It is a possibility there may be more strike action in September.

Teachers strike expected to loom into September

In lieu of school, how does $40 a day sound? That’s the offer Finance Minister Mike de Jong put on the table for B.C. parents last month.

In lieu of school, how does $40 a day sound? That’s the offer Finance Minister Mike de Jong put on the table for B.C. parents last month, and it has generated plenty of controversy.

De Jong announced that the cash will be paid using savings made from not having to pay teachers during the strike. The program will cost the government about $12 million a day, which is about the same amount of money it costs to run the school system, said de Jong.

De Jong says parents will be able to claim their $40 per day per child through a website set up by the provincial government and may use the money however they see fit.

“There are costs that occur to families and parents when their children aren’t where they should be, which is in school,” said de Jong. “Parents can utilize that money to acquire tutoring for their children, they can use the money to explore other educational opportunities as they see fit and for some parents, it’ll be basic daycare.”

De Jong said the government would pay out the money quickly, possibly in early October, although he hoped the contingency plan wouldn’t be needed and a settlement would be forthcoming.

BCTF President Jim Iker called the move a ‘blatant and divisive attempt to prolong disruption in B.C. schools.’ Iker called on the government to resume negotiations in a meaningful manner.

That however, may be hard to accomplish. Thus far two mediators have rejected offers to become involved in the dispute, saying both sides are too far apart for mediation to succeed, and the only provincially-appointed facilitator has stepped down citing a lack of faith from the BCTF.

Local SD 49 Union Representative Coleen Fraser said she didn’t believe the government was being sincere in their $40 offer, stating it was more likely a move to goad teachers in the middle of the summer.

Fraser also said that she believes the government is more interested in splintering the union and dismantling public education, citing the millions of dollars the government is spending to appeal the two recent court rulings that have upheld the teachers’ position on contracts.

“The government isn’t sincere about coming to an agreement because their intent is to break the union so that there isn’t a strong voice for public education,” said Fraser. “What they would really like is for the BCTF to be out of the way.”

However, the BCTF isn’t out of the way and if past action is any indication, that won’t be happening any time soon. “It isn’t about our wages or benefits, it is about standing up for the kids in our classes, making sure that they get the services they need,” said Fraser. “A government that claims to put ‘Families First’ needs to be willing to actually invest in them!”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Bella Coola under another winter storm warning

Freezing rain is expected by this afternoon

‘Scariest boat ride of my life’: Passengers trapped by ice on rocky Nimpkish ferry sailing

The ferry docked in Bella Coola on Jan.12 coated in a thick layer of ice

Heiltsuk Nation calls probe into arrest of Indigenous man at bank ‘woefully inadequate’

Maxwell Johnson and his 12-year-old granddaughter had been at a Bank of Montreal branch in Vancouver on Dec. 20

Indigenous athletes invited to apply for Team BC

The Games will be the largest multi-sport event ever held in Halifax

B.C. VIEWS: Few clouds on Horgan’s horizon

Horgan’s biggest challenge in the remainder of his term will be to keep the economy humming along

Victoria family focuses on ‘letting go, enjoying time together’ after dad gets dementia

Walter Strauss has developed an interest in music and now takes line dancing classes

B.C. forest industry grasps for hope amid seven-month strike, shutdowns, changes

Some experts say this could be worse for forestry than the 2008 financial crisis

Northern B.C. RCMP investigating alleged sexual assault in lingerie store

One person was transported by ambulance to hospital following RCMP investigation at Sedaz

UBC, Iranian-Canadian community create memorial scholarship in honour of victims

The Jan. 8 crash killed 176 people, including 57 Canadians

Disrespectful that Horgan won’t meet during northern B.C. tour: hereditary chief

Na’moks said he was frustrated Horgan didn’t meet with the chiefs

Canucks extend home win streak to 8 with 4-1 triumph over Sharks

Victory lifts Vancouver into top spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

Most Read