VERNON – Teachers in Vernon are back on the picket lines today.
Last night the BC Teachers Federation announced the result of a province-wide vote.
Teachers were asked if they would be willing to end the strike if conditions including binding arbitration were met. 99.4 per cent of union members who voted said yes.
鈥淚t鈥檚 wonderful to have some action being taken by the teachers and [it鈥檚] putting the ball back in the government鈥檚 court. It is their call. We are ready to go,鈥?says Vernon Secondary School teacher Laurie-Ann Lorge.
The local teachers’ association sees it as an overwhelming endorsement of seeking binding arbitration.
鈥淭hat’s a strong message to the government that teachers have provided a solution. They want to get back to work,鈥?says Vernon Teachers鈥?Association president Heather Malcolm.
鈥淚 think it鈥檚 clear teachers want to go back to work,鈥?adds Lorge.
Even before teachers voted, the province had said no to binding arbitration.
The government says the “best” way to resolve the labour dispute is at the negotiating table.
鈥淟et鈥檚 get at the table. I don’t want to see any third party or any mechanism that would prevent us from getting a proper fair negotiated settlement and getting kids back in school,鈥?says Education Minister Peter Fassbender.
After the vote results were released the minister put out his own statement, saying binding arbitration would lead to unacceptable tax increases.
鈥淚t’s a nice political sound bite when you say it’s going to cost taxpayers money because it puts the fear in everyone,鈥?says Lorge.