LTA not optimistic on talks

Teachers at Brookswood Secondary wore black and teachers from schools around Langley were expected to demonstrate outside the Steelworkers union hall on Monday evening after a general meeting of Langley Teachers Association, said president Gail Chaddock-Costello.

The union meeting for teachers began at 4 p.m. Monday.

Teachers will vote this week on escalating their job action, in response to the government’s plan to impose a contract settlement.

A full strike is possible, even though teachers are forbidden by provincial law from walking off the job.

A big rally was also planned at the Cloverdale Agriplex Monday, with B.C. Teachers Federation president Susan Lambert the keynote speaker. Surrey is the largest B.C. school district and has the most members of any BCTF local.

A contingent of Langley teachers was going to the rally to show solidarity.

“Teachers’ morale is good. Nobody wants to get to the point where we walk out.

“Teachers want to teach and be in the classroom,” said Chaddock-Costello.

“But we have been told that the government is willing to go to mediation on everything that doesn’t have monetary value. . .  It doesn’t look good.”

Teachers are asking for a 15 per cent increase over three years.

On Monday, teachers arrived at school just before school started, and left school as soon as classes were finished, in order to attend the meetings.

Each school also hosted a union meeting at lunch time.

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