Ucluelet teacher says class size, composition key strike issue

JACKIE CARMICHAEL Westerly News School’s out, but the strike was still on for West Coast teachers as of Sunday. Teachers staged a picket event at the school zone in Ucluelet on Thursday as the strike entered its third week.

Teacher Carey McPherson said a key issue in the walkout is class size/composition.

“This year in September, our Ucluelet Elementary School is looking at a possible class for grades 5-6-7, with 30 students – and eight of them are special needs. And one teacher,” McPherson said. “I have seen the plans, I have heard directly for the administration that that is the plan for September, right now,” she said. “The demand of the teachers is that we have a say in the class size and composition. Because we have the ruling of the Supreme Court of BC 12 years ago that says we have a say in that, and that was our contract with the government, and Christy Clark was the education minister at the time. They broke the contract, stripped that language from our collective agreement, and they’ve also done

$3 billion of cuts to education in 12 years,” McPherson said.

The striking teachers appreciate the support they have received from the community, she said.

“The general public has been very supportive in waving and honking. I’d like to say thank you for those that did,” McPherson said.

“We’re fighting for the kids,” she said.

McPherson said while the teachers haven’t had the cost of living increases given to other unions, that isn’t the top issue for the teachers.

“The cuts to education have to stop,” she said.

The Labour Relations Board has ordered school districts to provide by noon Wednesday a list of all summer school classes that should be designated an essential service.

The interim order, issued Friday, asks the districts to provide the B.C. Teachers’ Federation with a list of all Grade 10, 11 and 12 remedial courses that it intends to offer.

The order restricts enrolment in these courses to students who failed a course and have no choice but to repeat it in 2014 summer school. These are students who cannot take the failed course during the following school year, the order says.

The school districts must also provide the names of excluded personnel – principals, viceprincipals and other staff with a teaching certificate – who will be assigned to teach the courses, and an assessment of how many teachers will be needed. The school district must also provide the list of students enrolled in the courses.

-with files from the Times Colonist.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Pacific Rim Whale Festival’s Chowder Chow Down winners announced in Ucluelet

The event serves as the largest annual fundraiser for the Food Bank on the Edge.

VIDEO: Ucluelet extinguishes Tofino at Spout Ball Challenge

The popular Pacific Rim Whale Festival event was a spectacular success for firefighters and fans.

WATCH: Annual art show opens at Black Rock Resort in Ucluelet

Visitors encouraged to vote for their favourite work of art from March 16-25.

Tla-o-qui-aht artist carving out conversation in Ucluelet

“When you’re creating together and making work together, those conversations really come naturally.”

VIDEO: Ucluelet’s Wild Pacific Trail welcomes new feature

“It’s special. It’s something that people don’t see.”

VIDEO: Ucluelet extinguishes Tofino at Spout Ball Challenge

The popular Pacific Rim Whale Festival event was a spectacular success for firefighters and fans.

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Anti-pipeline protestors block Kinder Morgan tanker near Seattle

Protest was spurred on by the 28 anti-Kinder Morgan activists arrested in Burnaby

Some surprises in new book about B.C. labour movement

“On the Line” charts history of the union movement back to the 1800s

B.C. cyclist races to first win of the season in New Zealand

Casey Brown captures Enduro title by more than two minutes at Crankworx Rotorua

Notorious Russian troll farm also took swipes at Canadian targets

Targets included oil infrastructure and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Cirque du Soleil aerialist dies after fall during Florida show

Longtime performer fell while performing in VOLTA

Canada earns second Paralympic Games silver in 20 years

Held 1-0 lead in para hockey game from 12:06 of first to dying seconds of third and lost in overtime

LETTERS: Two views of oil pipeline protests

U.S. and other petroleum-rich countries aren’t cutting production

Most Read