After more than a year of bargaining, the government is still refusing a wage increase, refusing smaller class sizes, refusing to provide more preparation time for teachers and will not address the need for more one on one support for students who need it. The teachers have had seven years of zero wage increases in 15 years and the government wants to add two more.
The Liberals' are driving down wages and the quality of public services in order to finance tax-cuts for the 1% and their corporations. Tax cuts now result in a loss of $3.5 billion in tax revenue every year.
The Liberals have announced a lock out. Teachers are prevented from helping students during breaks and lunch hours, and will have their pay docked by 10 per cent. We know from past confrontations with the Liberals that they will not stop there. In previous rounds of bargaining the Liberals have tried to legislate teachers back to work by imposing fines on the the union and on individual teachers.
The Liberals are determined to continue slashing wages and social spending and the teachers can not win this alone. We need to stand by their side. If we join the teachers in the fight against the Liberals we can all win higher wages and better funding for education.
This week call your MLA and school trustees and ask them what they are going to do to help the teachers win. But this will not be enough. Talk to your work mates, or class mates, about organizing solidarity actions. Organize a leafleting session to support the teachers, visit their picket lines and start talking now about solidarity strike action at your workplace or school.