A small group of teachers and supporters gathered at Luckakuck Way and Vedder Road in Chilliwack on Wednesday afternoon.

Chilliwack teachers rally to ‘keep the issues alive’

Chilliwack teachers rallied on Wednesday for support in their fight for public education.

Even though the school year is coming to a close, teacher unrest is not.

About a dozen Chilliwack teachers rallied along Vedder Road and Luckakuck Way Wednesday afternoon to remind the community their fight for public education is not over.

It was one of several teacher rallies held across the province Wednesday.

“Just because summer vacation has arrived for students and most teachers, the issues haven’t gone away,” said Doug Fraser, teacher at Ford Mountain Correctional Centre, which falls within School District 33’s mandate.

“I’m out here to protest against Bill 22 and the lack of true mediation going on right now.”

For Sardis secondary foods teacher Doreen Van Stolk, her presence at the rally came down to safety. Holding a placard that read ‘Everyone’s a someone in a small class,’ Van Stolk described the state of her working environment.

“I have 31 students in a classroom that’s designed for 24,” she said. “Not only have I gone flying, I’ve had a student who tripped over a chair and cut his arm from his wrist to his elbow. These are big kids. There’s nowhere to move, nowhere to sit, nowhere to work … which lowers the quality of education.”

B.C. teachers have been in a battle with the government for the past year when their last contract expired in June, 2011. The teachers’ union has argued for an increase in wages, benefits and better working conditions, including smaller class size and composition, a reduction in case loads, more class preparation time and improved learning specialist ratios.

But the government has maintained all public sectors must accept a net-zero contract, which has resulted in a tumultuous standoff between the union and the education ministry.

Last September, the union entered phase one of job action, resulting in no teacher supervision during recess, and before and after school care; no teacher attendance in administrative meetings; and no teacher-written report cards. Job action escalated in March to a full-scale walkout that lasted three days.

Shortly after, the government passed Bill 22 legislation that forbade further strike action and imposed a six-month “cooling off” period, which completes in August.

One month later, the teachers’ union voted in favour of withdrawing from extracurricular activities.

“With the cooling off period, the issues haven’t been in the media as much as they were before,” said Chilliwack secondary school math teacher Ed Klettke. With this rally, “we want to keep [the issues] alive.”



Just Posted

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

Chilliwack’s Ben Hagkull leads Team B.C. into junior wheelchair b-ball nationals

The tournament starts today and continues through Sunday in Longueuil, Québec

VIDEO: Climber ‘catches the sunrise’ over city atop B.C. crane

Police warn ‘rooftopping’ poses risk to climber, public and first responders

Salmon Arm community cheers on Natalie Wilkie as she wins first gold medal

Local skier tops the podium in 7.5km race at the PyeongChang Paralympics

Experts: Society has a role in trying to prevent domestic violence

Experts are speaking out following the murder of a woman and her son in Ontario

Progress on fixing Phoenix pay system backlog could be short-lived: Ottawa

Feds have said they won’t try to recover money overpaid until all outstanding issues are fixed

Northern lights chasers in Canada discover new type named ‘Steve’

Phenomenon linked to a powerful current created by charged particles in Earth’s upper atmosphere

Delta South MLA calls high-speed rail study a ‘crazy announcement’

‘You’d be better off to move to Seattle’ than to travel to Vancouver from the Lower Mainland

Washington state backs B.C. in pipeline dispute

Governor Jay Inslee says he is ‘allied’ with the province on Trans Mountain expansion projection

SAY WHAT? Readers weigh in on high-speed rail to U.S.

B.C. to contribute $300,000 to a million-dollar business study on the proposed project

B.C.-based CEO charged with conspiring to sell unhackable phones to criminals

Vincent Ramos of Richmond, was arrested last week in Seattle in years-long undercover operation

Most Read