Strike mandate doesn’t mean full walkout: Sooke teachers’ rep

Sooke District teachers take their turn in rotating strike Wednesday

As members of the Sooke Teachers Association picket schools in the Sooke district tomorrow, work continues on attempting to forge a deal between B.C. teachers and the province.

On Monday, Sooke Teachers Association president Ian Johnston pointed out that a yes mandate from the B.C. Teachers’ Federation membership does not necessarily mean a full-scale walkout is imminent.

“A strong ‘yes’ vote does not mean the BCTF would automatically go to a full withdrawal of services,” he said. “We have no interest in going out. I don’t think it’s good for students and it’s not good for parents.”

While Sooke School District teachers wound up their voting on Monday – most voted in the advance poll held Friday, when the SD62 was off on a rotating strike – the provincial strike vote was scheduled to be completed today, with the result to be announced around 9:30 p.m.

Johnston said the strike vote was held mainly to increase the pressure on the government in negotiations.

“It’s more the signal it sends to government; how strong is our resolve. That’s really what it’s all about,” he said.

A yes vote means the teachers can go on strike as early as June 16.

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