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Campbell River teachers conduct strike vote

Campbell River teachers will take part in a province-wide strike vote next week.

Teachers will be voting on “teach only” job action to begin Sept. 6, at the start of the new school year.

Voting will complete by June 28, and results are expected no later than the last day of school, June 30.

Negotiations for a new contract began

March 1 at both local and provincial bargaining tables but no progress has been made.

The “teach only” action would see teachers in class, teaching students, but not performing other administrative duties such as entering attendance in computer databases (though attendance would still be taken), meeting with administrators, and administering mandated tests.

Extracurricular activities would not be affected.

Teachers will continue to teach, assess students, and communicate with parents.

Teachers are seeking improvements to class size, class composition, preparation time and various local issues.

In addition, teachers are seeking a fair wage increase, to ensure B.C. teacher salaries are in line with Alberta, Ontario and western Canada.

“Quality teaching means ensuring the profession remains an attractive career opportunity,” said Neil Thompson, President of the Campbell River District Teachers’ Association.

“Uncompetitive salaries will not attract the best to teaching. Combined with high levels of stress, overwork and large class sizes, B.C. is hardly on a path to make our good public schools even better for families and students.”

In September, British Columbia teachers’ salaries will rank eighth in Canada, with an average B.C. teacher with 10 year’s experience earning over $21,000 less than a teacher in Alberta.

This fall, B.C. teachers are scheduled to receive a zero per cent wage settlement.

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