The following is the rationale, as simply stated as possible, as to why teachers and anyone who cares enough about education is “Taking a Stand” across this province and at the BC Legislative Assembly on Tuesday.
This government has pushed us too far and we are tired of having their “stick” being poked in our collective eye!
We will be circulating this message on a printed “bill” at all of our leafleting sites during our work stoppage:
Cynically titled, the Education “Improvement” Act, Bill 22 attacks fundamental teachers’ rights and paves the way for major contract stripping and union-busting.
If enacted, the legislation will not allow for job action of any kind; salary increases (not even a cost of living allowance); improvements to benefits; or, improvements to teacher preparation time.
There will be no class size limits except at primary grades and no limits on the number of students with special needs in classrooms.
Boards will no longer have a statutory obligation to explain why classes are over-crowded and/or inappropriately configured.
The bill provides a $165-million remedy for 10 years and over $3 billion of damage done to education in BC by Bills 27 and 28.
It will remove seniority rights for teachers who are transferred or laid off and due process provisions with respect to teacher evaluations or firings.
It will not allow any meaningful mediation to occur.
This government has no respect for teachers, public education, workers’ rights, court findings or the “Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms” or “The Rule of Law”.
The government’s action is irresponsible and reckless. It will result in untold harm to the public education system. It victimizes children.
It is a callous and purely political move to advance a “draconian” (as the Supreme Court of Canada characterized it in a similar effort), Neo-liberal agenda.
It is demoralizing teachers and those that care about our society. It must be stopped.
We all need to Just Say “No” to “Bully” Bill 22!
“Stripped again” but still standing up to the bully,
Andrew M. Davidoff
President Kootenay Columbia Teachers’ Union