From left: teachers Selena Jensen

Teachers stand pat on picket line

Strike still in session over summer for some teachers

While school is out of session, Victoria teachers will be holding the line at two locations this summer, although with minimal attendance.

Tara Baird, who teaches at Monterey middle school, has taken 22 four-hour shifts picketing outside Greater Victoria school district headquarters on Tolmie Street, along with four other teachers from 5:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Thanks to a $1.5 million donation from Ontario teachers, those who sign up to picket are given $50 per shift, a respite after not receiving any strike pay during the last two weeks of the school year.

“A lot of teachers have to take other jobs during the summer,” Baird said. “I’m just really lucky because my husband isn’t a teacher.”

Along with the school district headquarters, a two-person picket line is in place at Uplands elementary, which houses the Victoria International High School Program’s administrative offices.

The Tolmie and Uplands buildings are the only locations open during the summer in the school district, aside from the facilities department offices adjacent to Burnside elementary school, which teachers will not be picketing due to a court injunction.

“The point of a picket line is to disrupt the employers’ ability to do work as usual, and we can still do that during the summer,” said Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association vice-president Jason Gammon.

“We also need to keep the public informed on what’s going on… public support has been pretty positive so far.”

CUPE representative Kevin Rose said his union’s plan for the summer remains the same – if members see a picket line, they’ll respect it. He said that most CUPE workers across the province have been able to continue work as usual, though picketing “remains an issue in pockets.”

While numbers in Victoria have dwindled since the end of the school year, other school district’s such as Sooke are still seeing strong numbers.

Paul Waterlander, who teaches at Belmont secondary in Langford, said pickets are taking place at eight locations each day, with lines up to a dozen strong. He also said that a large protest event to be held in late August is currently in planning.

“We need to show people that teachers are committed to getting a good contract, and a good education system,” Waterlander said.

“We want school to start as normal on Sept. 2, and we want to be there teaching.”

Just Posted

Urbanists hope to see Victoria’s unused rooftops, parkades, parking lots become usable green space

Downtown Residents Association says city dwellers should have access to parks

For the love of fibre: fibre arts celebrated through demonstrations and market showcasing locally made items

Fibre arts celebrated through demonstrations and market showcasing locally made items

Cemetery tour explores Metchosin’s early history

A tour with grave consequences for those wishing to explore Metchosin’s history takes place Aug. 25

PHOTOS: Cool cats cruise in for the ninth annual Langford Show and Shine bash

The ninth annual event features classic and muscle cars and several prizes

PHOTOS: Playful pooches take over Bullen Park for free event Saturday, Sunday

Ninth annual Pet-A-Palooza featured a mud run, weiner dog races, puppy stampede and more

70 years of lifting: Canadian man, 85, could cinch weightlifting championship

The senior gym junkie is on track to win the World Masters Weightlifting championship

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

RCMP, search crews hunt for 4-year-old boy missing near Mackenzie

George went missing early Saturday afternoon

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

B.C. VIEWS: Log exports and my other errors so far in 2019

Plastic bags, legislature overspending turn out differently

Most Read