The outcome of a vote by B.C. teachers on a full-scale strike next week was expected to be tallied last night (Tuesday), after The News’ deadline.
We anticipate the outcome will be in the affirmative, and the BC Teachers’ Federation will use it to exert “maximum pressure” on the provincial government.
Should Victoria decide not to cave in to the BCTF’s demands – which it cannot – and push come to shove, teachers could be out of their classrooms in the final weeks of the school year.
That would simply be unconscionable, and unethical.
Students across the province have already been negatively impacted by three weeks of rotating one-day teacher walkouts in every district.
While the government has guaranteed final exam marking and grades, kids undergoing final lessons, year-end review, and in some cases, getting extra help in attaining the best marks possible in final unit tests and exams – top academics and learning challenged alike – have missed vital instructional time.
This is certainly not “about the children,” as the BCTF insists.
This is about a prolonged, self-serving spitting contest between the provincial government and one of the most militant unions in B.C.
Staging a full-scale strike in the critical closing frames of a school year would be nothing more than deliberately detrimental for tens of thousands of public school children and teens who have already paid a price in this unacceptable battle.
There is nothing about jeopardizing the achievement and enjoyment of this year’s crop of students – especially the Grade 12 grads – that is justifiable in principle or practicality.
When this battle finally ends, these kids will be the losers.
And that is just wrong.