Teachers from across the province are debating a response to Bill 22, the Education Improvement Act, at the B.C. Teachers’ Federation’s annual general meeting.
Bill 22, introduced three weeks ago and passed into law Thursday, suspends strike action by teachers, appoints a mediator to facilitate bargaining and introduces a new $165-million Learning Improvement Fund to help teachers meet complex needs in their classrooms.
The AGM started Saturday and wraps up today (March 20), with a plan for a collective response to Bill 22 as one of the main items of business.
Derek DeGear, president of the Nanaimo District Teachers’ Association, said Monday morning he expects a plan for collective action will be decided by the roughly 700 delegates today (March 20), which he believes will then be taken back to locals for a vote.
“Right now we’re debating all of the options,” he said. “We haven’t reached a conclusion yet.”
Some options on the table include withdrawing from volunteer work, such as coaching school sports teams, refusing to participate in the province’s new B.C. Education Plan initiative or a full-scale walkout, said DeGear.