We've had an awful lot of honks, Coquitlam Teachers prez say
As the provincial education minister met with the BCTF president today (Wednesday) to hammer out a resolution to the teachers' strike, about 75 educators held signs and waved at supporters this morning at a rally organized by the Coquitlam Teachers' Association.
"We've had an awful lot of honks," CTA president Charley King told The Tri-City News at the demonstration outside Hillcrest middle school in Coquitlam, where another rally is planned for Thursday morning.
King said he has heard this summer from many teachers and parents of school-aged kids who say they're feeling the heat because of the labour action and want classes to resume next Tuesday, the scheduled start of the new academic year.
King said the CTA decided to have protests rather than picket lines this week as it didn't want to present a hostile situation during the impasse. And he said many community leaders — including some Tri-City MLAs, city councillors and school trustees — are behind the teachers to call for a speedy settlement.
Among those cheering on the teachers this morning were SD43 Coquitlam trustees Brian Robinson and Gerri Wallis.
King said if the negotiations continue past Labour Day, the CTA will consider staging more protests around the district.
Meanwhile, the BC Federation of Labour threw its political weight behind the teachers this week and Teresa Rezansoff, president of the BC School Trustees Association, issued an open letter noting that trustees around the province want the schools "open and ready for students on Sept. 2."
"We have called on the government to immediately put strike savings back into schools to help address concerns regarding class size and composition," Rezansoff wrote. "We have told the ministers of education and finance that the money for the proposed $40-a-day subsidy for parents would be better spent on students in schools."