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B.C. teachers lockout announced

By Michael Mui, 24 Hours Vancouver

 The B.C. Public School Employers’ Association has announced it would cut teachers’ wages by 10% if the B.C. Teachers Union proceeds with rotating strikes next week and said a lockout will be in effect on June 25 to 27.

In a letter dated Wednesday, BCSPEA public administrator Michael Marchbank wrote the lockout would not affect students in Kindergarten to Grade 7 on June 25 and 26, but would affect all students on June 27.
Wages would be reduced by 5% regardless, he said, to reflect the first stage of job action where teachers refused some administrative duties. 
“Moreover, bargaining unit employees are directed not to work during recess or lunch hours, except as specifically required by the essential services order. They are also directed not to attend their workplace earlier than 45 minutes before the commencement of their instructional time or later than 45 minutes after the end of their instructional time,” Marchbank said. 
He said restoring class sizes and composition would be too expensive and cost government $2 billion each year by the fourth year of implementation. 
Marchbank also said the union is asking for salary and benefit increases totaling $646 million, or 21.5% over four years. 
He added lockouts would not take place if an agreement is made by the lockout dates, and a settlement offer of $1,200 per full-time bargaining employee would be made if an agreement is ratified by the end of June. 

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