Why did Jim Iker take the teachers to the streets of B.C.?
The teachers’ contract in Newfoundland and Labrador expired on August 31, 2012. The president of the Newfoundland and Labrador teachers association, Jim Dinn, told the membership that remember, contracts are always retroactive. He advised the membership that there would be no talk of strike action. Just keep on working, keep the paycheques coming and you will not lose a single dime because a new contract will be signed in due course.
It took 25 months to reach a contract settlement. The Newfoundland teachers voted to accept their new contract on September 25, 2014. They will now receive retroactive wage payments.
Here in B.C., we had Jim Iker of the B.C. Teachers’ Federation call for strike action. The teachers in B.C. accepted a contract that was 99 per cent of the original offer in June 2014, and will never regain what they lost in wages walking a picket line, not realizing like in Newfoundland that the main object was to keep on working while talks continued, regardless of the time frame.
The Newfoundland teachers can have a chuckle at their B.C. cousins, and the B.C. Teachers’ Federation has a lot of learning to do when it comes to contract talks.