Chilliwack teachers march for a better contract

Hundreds of Chilliwack teachers participated in a demonstration walk in downtown Chilliwack Monday, rallying against government actions.

Hundreds of Chilliwack teachers walked in solidarity against the government Monday.

The Chilliwack Teachers’ Association organized a voluntary demonstration walk, at the Landing Sports Centre, to conclude its “study session” leading into the start of full-strike action Tuesday. An estimated 800 teachers participated, which included representation from both Chilliwack and Fraser-Cascade school districts.

A smaller rally was also held at Chilliwack Mall that had approximately 200 teachers in attendance.

Chilliwack Teachers’ Association president Clint Johnston wasn’t surprised by the turnout.

“The line of people walking by and by is exactly what we had hoped for,” said Johnston. “It shows how important what’s going on is to teachers right now.”

The walk was not mandatory, but voluntary.

The large turnout was proof, said Johnston, that it’s not just the union wanting a fair deal, it’s teachers.

Chilliwack teachers.

Johnston listed off issues specifically occurring in the Chilliwack school district.

Several full-time teacher-librarian positions have been cut, he said, most glaringly at inner-city schools where there are high numbers of struggling readers.

Other specialty teaching positions have also suffered budgetary cutbacks.

Johnston blames the “stripping” of specialist teacher ratios from the contract in 2002, when services, including teacher-librarians and educational assistants, were bundled into the same funding pie.

The result, he said, is that administrators have to decide whether it’s more important for whole schools to have supported access to libraries, or for individual children to get the supports they require.

“These are not decisions that should have to be made,” said Johnston. “Our children deserve both.”

Several communities throughout the province held similar walks and rallies Monday.

Just Posted

Rescue boat theft marks third in 3 years for Agassiz-based SAR team

Eight-metre Spirit of Harrison rescue vessel was stolen Friday night, found Saturday morning

CRA scam the email edition targeted the Mounties in Chilliwack

Fraudsters claim to be from the Canada Revenue Agency but the CRA never operates this way

COLUMN: Student voices give me hope for the future

Student Caleb Pennington wanted to know why something was taken off the agenda. So he asked.

Chilliwack newcomers celebrate multicultural community

Local Immigration Partnership helping new Canadians and refugees settle into new life

VIDEO: Rubik’s Rumble a hit at Chilliwack middle school

Students fill gymnasium for first annual tournament focusing on popular puzzle toy

VIDEO: Gun enthusiasts fill Chilliwack venue for antique show

Collectors, proud owners and vendors took part in the event that approaches half a century in age

Federal government seeks public feedback on pedestrian safety

What safety measures do you think need to improved for pedestrians and cyclists?

4 facts to ring in St. Patrick’s Day

What do you really know about the Irish celebration?

Experts urging caution as rabbits die by the hundreds in B.C. city

Province of B.C. confirms more positive tests for rabbit haemorrhagic disease

Canucks snap scoreless streak but fall short in 5-3 loss to Sharks

Swiss forward Timo Meier nets two, including the game-winner, to lead San Jose

Search continues for 10-year-old Montreal boy missing since Monday

Montreal police said they are exploring every possibility in search for Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou

Airline passenger-rights bill claws back protections for travellers: Advocate

Bill C-49 would double tarmac delays, scrap compensation for flights affected by mechanical failures

Canadian research vessel to explore 19th Century shipwrecks

Commissioned this week in Victoria, the RV David Thompson is Parks Canada’s newest vessel

UPDATED: ‘New wave’ of anti-pipeline protests return to Trans Mountain facility

About 100 demonstrators with Protect the Inlet marched to the Burnaby terminal Saturday

Most Read