B.C. teachers will stage rotating strikes May 26-29, affecting every school in the province, British Columbia Teachers' Federation president Jim Iker announced this morning.

Under the rotating strike schedule, the province has been divided by the BCTF into four zones. Schools in every district of the province will be closed for one day each, over the four strike days. Classes will resume provincewide on Friday.

Iker said the strike is in response to the threat of wage rollbacks made last week.

“Last week, teachers were hopeful when they saw the government and BCPSEA [British Columbia Public School Employers' Association] put out an olive branch by backing off the unrealistic 10-year [contract] term,” said Iker on Tuesday morning.

Teacher's rally

During the last round of failed contract negotiations in 2012, striking teachers in staged a rally against back to work legislation at the legislature. (CBC)

“But the next day, hope that this government would start negotiating in good faith faded when the employer announced a series of threats around wage rollbacks, lockouts, and attempts to divide teachers, parents, and students."

On Friday, the government said it wanted to cut teachers' salaries by five per cent because of the limited job action teachers started last month. They are no longer attending meetings or supervising students outside of class, and limiting their non-class time to one hour before and after school.

Iker said there won't be a deal unless the government is prepared to put appropriate class size limits, class size composition guarantees and guaranteed staffing levels for specialist teachers into the contract.

"There are six days left before the first schools shut down." he said. "I encourage Christy Clark and Peter Fassbender to be in touch, move off their unreasonable demands, and empower BCPSEA to negotiate a fair deal.”

Fassbender, the education minister, responded to the teachers' announcement saying that he is very disappointed by the decision to strike.

He also denied that a promise to reduce teachers' pay during the first stage of job action was a threat, calling it a normal part of bargaining during labour negotiations.

"There were no threats to teachers," said Fassbender.

"The announcement today says that the BCTF feels that disrupting classrooms, affecting children and their families is going to help to reach a settlement."

The government promised the teachers a $1,200 bonus if a six-year contract was signed by the end of the school year in June.

BCTF rotating strike schedule

Monday, May 26  

  • #5 - Southeast Kootenay
  • #6 - Rocky Mountain
  • #28 - Quesnel
  • #39 - Vancouver
  • #40 - New Westminster
  • #48 - Sea to Sky
  • #49 - Central Coast
  • #59 - Peace River South
  • #62 - Sooke
  • #67 - Okanagan Skaha
  • #72 - Campbell River
  • #74 - Gold Trail
  • #75 - Mission
  • #78 - Fraser-Cascade
  • #82 - Coast Mountains
  • #85 - Vancouver Island North
  • #87 – Stikine

Tuesday, May 27 

  • #10 - Arrow Lakes.
  • #19 - Revelstoke.
  • #20 - Kootenay-Columbia.
  • #23 - Central Okanagan.
  • #27 - Cariboo-Chilcotin.
  • #35 - Langley.
  • #38 - Richmond.
  • #42 - Maple Ridge.
  • #52 - Prince Rupert.
  • #54 - Bulkley Valley.
  • #63 - Saanich.
  • #68 - Nanaimo.
  • #70 - Alberni.
  • #81 - Fort Nelson.
  • #83 - North Okanagan-Shuswap.

Wednesday, May 28 

  •  #8 - Kootenay Lake.
  •  #34 - Abbotsford.
  • #37 - Delta.
  • #43 - Coquitlam.
  • #47 - Powell River.
  • #50 - Haida Gwaii.
  • #51 - Boundary.
  • #53 - Okanagan Similkameen.
  • #60 - Peace River North.
  •  #61 - Greater Victoria.
  •  #69 - Qualicum.
  •  #73 - Kamloops Thompson.
  •  #84 - Vancouver Island West.
  •  #91 - Nechako Lakes.
  •  #92 - Nisga’a.

Thursday May, 29 

  •  #22 - Vernon.
  •  #33 - Chilliwack.
  •  #36 - Surrey.
  •  #41 - Burnaby.
  •  #44 - North Vancouver.
  •  #45 - West Vancouver.
  •  #46 - Sunshine Coast.
  •  #57 - Prince George.
  •  #58 - Nicola Similkameen.
  •  #64 - Gulf Islands.
  •  #71 - Comox.
  •  #79 - Cowichan Valley.

School District #93 (Conseil Scolaire Francophone) schools will be closed with others in their local communities throughout the week.

Clarifications

  • The rotating strike schedule in this story has been updated to reflect changes made by the BCTF.
    May 26, 2014 7:33 AM PT