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B.C. teachers' strike: Vote No says teacher Tara Ehrcke

09/17/2014 12:31 EDT | Updated 06/16/2017 00:56 EDT
A Victoria school teacher is urging her colleagues to vote No tomorrow and reject the tentative deal brokered to end the three-month B.C. teachers' strike.

The B.C. Teachers' Federation and the B.C. Public School Employers' Association signed off on the proposed settlement yesterday morning after four days of intensive talks at a Richmond hotel.

BCTF president Jim Iker urged B.C.'s 41,000 teachers to vote Yes to the deal yesterday afternoon.

But teacher Tara Ehrcke says the tentative agreement does little to alleviate the most pressing issue — overcrowded classes — and she wants teachers to vote No.

"The primary reason that teachers decided to take job action, to go out on strike, to be on the picket line as long as we have was to see significant and genuine gains for students in our classroom, and I don't think that this agreement is going to do that."

She says in an average-sized district like Victoria the new agreement will only mean about five to 10 new teachers, which breaks down to about one additional teacher for every five schools.

Blog post details concerns

Ehrcke laid out her concerns for the deal in a post on her popular blog Staffroom Confidential yesterday.

"Despite what I know was a herculean effort on the part of our bargaining team, I very much hope that B.C. teachers will vote No to the tentative agreement," she wrote.

"After five weeks of strike, and 12 years of legal battles, this is not the deal that will restore sanity to public education, and it is not a fair deal for teachers and students.

"Just as teachers in Saskatchewan rejected a deal to ensure a better outcome, I hope B.C. teachers will consider a No vote to let our team know we have to go back to the bargaining table."

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