Editorial – Students lose

Editorial from the Grand Forks Gazette editorial staff from April 23, 2014.

Once again teachers will be taking job action with the hopes of securing a new and improved contract.

It seems as if it was just a few months ago that teachers took to the streets with rotating pickets for the exact same purpose.

It was actually two years ago and the B.C. Teachers Federation (BCTF) still does not have a deal with the BCPSEA (B.C. Public School Employer’s Association), which negotiates on behalf of the provincial government.

At this point, the job action is “low level” stage one and should pose no disruption to students; however, certainly down the road, if negotiations between the two parties continue on their current path, parents can expect to see more, stronger job action.

That action would likely mean rotating pickets like in 2012. There could also be the question of whether extracurricular activities would be affected such as coaching, field trips and grad ceremonies.

While there is no reason for parents to be overly concerned at this point, it is something to keep an eye on.

Teachers want improvements to class size, class composition and specialist staffing as well as salary increases, while the government is staying firm in trying to keep the education budget down.

Nobody wants to see escalating job action, but when two sides are this far apart and have been for years, fair or not, children are the strongest bargaining chip.

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