41,000 Canadian teachers vote to strike

March 1, 2012 at 1:45 PM
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VANCOUVER, British Columbia, March 1 (UPI) -- Some 41,000 Canadian school teachers in British Columbia have voted to stage a 3-day strike beginning Monday, their union announced Thursday.

Talks between the provincial government and the B.C. Teachers Federation broke down this week and a vote Wednesday showed 87 percent of the union members support a strike, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

The teacher's contract expired in June and the Labor Relations Board ruled this week the union can only stage a 3-day strike and walkout one day per week after that, the Sun News Network said.

Meanwhile, the provincial government introduced legislation Tuesday to prevent teacher strikes, but the bill won't be through the legislative process in time to prevent next week's job action, the CBC said.

Earlier this week, union President Susan Lambert told a news conference the dispute has been long in the making.

"Teachers are determined and united in their opposition to … the bullying tactics of a provincial government that has deliberately underfunded public education for a decade," she said.

The CBC said various student groups were planning their own protests Friday over the disruption the labor dispute was causing.

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