Coquitlam teachers Tessa Voykin and Diether Malakoff and Lake Cowichan Teachers’ Association President Chriss Rolls came to Victoria on Nov. 23, 2019 to protest with about 300 other BCTF members. (Devon Bidal/Saanich News)

Chilliwack teachers plan rally at school board meeting Tuesday

Mini-rally follows on BCTF so-called ‘#Redforbced’ gathering at BC NDP convention Saturday

Following up on a rally outside the BC NDP convention on Saturday, local teachers plan to rally outside the Chilliwack Board of Education meeting Tuesday evening.

Using the social media hashtag #Redforbced, and wearing red shirts, hundreds of members of the B.C. Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) rallied outside the BC NDP Convention in Victoria. The teachers, all dressed in red, lined the street to hand out leaflets, wave their signs and talk with residents and convention attendees.

• READ MORE: B.C. Teachers’ Federation protests outside BC NDP Convention

B.C. teachers are in strained negotiations with the the province over a new funding model being proposed, class size and composition, and working conditions that that they say are resulting in a provincewide teacher shortage.

Members of the BCTF local, the Chilliwack Teachers’ Association (CTA), plan a similar mini-rally before Tuesday’s Chilliwack Board of Education meeting,

BCTF spokesperson Rich Overgaard confirmed members of the CTA will be at the board office from 6 to 7 p.m.

“These mini rallies have been spreading in teacher locals over the last few weeks as part of the #RedforBCED campaign,” Overgaard said Monday via email.

Overgaard said some teacher locals are gathering for rallies at MLA offices (if those MLAs are NDP) while others are choosing school board offices.

“All of it is part of our push to get trustees and MLAs talking about the commitments they made to teachers and students before elections that now contrast to the positions taken by the employer at the provincial bargaining table,” he said.

On Nov. 8, the BCTF rejected the recommendations put forth by a mediator in the dispute between the teachers and the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA).

The BCTF’s dispute is just one of several labour issues by public-sector unions in the province right now.

• READ MORE: B.C. government grappling with multiple labour disputes by public-sector unions

– with files from Devon Bidal, Saanich News


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