URGENT: Labour plans protest on Southern Vancouver Island

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Health unions will stay on the job to keep focus on classroom learning and working conditions

New: Scroll down for webcast of press conference announcing Monday's action in Victoria

B.C.’s labour movement announced this afternoon that it will expand its efforts to protest Bill 12 — the legislation that imposes a contract on the province’s teachers and robs students of improvements to learning conditions.

On Monday, October 17 many unionized workers on southern Vancouver Island will walk off the job to attend a rally at the legislature protesting Bill 12.

THIS JOB ACTION WILL NOT INCLUDE HEALTH CARE FACILITIES.

Although HEU members are urged to attend the Victoria rally — and any protest events planned in other communities — they should do so outside their scheduled hours of work.

HEU members in the Victoria area who provide services in the community social services sector should also report for work on Monday as scheduled.

“It is absolutely essential that we are disciplined in our support and that we do not give government a way to shift the focus from teachers and students by turning a spotlight on disruptions to patient, resident and client care,” says HEU secretary-business manager Judy Darcy.

Darcy had high praise for HEU members who have already taken the time to contact their MLA’s, hold protest events at lunch hours, call into radio talk shows, and make their voices heard “at such a critical moment in the struggle for better learning conditions in B.C.’s classrooms and a fair bargaining process for all workers.”

She says HEU’s leadership is meeting with other unions on an ongoing basis to coordinate a collective response to Bill 12.

“I urge government to honour the collective bargaining process and to use the next 48 hours to sit down with teachers and resolve the deteriorating working and learning conditions in our schools,” says Darcy.

Participants in Monday's rally will assemble in Victoria at Centennial square between 11:00 a.m. and 12:15 pm and then march down Government Street to the Legislature for a rally 1:30 p.m.

Watch a webcast of the BC Federation of Labour press conference announcing protest action in Victoria on Monday.

HEU members are asked to call the union’s hotline at 604-739-1515, or 1-800-663-5813 extension 1515; and to stay tuned to HEU’s website for further updates.