BCTF to join HEU picket lines

Bargaining bulletin

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Teachers, health care workers in the same privatization fight, says president Worboys

The British Columbia Teachers’ Federation, in a strong show of solidarity with striking health care workers, has asked its membership to support HEU by joining picket lines throughout the province and telling regional health authorities to stop contracting out.

During Monday’s rally at Vancouver General Hospital, BCTF president Neil Worboys told HEU members that the 42,000 public school teachers of BC are solidly behind them.

“We think that this particular government is attacking the very fabric of our society,” he said. “We believe that it’s every citizen’s right to have universal access to public education and universal access to publicly-funded health care in this province.”

Worboys said that BCTF members appreciate HEU’s fight against privatization, because the BC Liberal government is also attempting to privatize public schools and education.

“You have a right to bargain for terms and conditions under which you work,” said Worboys. “We say `Get back to the table, government and employers, and negotiate a fair settlement for the workers in the health care sector’.”

BCTF’s school staff alert released on Monday called on all members to contact their regional health authority and voice their opposition to privatization and contracting out.

“The BC Liberals stripped the Hospital Employees’ Union contract at the same time as they stripped our contract,” the bulletin said, encouraging members to send a copy to HEU of their e-mail messages to health authorities. It also urged members to stop by picket lines and offer support.

“Our members are there with you in your struggle,” Worboys told HEU strikers. “We hope to be on the picket lines with you across this province in the next little while, supporting you in the actions that you take. Hang in there—we’re with you.”