Today’s Poll

NTDA join colleagues across province in vote to take strike action

Nelson Daily Staff
By Nelson Daily Staff
March 5th, 2014

More than 300 teachers from the Nelson and District Teachers Association are in the process of casting ballots to vote on taking strike action.

The NDTA teachers join almost 41,000 teachers eligible to cast votes as the B.C. Teachers Federation looks to put pressure on the government as the two sides bargain a new contract.

“I would have to say that (our teachers) are disappointed (but not surprised) in the government decision to appeal the twice decided verdict,” said NDTA president Paul Boscariol when asked to assess the mood of the teachers during the three days of voting — March 4-6.

“There is a sense of resolve on the part of the teachers to get a fairly negotiated agreement with the government. “

“It should also be noted that some of the items on the table will in fact bring about improved educational opportunities for the children of our district and province; class size and composition,” Boscariol added.

The BCTF last week announced the vote. Results from the vote would be released Thursday evening by BCTF president Jim Iker.

If the vote passes, teachers, currently bargaining with the province, will have 90 days to take job action.

Iker said any initial job action would not include the standard interruptions in past contract negotiations, such as school closures, teachers boycotting extra curricular activities,or disruptions to parent-teacher communications. 

Boscariol said voting would take place for the 245 full time staff and 75 part time and TOC’s (teachers on call) at school sites on the Nelson side of the district, at the Nelson District Teachers’ Association office; at a general meeting in Creston and at the Creston Valley Teachers’ Association.

Strike vote is nothing new to the BCTF, locked in a battle for the past decade with the BC government.

But this flexing of muscles comes on the heels of the provincial government appealing a BC Supreme Court decision that said legislation stripping teachers of certain collective bargaining rights, including those having to do with class size and composition and staffing levels was unconstitutional.

In January, the court found the government had failed to comply with a previous ruling and fined it $2 Million for damages.

Teachers in the NDTA work in Kootenay Lake School District No. 8, which stretches from Yahk in the East Kootenay to Slocan City and Kaslo in the north.

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