B.C. teachers continued to walk the picket line Wednesday, prompting the creation of a special food bank to help those struggling to make ends meet.
Teachers do not get paid when they walk out, and the B.C. Teachers' Federation's strike fund has dried up, so for many educators, the financial loss of job action is huge.
In response, the Surrey Teachers' Association is opening a food bank for its members this weekend.
The association also bought $75 gift cards to grocery stores, but it's not proving to be enough, according to CKNW.
“We bought approximately $5,000 worth of gift cards, those went in about a week, the beginning of this week we bought another $5,000 worth of gift cards for members, and we will be setting up our food bank at the end of this week," association president Jennifer Wadge told the news outlet.
Some of the more financially comfortable teachers are even donating their strike pay from earlier in the month to support other members.
“Even though this is the second day of the full-scale strike, teachers in Surrey have already lost three days of pay in the rotating strike as well as the 10 per cent that’s being deducted because of the employer lockout on days that teachers are working," Wadge told Global News.
Surrey Teachers' Association staff are taking deducted pay in solidarity with teachers, Global said, and using the extra money to buy the gift cards.
Supermarket cards also being handed out to members of the Vancouver Secondary Teachers' Association, CBC News reports.
"One of my colleagues, she's a single mum, she is a widow, she has a young son," association president Debbie Pawluk told the outlet.
"Her circumstances are very different than mine. I have grown children and a husband with a full-time job."
Wednesday marks the second day of the BCTF's full-scale walkout after an agreement with the province could not be made over the weekend.
Negotiations are currently stalled, with B.C. Education Minister Peter Fassbender saying Tuesday that they would resume only if the union came to the table with a fully costed proposal.
With files from The Canadian Press
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