BC Teachers deserve a Fair Deal

As spring turns to summer and the British Columbia Teacher’s Federation (BCTF) carries on without a new collective agreement, the Camosun College Student Society (CCSS) continues to stand in solidarity with BC teachers.

An attack on one branch of education is an attack on education as a whole, and postsecondary students have every right to be outraged at how BC teachers are being treated by the provincial government. Teachers have been taking job action since late May as a result of the government’s failure to address issues such as class sizes and unfair wage demands. The government has responded to this low-level action by a partial lockout and a 10 percent wage cut. Teachers in BC have been at the bargaining table with the provincial government for over a year.

picketBCTFShowing support for the teachers (photo provided). The CCSS finds it shameful how the BC government has behaved, being found by the Supreme Court of Canada to have unlawfully changed the BCTF collective agreement, as well as the systematic stripping of our educational systems, whether it be within the K-12 system or postsecondary education, which, historically, have been chronically under-funded and, by extension, undervalued.

The CCSS has shown support in several ways, including sending letters of support that express the importance of class size and composition, as well as a fair wage for teachers, who should be paid in such a way that reflects the valuable and foundational contribution they make to society.

The letters also express how the CCSS is disappointed in the provincial government’s lack of appropriate participation in the collective bargaining process. CCSS members have stood in solidarity with BC teachers at recent rallies, as well as on several school picket lines. The teachers we have met on the picket lines have been amazing, going above and beyond their duties as teachers, all in the name of quality education for their students.

The CCSS supports the BCTF in their pursuit for fairness and to improve support for students, and hopes that the collective agreement is negotiated freely and respectfully.

If you have any questions, or would like to get involved with the CCSS and our continuing actions in support of BC teachers, please email us at external@camosunstudent.org.