Teachers in Prince Rupert made their way through the snow to City Hall on Tuesday afternoon, protesting the government’s actions as it relates to the ongoing strike.
Holding signs that had slogans like “Teachers taking a stand” and “Students need more! Bill 22 give less!” and “Our kids deserve better”, union members marched through downtown chanting “Negotiate don’t legislate” and more before arriving at City Hall for speeches and a lengthy rally.
The event took place on the same day that between 4,000 and 5,000 union members marched on the B.C. legislature to demand that the government withdraw Bill 22, which will impose a cooling-off period and appoint a mediator to seek a settlement within the government’s “net zero” wage mandate for B.C.’s 41,000 teachers.
Education Minister George Abbott said the government will continue to debate Bill 22 without extending legislature hours, despite an opposition delaying tactic where all 34 NDP MLAs are speaking for the maximum time.
That could drag the debate into next week, where teachers are in a legal position to strike for one more day. If teachers continue their walkout Thursday and Friday in defiance of a Labour Relations Board ruling on essential services, the government would reassess its position, Abbott said.