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Teacher Newsmagazine Volume 18, Number 3, November/December 2005

BCTF mobilization protest action

Fall 2005

August 20–21 EC meeting
• Adopts Contingency Plan.

August 22 Special Representative Assembly
• Sets strike vote for September 20–22.
• Sets strike action plan:
– October 3: no supervision, etc.
– October 11: rotating strikes
– October 24: all-out strike.
• Considers legislative intervention response.
• Procedure—vote to end job action.

August 23–31 Summer Conference
• Jinny announces RA decisions.
• Core sessions on mobilization planning.
• Alfie Kohn takes on government achievement agenda.

August 31–September 1
• Meeting with Education Minister Shirley Bond.

September 6–8
• Back to school news conference highlights bargaining issues.
• BC Federation of Labour officers’ meeting—fully briefed on BCTF Action Plan.
• Local general meetings—EC visits.

September 12
• EC initiates program of legislative visits by members and PSAs.
• BCTF TV, radio, and print ads, including community papers, begins.

September 15
• BCPSEA holds news conference: declares talks at an impasse, calls for government intervention.

September 19
• BCTF/BCPSEA meet with Labour Minister Mike de Jong in Victoria, appointment of Rick Connolly as a facilitator/ factfinder to hold exploratory talks with the parties.
• Essential services hearings at LRB commence.

September 20–22
• Strike vote held.
• Result 88.5% vote YES.
• First meeting with Connolly

September 23–24
• September 23: Strike vote results announced publicly.
• September 23: LRB rules on first phase of job action—notice requires delay of first phase by one day to September 28.
• September 23: EC adopts salary proposal.
• September 24: Substantive meeting with Connolly—discuss two tracks to resolution on WLC and possible benefit/ LTD improvements in second year. Provide substantive case materials on issues.

September 27–October 1
• September 27: Meeting with Connolly—change in "atmosphere"—less optimistic on possibilities.
• September 28: BCTF job action commences.
• September 30: LRB–teachers must take attendance.
• September 30: Connolly reports to minister—voluntary agreement between the parties not possible.
• October 1: Meeting of local presidents—briefing/update.

October 3–4
• BCTF radio/newspaper ads.
• BCTF meet with Leader of the Opposition.
• Government tables Bill 12.
• BCFed officers meet.
• EC meets October 4. Adopts Action Plan to recommend to members.
• BCTF asks locals to organize local meetings October 5 and 6.

October 5–7
• Members vote on Action Plan—approve it by 90.5%.
• BC Federation of Labour officers vote to support BCTF—call upon labour councils to organize rallies across BC.
• BC Fed officers meet with Labour Minister de Jong.
• Education Minister Bond announces creation of Learning Round Table.
• LRB rules planned walkout by teachers an illegal strike.
• BCPSEA files motion in Supreme Court—hearing set for Sunday, October 9.

October 7
• Teachers around the province walk off the job—set up picket lines—supported by CUPE and other support staff unions.
• BCFed officers at Van Tech high—major media event.
• Regular conference calls with Labour Councils begin.
• Bill 12 passes in the House.
• Labour Minister announces Vince Ready Industrial Inquiry Commissioner.

October 8–10
• October 8: BCTF/BCFed meeting—discuss BCFed support—CUPE attends.
• October 9: Supreme Court—BCPSEA asks for contempt declaration and fine against BCTF. Justice Brown reserves judgment to October 13.
• October 10: BCFed officers meet—identify triggers for action:
– failure to bargain
– discipline/firings
– heavy fines

October 11
• Rick Connolly calls BCTF to meeting—exploratory.
• Roundtable. Ready IIC issues raised by Connolly.
• Labour Council organized rallies held in 19 centres around BC.
• Labour and public support for teachers is overwhelming.
• Canadian Teachers’ Federation and Washington Education Association weigh in.

October 12
• Second of Connolly meetings—going nowhere—nothing there.
• BCFed discuss Victoria shutdown for October 17. Objective: get BCTF a table over weekend.

October 13
• Justice Brown finds BCTF in contempt of court:
– imposes injunction on union expenditures to support contempt
– appoints monitor to review BCTF expenditures
– no strike pay

October 14
• Justice Brown clarifies that her order is not intended to monitor BCTF communications.
• BCFed takes over organization of October 17 Victoria rally.

October 16
• Jim Sinclair gets government to consider involvement of Vince Ready as a go-between.
• BCTF rejects government pre-condition that zero/zero mandate must apply.

October 17
• Massive rally in Victoria—whole Lower Island shut down. CUPE out on whole island.
• CTF announces "hardship fund."
• Government appoints special prosecutor.
• Crown counsel announce their refusal to prosecute teachers—conflict of interest.
• BCFed announces shutdown in the Kootenays for October 19.
• Ready terms of reference changed to include involvement in dispute.

October 18
• BCTF meets with Vince Ready to discuss issues in dispute—identifying our key issues.
• BCFed officers meet to discuss Wednesday action follow-up.
• CUPE members out in northern BC.
• Justice Brown reserves ruling on BCPSEA application on fine imposition to October 21.

October 19
• Labour shutdown in both East and West Kootenays. Rallies in the region.
• Further meeting with Ready. No progress evident. Ready says he will draft recommendations.
• EC decides to put our position out publicly next morning in a news conference.
• BCCPAC holds news conference.

October 20
• BCTF news conference announces our proposal for settlement.
• BCFed officers meet, decide to stand down and await recommendations.
• OTF/OSSTF ads run in major newspapers.
• CUPE out in Interior.
• BCTF meets with Ready to clarify recommendations.
• BCTF EC decides to accept recommendations with condition of letter on class size/composition.

October 21
• BCTF announces its conditional acceptance of Ready recommendations.
• Government announces its unconditional acceptance of Ready recommendations.
• Justice Brown fines BCTF $500,000.
• Government refuses letter requested by BCTF.
• BCTF EC recommends acceptance to members in local votes Saturday/Sunday.
• CUPE out in Lower Mainland—two large rallies.

October 22–23
• BCTF asks CUPE to stand down.
• Locals vote on EC recommendation in meetings around the province.
• Members vote yes by 77.7% to accept Ready recommendations and return to work October 24.

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