61 percent oppose the imposition of a contract that freezes wages and increases class size
March 3, 2012
Vancouver, BC - A new poll released by the B.C. Federation of Labour shows a majority of British Columbians are on the side of teachers, and overwhelmingly support mediation or arbitration instead of government legislation.
"The BC Liberals' heavy-handed approach to labour relations is not winning over British Columbians, said B.C. Federation of Labour President Jim Sinclair. More importantly Bill 22 does nothing to improve our public education system and only worsens morale in our schools."
"The message from the public is clear; solutions to end this dispute can only be found at a bargaining table, not with legislative vandalism. The public respects teachers and expects the government to do the same," Sinclair added.
Key findings in the poll include:
• 61 percent oppose the imposition of a contract on teachers, particularly if the legislated contract includes a wage freeze and removes limits on class size and caps on the number of students with special needs per class;
• 51 percent are on the side of the teachers, while 34 percent are on the side of the government;
• 80 percent support for the appointment of an arbitrator, only 15 percent support legislation that imposes contract terms; and
• 61 percent say teachers should hold out for at a least a cost of living increase (only 30 percent believe teachers should accept no wage increase).
The phone survey of 401 British Columbians was conducted by Environics for the B.C. Federation of Labour on March 1. The survey is accurate to +/- 4.9%, at the 95% confidence level.