By Kelsey Verboom
More than a week after Columbia Valley teachers joined their B.C. counterparts in a province-wide three-day strike, they will likely be ordered to end job action, preventing future strikes.
As of press time, B.C.s Liberal house leader Rich Coleman had announced that the government will speed up debate about Bill 22 in the legislature, likely passing it by Thursday, March 15th.
Bill 22 is the controversial legislation that will prevent teachers from striking or conducting lockouts, and will appoint a mediator who will have until August to reach an agreement with the B.C. Teachers Federation about the heated, ongoing labour dispute.
If the bill passes this week, teachers wont be allowed to strike for one day per week, which was permitted without Bill 22 in place.
Doug Murray, president of the Windermere Teachers Association, said the push to rush Bill 22 through the legislature undermines any sort of productive, respectful relationship between teachers and the government.
This whole scenario has been really well thought-out, basically to mine our contracts again, Mr. Murray said. Its a very headstrong government that isnt interested in anything other than what they want.
Essentially, the government has now created a master-slave relationship. People dont function well under that. If they impose this thing, how well do they think its going to run? As a teacher, when youre in the classroom you try to facilitate learning; you dont try to impose it. You try to inspire students to learn, and that goes for adults as well.
According to Mr. Murray, the government has the funding to make changes, but is choosing to allocate it elsewhere.
What has happened is not a way to motivate people locally, and its unfortunate for education.