Education workers in British Columbia continue to threaten to strike in mid-September, according to Bill Pegler - the CUPE B.C. K-12 co-ordinator. The workers have been getting more impatient day by day. According to the union, the government has failed so far to settle for any stance. This seems to be hard to believe as there are only a couple of options to choose from.
The union represents around 27,000 youth workers, education and clerical staff. It also represents custodians, trades, bus drivers. The negotiation between the B.C. Public School Employers' Association and the union was not successful earlier in August. Both parties are expected to come to a conclusion when they meet on Sept 4.
According to Mr Pegler, the government did not follow up with the promise of doing something for them. They had been hopeful that the government would keep the promise. The union seems to be planning to settle for specific packages that will help the ongoing negotiations move ahead.
Education workers are going to launch an advertising campaign on TV and radio on Monday. This advertising is targeted to harvest support which they may require before the upcoming negotiations take place.
Colin Pawson, the spokesman for CUPE B.C. K-12, informed that the members have been working on the same wages for the last 4 years. The union is definitely looking forward to funded settlements just like other employees on the public sector. Mr Pawson further said that the union is not going wait much further if the government shows no commitment in negotiating with them.
Meanwhile, one spokesman from the B.C. government talked to CBC News. He said that the government would be hoping to reach a settlement for avoiding substantial interruptions in school activities. While the union is also considerate enough to show their intention to avoid strike, if possible, one can surely hope for uninterrupted academic sessions. When both parties are ready to look after the benefit of the schools, they are likely to come to a settlement.
The union considers the strike as their last resort. If the union continues to bargain and make progress, they are not going for a strike. On the other hand, an indifferent attitude on the government's part may lead to a strike in mid-September.
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