.

“We are open to creative ways to resolve this dispute and welcome any opportunity to discuss possible resolutions with government. As usual teachers remain optimistic that reason and common sense will prevail.”

Earlier this week Education Minister George Abbott said he had directed his staff to start preparing back-to-work legislation for teachers and rejected the teachers’ calls for the appointment of a mediator or arbitrator in the contract talks that have been going on for about 10 months without a resolution between the B.C. Teachers’ Federation and the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association.