Today, teachers across British Columbia are staging a one-day protest against a new contract imposed by the provincial government yesterday -- one that sides in essentially all respects with the employing school districts, and completely against the teachers' negotiating position. The MyBC news portal this morning reports in a story this morning that:
Premier Gordon Campbell accused the teacher federation is orchestrating a political campaign its members could do without.
"The vast majority of teachers will want to be in their classroom working with their kids," he said.
Perhaps he's getting his information only from his wife (who is a teacher), but she may not be reflecting the facts accurately. I know a number of mild-mannered, dedicated teachers (including my wife) who are profoundly angry about this imposed "settlement." They're going to protest today not because of pressure from their union, but because they feel disrespected, violated, hurt, and mad.
These are not the usual union organizers and militants whose job it is to sound angry. These are regular teachers, the ones who do "want to be in the classroom working with their kids" -- but who think that protesting today, even in defiance of a new, draconian law that claims they can't (despite a Labour Relations Board ruling saying they can), is more important.