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BC Teachers Send Message - Negotiate!

by murray bush - flux photo

Teachers from Strathcona School in the Downtown Eastside took to the streets after class today.
Teachers from Strathcona School in the Downtown Eastside took to the streets after class today.
Teachers from Strathcona School in the Downtown Eastside took to the streets after class today.
Teachers from Strathcona School in the Downtown Eastside took to the streets after class today.
Teachers from Strathcona School in the Downtown Eastside took to the streets after class today.
Teachers from Strathcona School in the Downtown Eastside took to the streets after class today.
Teachers from Strathcona School in the Downtown Eastside took to the streets after class today.
Teachers from Strathcona School in the Downtown Eastside took to the streets after class today.
Teachers from Strathcona School in the Downtown Eastside took to the streets after class today.

VANCOUVER - Local public school teachers joined their colleagues across the province today in a day of action. Before and after classes they took to the streets with placards calling for the province to negotiate - not legislate. 

The teachers have also applied to the BC Labour Relations Board for strike action if the BC Liberals try to impose a contract. The two sides have been at the table for close to a year and the government refuses to negotiate any wage increase for teachers.  As well as long overdue wages,  teachers want smaller class sizes, more EAs and better services for special needs students. The provincial government wants to privatize the public system. It announced in its 2012 budget last week that school boards with monetary ``shortfalls``should start thinking about selling off their ``assets.``

Tomorrow and Wednesday teachers will vote on whether to escalate job action towards a full-scale strike. In 2005, the government forced a contract on teachers, who responded with an ``illegal`` walkout that ended up costing the union (BC Teachers Federation) big money in fines.

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