BC Government Set to Pass Anti-Strike Legislation

The provincial Liberal government is set to pass Bill 22, which will impose a cooling period and make strike action by teachers illegal. Teachers walked out for three days last week in protest to failed negotiations. The new legislation will impose stiff fines on teachers, even for work to rule action they had engaged in throughout the year.

The NDP opposition attempted to make an amendment to the bill that would have imposed a third party mediator to help end the dispute, a strategy that the government has rejected. There are serious concerns that the government is using legislation to substitute for serious bargaining, since the bill also imposes significant contract terms, including raising class size caps for special need and regular students.

Despite the chaos caused by the three day strike, BC residents appear to sympathize more with the teachers than the government, a warning sign to Premier Clark as she faces the electorate next year.

For more on the conflict read here.