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Coquitlam teachers support strike action
Coquitlam teachers joined colleagues across the province in voting 90% in favour of strike action to back contract demands.
As a result, teachers will not be doing administrative duties when they return to school in September but the job action won't affect classroom teaching.
“This initial job action is designed to put pressure on the employer and the government, but to maintain regular classroom instruction for students and ongoing communication with parents,” Coquitlam Teachers Association president Teresa Grandinetti stated in a press release.
Local teachers were among more than 28,000 teachers who voted June 24-28.
Teachers' collective agreement ends in June and the BC Teachers' Federation had hoped to have a new one in place by the school year.
However, several issues stand in their way, including a provincial "net zero mandate" wage freeze, which the teachers oppose fearing their wage and benefit packages are falling behind those in other jurisdictions.
Teachers also want more local bargaining but in a recent interview, BC Public Schools Employers Association (BCPSEA) CEO Hugh Finlayson said the two sides should agree to disagree and move on to other issues.
Meanwhile, the teachers' union fears a worsening of class size and composition if the issue isn't addressed at the bargaining table. The BCTF is seeking seeking improvements to wages and benefits, as well as class size and composition, a reduction in case loads, more class preparation time and improved learning specialist ratios.
Local results for the strike vote are not available.