Support Continues to Grow for Teachers

As teachers enter the fourth day of their political protest against Bill 12, they are heartened by the growing support in their communities, across Canada, and indeed internationally.
So far, 26 school boards across B.C. have passed motions urging the government to negotiate with teachers. Some are calling for Bill 12 to be rescinded, others want a return to local bargaining. One board even demanded the abolition of the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association as the bargaining agent for trustees. The boards working for a resolution are:
Vancouver, Surrey, Coquitlam, Greater Victoria, Central Okanagan, Burnaby, Vernon, New Westminster, Sunshine Coast, Powell River, Boundary, Prince Rupert, Sooke, Saanich, Quesnel, Gulf Islands, Cowichan, Alberni, Qualicum, Campbell River, Fraser Cascade, Fort Nelson, Southeast Kootenay, Revelstoke, Nicola-Similkameen, and Vancouver Island North.
“Teachers are so grateful to the many trustees who are taking a stand with us as we press for negotiated, not legislated, solutions,” said BCTF President Jinny Sims.
This morning, teachers and other supporters will stage demonstrations outside Canadian embassies in Mexico City and Guatemala City demanding that B.C. comply with the United Nations ruling against the essential services designation for schools. “We want to show the Canadian government that our colleagues in British Columbia are not alone,” said Mexican teacher Ana Maria Grajeda of the Initiative for Democratic Education in the Americas (IDEA).
Winston Carter, president of the Canadian Teachers’ Federation, visited Vancouver to speak at Tuesday’s rally and offer moral support to teachers on the picket lines Wednesday morning. Presidents of the other provincial and territorial teachers’ organizations have also written in support.
“Teachers across the world are appalled at the Canadian British Columbia provincial government for imposing a legislated contract on the province’s teachers, on World Teachers’ Day,” according to a statement on the web site of Education International, the federation representing more than 29 million teachers in 166 countries. (See http://www.ei-ie.org/en/news
/20051005c.htm)

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