Teachers across the province are ready for a strike vote. This week, teachers decided to hold a vote for job action Sept. 20 to 22. It's the worst kind of news for students, who are the real losers in a situation like this. There have been more than 30 negotiating sessions, yet neither the teachers nor the provincial government have been able to find any common ground. Teachers want a fair and reasonable wage increase and to discuss class-size limits, teacher-librarians and learning assistants. They seem like reasonable demands. So why no deal? Ask the B.C. Liberals. In an interview this week by Vancouver news outlets, education minister Shirley Bond was disappointed by the prospects of a strike vote. She said students should come first.
We agree with Bond on that point and so do teachers. The last thing teachers want is to hurt the students they work so hard to help educate. But when you are backed into a corner, you have to take drastic steps to fight your way out.
Teachers work extremely hard educating our youth.
It's time for the government to get back to the negotiating table, to set a new tone for negotiations, to find some common ground and to show teachers in this province some respect. They deserve to be treated fairly.
Farewell Nancy This week, Coast Reporter bids a fond farewell to staff writer Nancy Moote.
Nancy has worked for various newspapers on the Coast for 14 years. After two-plus years with Coast Reporter, she is hanging up her reporter's cap to spend more time with her family and pursue other challenges. We'd like to thank Nancy for her dedication to Coast Reporter, and we wish her well in the future. It's been a pleasure working with you, Nancy.
As Nancy moves on, we officially welcome Patricia Hall to our editorial team. Patricia has been working as a summer student the past three months. This week, she begins full-time as a staff writer.
We welcome Patricia and hope you too will wish her well in the community.