Teachers vow to fight Bill 22 0
Teachers are vowing to regroup this weekend and continue fighting Bill 22 as the controversial legislation passed into law Thursday.
"We will continue to resist the implications of Bill 22," said B.C. Teachers' Federation president Susan Lambert, who called the legislation a "sad day for teachers and teaching in B.C."
Her comments came two days before the BCTF's annual general meeting, where the bill will be a main topic of discussion among more than 700 teachers.
"We are determined to oppose this legislature and we are determined to maintain our advocacy for public education and for the students we teach," she said. "Teachers must respond."
Victoria has been debating the bill, which would instate a mediator and restrict teachers' job action, since late February. House leader Rich Coleman moved Monday to set a deadline on debates, resulting in the 43-31 vote.
"Now that Bill 22, the Education Improvement Act, has been passed by the legislature and a mediator will soon be appointed, it's time for everyone involved to pause and reflect on how we can work together to continue to improve our education system," said Education Minister George Abbott in a statement.
While Lambert wouldn't elaborate on what the BCTF's response would entail, she said options would be discussed at the AGM, including the possibility of a province-wide ban on teacher involvement in extracurricular activities.
Extracurriculars are entirely voluntary, she said, meaning teachers would not be in contravention of Bill 22. In turn, they wouldn't be subjected to its hefty fines for striking illegally.