Chilliwack teachers rallying for support on Monday

Chilliwack teachers hope to raise awareness around their fight for public education on Monday with a rally along Vedder Road.

Chilliwack teachers are hitting the streets Monday to raise awareness around their fight for public education.

They’re not the only ones.

After months of job action and ongoing clashes with the provincial government, teachers across the province will be rallying for public support.

“We need to do something now to make more public awareness of the fact we’re still in this fight,” said Chilliwack Teachers’ Association president Katharin Midzain.

“We’ve tried really hard to bargain at the bargaining table and not in the media, and not in the public, and not use parents or students as pawns. But now, people need to know that public education is at a very critical point of dismantling.”

On Thursday, B.C. Education Minister George Abbott announced he was preparing legislation to end the dispute. The announcement followed a report by the government’s fact-finder Trevor Hughes who noted it “very unlikely” the BC Teachers’ Federation would reach a voluntary agreement with the BC School Employers’ Association.

However, Midzain said the public rally had been planned for weeks and was not a reaction to the report.

“In this budget [which was released Tuesday] the government has increased funding to private schools by 0.7 per cent, but public schools by only 0.4 per cent,” said Midzain. “That doesn’t even keep up with inflation, so really it’s a net decrease. They’re giving more funding to independent schools – what does that tell you about their priorities?”

[The way government funding to independent schools works is based on a classification scale that provides private schools with either 50 per cent less than what public schools receive per student or 65 per cent less.]

On Monday, teachers will be working a “bell to bell” day, where they will arrive at school just before the first bell and will leave school shortly after the last bell.

Any extracurricular activities that can be rescheduled, such as practices, rehearsals, and even games in some cases, will be rescheduled.

As well, during the lunch hour, teachers at all schools will be holding union meetings to get up-to-date information on what’s happening with negotiations.

“Things are changing every hour, and teachers need a chance to get together and get informed as to where we are at this moment,” said Midzain.

The meeting is also meant to be a visual display showing that teachers get full lunch hours too.

“The public needs to know that school teachers tend to be a quiet lot and we’re not willing to be contained anymore,” said Midzain.

Teachers will be gathering at Cottonwood Mall at 2:30 p.m on Monday and will be walking along Vedder Road and Luckakuck Road with signs until 5 or 6 p.m.

kbartel@theprogress.com

twitter.com/schoolscribe33

Just Posted

Kalyn Head, seen here on June 4, 2021, will be running 100 kilometres for her “birthday marathon” fundraiser on July 23. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack woman’s 100-km birthday marathon to benefit Special Olympics B.C.

Kalyn Head hopes run raises awareness, advocates for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities

Dancers from the Sts’ailes First Nation perform the eagle dance at a welcome banner dedication ceremony on Thursday, June 10. “Ey Swayel” is a Halq̓eméylem term translated as ‘a good day.’ (Adam Louis/Observer)
VIDEO: ‘A good day’ for Agassiz school as Sts’ailes welcome banner is dedicated

Banner hangs above the school’s entrance, welcoming students, staff and visitors

RCMP investigating June 15, 2021 crash. (Black Press file)
Chilliwack RCMP say crash into median led to impaired driver investigation

Chrysler 300 driver allegedly collided with tree on Spadina median in June 15 incident

UFV athletes were honoured for their strength and perseverance during the pandemic. (UFV photo)
Fraser Valley athletes recognized in year without sports

UFV Cascades athletes honoured for strength shown during the pandemic

Abbotsford council has given permission for Chilliwack to use the JAMES wastewater treatment plant for the disposal of trucked liquid waste until the end of September.
Chilliwack gets exemption to Abbotsford bylaw prohibiting liquid waste from other cities

Process in place until September while new facility under construction in Chilliwack

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

A search is underway for a 75-year-old fisherman who went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search continues for angler missing between Port Angeles and Victoria

Canadian, U.S. Coast Guard searching for 75-year-old man reported missing Thursday evening

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Most Read