British Columbia

B.C. teachers' strike fund running out ahead of vote

As B.C. teachers prepare to vote next week on whether to escalate their contract dispute to a full-scale strike, they do so knowing it might have a bigger than usual impact on their wallets.

Union has enough cash to finance a few more days of rotating strikes

If teachers go on a full strike, they won't get any strike pay 2:14

As B.C. teachers prepare to vote next week on whether to escalate their contract dispute to a full-scale strike, they do so knowing it might have a bigger than usual impact on their wallets.

The B.C. Teachers' Federation says its strike fund is running low, which means teachers choosing to walk the picket line could be doing so without strike pay.

On a picket line in East Vancouver on Friday morning, BCTF president Jim Iker would not say exactly how much cash the union had left, but he did say he didn't think the depleted strike fund would change the way teachers vote.

"Teachers are prepared to take a stand. I'm standing here with our teachers taking this stand for our students, and for us of course," said Iker.

The B.C. Teachers' Federation will vote next week on escalating the current rotating strike action to a full-scale strike. (CBC)

The BCTF has already scheduled a third week of rotating strikes, which will close every school in every district in B.C. for one day next week, starting on Tuesday.

Iker says he expects teachers will vote overwhelmingly on Monday and Tuesday for increased job action that could include a full-scale strike by June 16.

Currently striking teachers are paid $50 a day from the union fund, but the union says it only has enough money to finance a few more days of strike pay for teachers walking picket lines.

The union says 12 years of defending members' rights and court battles with the government have helped to deplete its strike fund.

In 2005 teachers walked off the job for two weeks to protest a government imposed contract, but because the strike was deemed illegal, the union was barred from paying its members.

Iker said he and the union staff are still getting paid, and they will decide at the time of the strike vote whether they will waive their pay.

Strike schedule for week 3

Monday, June 9

  • No rotating strike

Tuesday, June 10

  • 61 — Greater Victoria

Wednesday, June 11

  • 06—Rocky Mountain
  • 10—Arrow Lakes
  • 22—Vernon
  • 38—Richmond
  • 39—Vancouver
  • 40—New Westminster
  • 41—Burnaby
  • 44—North Vancouver
  • 45—West Vancouver
  • 46—Sunshine Coast
  • 48—Sea to Sky
  • 50—Haida Gwaii
  • 52—Prince Rupert
  • 54—Bulkley Valley
  • 58—Nicola Similkameen
  • 62—Sooke
  • 64—Gulf Islands
  • 67—Okanagan Skaha
  • 68—Nanaimo
  • 78—Fraser-Cascade
  • 79—Cowichan Valley
  • 92—Nisga’a

Thursday, June 12

  • 05—Southeast Kootenay
  • 20—Kootenay Columbia
  • 23—Central Okanagan
  • 27—Cariboo-Chilcotin
  • 28—Quesnel
  • 37—Delta
  • 42—Maple Ridge
  • 59—Peace River South
  • 69—Qualicum
  • 70—Alberni
  • 72—Campbell River
  • 74—Gold Trail
  • 75—Mission
  • 82—Coast Mountains
  • 83—North Okanagan-Shuswap
  • 84—Vancouver Island West
  • 87—Stikine
  • 91—Nechako Lakes

Friday, June 13

  • 08—Kootenay Lake
  • 19—Revelstoke
  • 33—Chilliwack
  • 34—Abbotsford
  • 35—Langley
  • 36—Surrey
  • 43—Coquitlam
  • 47—Powell River
  • 49—Central Coast
  • 51—Boundary
  • 53—South Okanagan-Similkameen
  • 57—Prince George
  • 60—Peace River North
  • 63—Saanich
  • 71—Comox
  • 73—Kamloops-Thompson
  • 81—Fort Nelson
  • 85—Vancouver Island North

With files from The Canadian Press


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