Poll finds British Columbians want the province to invest in students' education and their teachers.
Vancouver (29 Aug. 2014) – A new Insights West poll commissioned by the British Columbia Federation of Labour (BCFED) shows that parents support B.C.’s teachers 2-to-1 in the current dispute with the B.C. Liberal Government, and agree with teachers on key issues at the heart of the ongoing negotiations.
“As we head into September, this poll clearly tells us that British Columbians are on side with BC’s teachers and what they are standing up for,” said Jim Sinclair, President of the B.C. Federation of Labour. “The public, especially parents, want the government to respect teachers and invest more in public education.”
Overwhelming support for real investment in education
The poll canvassed a number of issues related to the ongoing teachers’ strike, including increasing per-student funding to the national average, the government’s $40-a-day childcare rebate, impact of class size on learning, and support for mediation.
“British Columbians overwhelmingly support real investment in public education, with 84% of people agreeing that the government should at least meet the national average of per-student funding,” said Irene Lanzinger, Secretary Treasurer of the BCFED. “The public are not interested in rebate schemes, they are committed to our public education system and the teachers who make that system work for every child.”
“It is time the Premier listened to what British Columbians are calling for, what the BC Supreme Court has ordered her to do, and reinvest in our public education system.“
B.C. unions in solidarity with the teachers
The B.C. Federation of Labour, with the support of affiliated unions, including the British Columbia Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) and the Health Sciences Association of BC (HSABC/NUPGE), has also launched a radio ad in support for BC’s teachers and their effort to negotiate a fair deal and better learning conditions for kids.
A series of solidarity rallies will be held around the province starting next week, ending with a major rally in Vancouver on Friday, September 5, at Canada Place.
Poll highlights include:
The majority of residents support the teachers in this dispute (52%) including most women (58%) and people aged 18-to-34 (57%). Among parents, that number jumps 2-to-1 (60%) in support of teachers.
84% of British Columbians agree that the BC Government should increase per-student funding to be at the national average, and among people aged 18-34, that support jumps to 93%.
86% of British Columbians agree that if a deal cannot be reached by September 2, the outstanding issues should be sent to a mediator to settle the dispute.
79% of British Columbians agree that the BC Government should reduce class size and increase support for kids with special needs.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE