B.C. teachers have been on picket lines for three days and the prospects of signing a deal which would end the illegal walkout look slim, according to local B.C. Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) president Karen MacKay.
“Basically nothing much has happened. They’ve requested a meeting but that’s it,” MacKay said. “No progress was made over the weekend. The government needs to sit down and talk with the BCTF.”
Locally support has been strong from parents, the general public and other unions, MacKay said.
MacKay said the government and BCTF will be in court again Thursday to determine what fines will be imposed on the union.
BCTF members are ready to deal with the consequences of the decision, MacKay added.
“Our members knew when they voted that they would likely be involved in an illegal strike action,” she said.
So far things along the picket line have been peaceful, she added.
BCTF members and supporters rallied outside the office of Education Minister Shirley Bond in downtown Prince George, Tuesday afternoon, to protest the government’s stand on the issue.
On the picket line outside Duchess Park Secondary School teacher Nory Saltman said he was encouraged by the support from the commuanity.
“The public has been really supportive,” Saltman said. “They’ve been honking, waving or rolling down the window for an encouraging comment. I really haven’t heard anything really negative. The public seems to be with us.”
Bill Bird was also on the picket line, but he isn’t a teacher.
“I just had to show my support,” Bird said.
“I can’t go along with what this dictatorship in Victoria is doing.”
He plans to join picketers every other day as long as the strike lasts, he said.
Bird said he’s out there for the teachers, but also for his five school-age grandchildren.
“I think it’s very important for their future,” he said.