Teachers in British Columbia are near completing the second week of their rolling strikes to restore education funding to equitable levels. Central to their dispute is the issue of class size and composition (the numbers of children with special needs in classes and the staffing required to meet those needs). These are some of the worst in Canada: school funding per pupil is $1000 lower than the average for the country. The supreme court has found as recently as this January, that the state government's worsening of these conditions was unconstitutional yet still the governemt is maintaining its course of cutting school budgets.

The teachers, who have had their pay frozen for the last two years and are set to have it frozen for another two, have also been locked out of schools before and after school and at breaks and  dinner times, to give the government a pretext to cut their pay by 10%. The video by students above satirises that decision, which was clearly intended to provoke the teachers and alienate students who have had numerous extra-curricular activities cancelled as a result.

Students have suffered years of underfunding and are clearly worried about the detrimental effects on their education of the dispute. In an excellent , one of their teachers sets out the facts for the students. Despite the provocation and anti-teacher rhetoric from government, many, like those in the video above, have demonstrated support for teachers. They are holding a rally of students today, June 6th, in the capital Vancouver. 

The teachers have had considerable support from parents as well, who say they are having to raise money for school essential supplies like textbooks. As well as being unjust to parents, who are already paying taxes, such fundraising is inequitable since clearly schools in higher income areas will be able to raise more money. Moreover teachers are spending on average $700 - $800 a year out of their own pockets to equip their classrooms.

Although teachers are fighting for pay parity with other public sector workers as well, first and foremost this is a strike about providing a fair and equitable education for students in British Columbia, which is why it has garnered such support in the province. It is a clear and inspiring example of teachers, parents, students and communities standing up together for public education.