About 200 teachers and supporters lined Luckakuck Way on Feb. 27 in an effort to raise awareness for their fight for public education. Teachers were also rallying outside various schools throughout the district.

Top Stories of 2012: Teachers join provincial protest

The labour unrest that greeted Chilliwack students when they returned to school in September, continued as they began the new year.

  • Dec. 27, 2012 9:00 a.m.

The labour unrest that greeted students when they returned to school in September, continued as they began the new year.

Chilliwack teachers, unhappy with the pace of negotiations with the BC Public School Employers Association, had already cut back on some administrative duties, like noon-hour supervision.

In February, teachers vowed to stop writing report cards, leaving that responsibility to school administrators.

They took their message to the streets, protesting the B.C. Liberal government’s introduction of Bill 22 – legislation, they said would strip the union of hard-won bargaining rights. More than 250 teachers lined Vedder Road in an effort to protest the government’s zero per cent wage offer, and seek public support for their work-to-rule campaign.

However, the dispute erupted into a full-blown strike in March.

Chilliwack teachers joined public educators from across the province in a three-day walk out. They said they were angered and insulted by legislation that extended the current teacher contract terms until June 2013, while imposing the government’s two-year “net zero” wage mandate and a new teacher evaluation and selection process.

That anger grew when it was learned that on the first day of the strike, Premier Christy Clark was in Chilliwack, visiting a private Christian school. That visit was postponed when teachers descended on the school to protest the legislation.

In April, the dispute escalated again when teachers voted to withdraw from all extracurricular activities. The move affected field trips, drama productions and athletic events.

Chilliwack Teachers’ Association president Katharin Midzain said the decision was a difficult one. However, “There are so many things in [Bill 22] that are just so potentially damaging. What will happen in classrooms is so long term that we need to take a stand and it will be a long one.”

But predictions that the labour dispute would drag on into September proved wrong. In June the two sides made the surprising announcement that they had reached a tentative agreement.

The contract was essentially a roll-over from the teachers’ last contract, which had expired a year earlier. Although there were some improvements to teacher benefits, there was no wage increases, or changes in class size and composition – both of which were contentious issues early on in negotiations.

The current contract now expires in June of 2013, setting up another round of negotiations.

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: NatureKids “critterscape” at Cheam Lake Wetlands

A group of children helped keep invasive species in check at the local park

Anti-pipeline protestors block Kinder Morgan tanker near Seattle

Protest was spurred on by the 28 anti-Kinder Morgan activists arrested in Burnaby

Some surprises in new book about B.C. labour movement

“On the Line” charts history of the union movement back to the 1800s

B.C. cyclist races to first win of the season in New Zealand

Casey Brown captures Enduro title by more than two minutes at Crankworx Rotorua

Horse found stuck in muddy field rescued in Maple Ridge

Maple Ridge firefighters set up a pulley system to drag the horse to solid ground

VIDEO: Two Maple Ridge contortionists have sights set on Cirque

The Pair competed at the Viva festival in Vegas and are now auditioning for spot on America’s Got Talent

Notorious Russian troll farm also took swipes at Canadian targets

Targets included oil infrastructure and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Cirque du Soleil aerialist dies after fall during Florida show

Longtime performer fell while performing in VOLTA

Canada earns second Paralympic Games silver in 20 years

Held 1-0 lead in para hockey game from 12:06 of first to dying seconds of third and lost in overtime

Most Read