The teachers of British Columbia deserve a huge vote of appreciation for standing on the picket lines to defend public education and collective bargaining rights. The Communist Party of BC salutes their determination to resist the attacks and provocations of the Liberal government, and to win the support of parents, students, and all who value public education. This courageous struggle goes all the way back to the first Liberal term in office, and the budget slashing and union‑bashing launched by Gordon Campbell and Christy Clark. We pledge to continue our solidarity with teachers and all education workers in this fight, which has now entered a new stage following the ratification of a new six‑year collective agreement. The teachers will go back to classrooms with justifiable pride that unlike the government, they made the interests of students their priority in this dispute.
After months of government threats and bullying, the final negotiated settlement was reached thanks to the solidarity of community groups, parents and students, and by the financial and moral support and of trade unions across the country and even internationally. Having made huge sacrifices, many teachers were understandably reluctant to accept a deal which leaves them with just 7.25% pay increases over a period of eight years, and with only minor gains on the crucial issues of class size and composition. Continue reading »