SD63 teachers take the strike to Lana Popham’s doorstep

Saanich Teacher’s Association President Don Peterson (fifth from right, in green jacket) leads a group of protesters outside South Saanich MLA Lana Pophams office on Thursday, Nov. 14. (Sophie Heizer/News Staff)
Career Centre Coordinator Cammie Watson (left), Custodian Danny Tang (centre), and Educational Assistant Helen Casey (right) participate in ongoing job action in SD63 on Thursday, Nov. 14. (Sophie Heizer/News Staff)

Teachers rallied outside South Saanich MLA Lana Popham’s constituency office on Glanford Avenue on Thursday Nov. 14 in support of striking school support staff members of CUPE Local 441. They were greeted by honks of support from passing traffic along Glanford Ave. One man even rolled down his truck window, extended a raised thumb and shouted: “keep fighting the good fight.”

Support staff from School District 63 (SD63) have been on strike for nearly three weeks now in hopes of achieving pay parity with local districts such as Sooke and Victoria. They say it impacts educational quality in the District. Parents/guardians, students and teachers are now calling on provincial politicians to step in so they can get kids back into classrooms.

READ MORE: Sidney calls on provincial government to appoint mediator to resolve strike

Saanich Teacher’s Association President Don Peterson said Saanich school teachers support the CUPE job action. “We really want to get back to work as soon as we can,” Peterson said, “we feel the only way to do that is to put pressure on Government to make that happen, they need to be stepping in.”

Peterson said the Association had yet to hear any comment from local MLA Lana Popham on the strike so far. “This is happening in her riding, it’s important that she’s speaking out on behalf of the workers in her riding,” Peterson said.

READ ALSO: Parents plan second rally as CUPE 441 strike in SD63 stretches into third week

Popham released a statement shortly after 2:30 p.m. on Thursday afternoon. In the statement, Popham said she has spoken to many of her constituents regarding concerns about the ongoing job action in Saanich.

“Last week, and again yesterday, I had a phone meeting with James Taylor, VP of the Confederation of Parents Advisory Councils of Saanich and the Minister of Education,” Popham’s statement reads, “I have also had the chance to speak directly with members of CUPE and with teachers.”

She also stated she continues to be hopeful both parties come together to find a solution, adding she encourages “all sides to return to the bargaining table – because that’s where a solution will be found”.

The statement also said the B.C. provincial government has the “most generous” bargaining mandate in over a decade that allows employers and employees “make real improvements to wages and to working conditions”, adding 53 of 69 K-12 bargaining locals have ratified agreements in B.C.

To stay abreast of the latest developments, check the School District’s website at sd63.bc.ca.

sophie.heizer@saanichnews.com


@yrlocaljourno
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

More rowers come forward with complaints about coach, criticism of UVic

Barney Williams is accused of verbal abuse and harassment

Canada ranks among countries most impacted by severe weather

Canada has climbed from the 42nd spot to ninth on the Climate Risk Index

Brotherston sentenced to three years in prison for Sooke home invasion

Home invasion took place on Feb. 9 and left one man with face and head injuries

PHOTOS: West Shore students rally for 10,000 Tonight food drive

Students, community members gather, sort food donations

Last full moon of the decade peaks at 12:12 on 12/12

December full moon also referred to as the cold moon

B.C. plane crash victim identified; witnesses describe ‘explosion’

He was a flight instructor, charter pilot and owned an airstrip before leaving Alberta

Andrew Scheer to resign as Conservative leader

Decision comes after weeks of Conservative infighting following the October election

Raptors fans show Kawhi the love in his return to Toronto

Leonard receives championship ring, leads new club to win

Process to identify those killed in Gabriola plane crash could take days

Canadian flight museum suggests Alex Bahlsen of Mill Bay died in Tuesday’s crash

One man dead after car crash in Nanaimo

One person died, another was injured in the accident which happened Wednesday on Nanaimo Lakes Road

‘Honest mistake:’ RCMP says B.C. cannabis shop can keep image of legendary Mountie

Sam Steele wearing military, not RCMP uniform in image depicted in Jimmy’s Cannabis window

B.C. conservation officers put down fawn blinded by pellet gun on Vancouver Island

Young deer found near construction site in Hammond Bay area in Nanaimo, B.C.

Laid-off forest workers converge on B.C. legislature

Loggers call for action on strike, provincial stumpage

B.C. guide fined $2K in first conviction under new federal whale protection laws

Scott Babcock found guilty of approaching a North Pacific humpback whale at less than 100 metres

Most Read