Steelworkers Provide $2M Assistance and Community Support to BC Teachers

BURNABY, BC, Sept. 11 2014 /CNW/ - The United Steelworkers is providing $2 million in financial assistance to BC teachers, said Steelworkers Western Canada Director Stephen Hunt.

"Teachers have offered to negotiate, mediate — and even binding arbitration — yet the provincial government still refuses to come to the table," said Hunt. "It's clear the BC Liberals' only plan is to starve teachers off of picket lines.  Together we will ensure that won't happen.  When employers face our union they know Steelworkers will always last one day longer.  We're committed to ensure teachers and their union, the BC Teachers' Federation, can do the same."

Hunt also noted the importance of continued solidarity by Steelworker locals throughout the province. Whether in Prince George, Fernie, Trail, Kamloops or Courtney our local unions have been demonstrating support at picket lines and rallies, hosting barbeques, and providing additional financial assistance and food hampers. 

Hunt pledged continued support throughout the province.  "As much as the BC Liberal government would like to drive a wedge between public sector unions and private sector unions like ours, it's not going to happen. We all know what the government refuses to acknowledge: teachers' working conditions are our children's learning conditions."

Hunt noted that despite decades of hard bargaining by Steelworkers binding arbitration is a tool unions rarely agree to.  "The measure proposed by the BC Teachers' Federation is a clear sign of their commitment to our classrooms and the students they serve.  It's time for the BC Liberals to do the same and agree to binding arbitration."

"Public education matters to all of us, the teachers' fight is our fight," declared Hunt.

SOURCE: United Steelworkers (USW)

For further information: Stephen Hunt, USW Western Canada Director, 604-816-2554; Brad West, USW Communications, 604-754-1174, bwest@usw.ca

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