By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: March. 24, 2012
A new Ipsos Reid poll shows that BC teachers have a slight public opinion advantage over the provincial government in the debate over fair and reasonable debate in contract dispute.
Currently, 37 per cent of British Columbians think B.C. teachers (represented by BCTF) have been more fair and reasonable in these contract negotiations (15 per cent “strongly”, and 22 per cent “somewhat”).
These are the results of the poll conducted in early March.
Three in ten residents (30 per cent) think the provincial government (represented by BCPSEA) has been more fair and reasonable in these contract negotiations, the poll finds.
Teachers might have a slight advantage when it comes to public support over fair and reasonable negotiations, but British Columbians generally oppose a full-scale strike action by teachers.
They are also split on whether the provincial government should legislate an end to the dispute.
Nearly two-thirds of British Columbians oppose a full-scale strike by the province’s teachers.
A full-scale strike is opposed by 62 per cent of respondents, while 32 per cent oppose it.
But a slim majority also oppose the B.C. government’s legislation imposing a contract on the teachers.
Whether they would support teachers taking a full-scale strike action
When asked if they would support, “The provincial government legislating an end to the contract dispute and imposing a contract on teachers,” 43 per cent supported the idea, while 52 per cent opposed it.
Meanwhile, in a press conference held on The B.C. Teachers’ Federation has warned the Liberal government to radically change its approach to public education or face more protests by teachers, including the possibility of a provincewide shutdown of public schools, the Vancouver Sun reported.
“Our members are angry,” union president Susan Lambert told a news conference a day after she was re-elected to head the organization for another year.
She said delegates who attended the BCTF’s annual general meeting this week drafted a “bold plan of action” that will be presented to 41,000 teachers for a vote April 17-18.
The BCTF also plans to launch a legal challenge to Bill 22, said Lambert, who was re-elected Tuesday for her third term as president of the 41,000-member federation.
Teachers will also decide in April whether to begin a province-wide withdrawal of all voluntary extra-curricular activities.
“This government has repeatedly demonstrated such profound disrespect for the work we do that members felt they had to take a stand,” Lambert said.