Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Teachers - let your leadership know it is time to hold the line

As teachers return to picket lines in BC there is considerable discussion as to strategy and tactics for the coming weeks. I argued in my last blog post that now is the time to hold the line. Should teachers return, the pressure on government would immediately evaporate and their program to eliminate class size provisions (regardless of any future court rulings - see proposal E80) would be the only deal on offer. Teachers need to be prepared to hold the line and take the financial pressure long enough to force government to bargain in good faith.

In twelve long years never have we been in this position - with two victorious court cases and our most solid strike vote in history. Thousands of parents, students and citizens are looking to us for leadership in winning back the learning conditions we know our students deserve. It is time for resolve and commitment, despite fears, uncertainty and financial hardship. We do not want to look back on this struggle and wish "if only we had...".

To that end, it is important that teachers let their leadership know their commitment to holding the line. I would urge teachers to write to the BCTF Executive Committee (emails here) expressing their commitment to our collective action, which we voted on in historic numbers.

It is always the responsibility of rank and file members to keep leadership held to account and informed of the membership's will. Particularly at times when there may be many pressures and stresses does the rank and file of a union need to organize and ensure that the union follows the path in everyone's collective interest. 

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