Teachers begin second round of rotating strikes

Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - Public school teachers across the province started a second round of rotating strikes today, meaning no class for hundreds of thousands of students during this week.

The rotating strikes by more than 40,000 teachers will mean up to 150,000 students will be off school in various school districts for one day each either today, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday.

Students in the Central and North Okanagan School Districts (SD23 and SD83) are at home today.

Tomorrow, the strikes rotate to Vernon (SD22), to Kamloops-Thompson School District on Thursday and the Okanagan Skaha (SD67) teachers will strike on Friday.

The province countered with a partial lockout that included docking teachers' pay by 10 per cent in response to the first round of strikes that started on May 26.

Educators told the provincial labour board last week that employers have no authority to dock pay. The government argued teachers shouldn't expect full salary when they're no longer fulfilling all their duties. The board is expected to hand down a decision on Wednesday.

The education ministry says bargaining is set to resume on Tuesday. The sticking points in the dispute are pay, class size and classroom support.

The government has said it's offering a 7.3 per cent wage increase over six years while the teachers union says it wants 13.7 per cent over four years.

- with files from The Canadian Press

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