SURREY - Teachers gathered outside Queen Elizabeth Secondary school Monday morning with signs that read: "schools closed due to lack of funding."
The demonstration was part of an ongoing campaign to win public support in the dispute between the B.C. Teachers' Federation and the Ministry of Education.
"Many of our members have actually come forward and volunteered to get involved in continuing to raise awareness about the negative impact of Bill 22 as well as consequences of underfunding," said Denise Moffatt, president of the Surrey Teachers' Association.
According to Moffatt, schools in Surrey have had a two-week spring break for the past three years after the Surrey school board said they would have to make cuts to teaching positions due to budget constraints.
While some teachers around the province have stepped up their protests in response to Bill 22, schools in Surrey are currently out of session and it is still unclear if Surrey teachers will take any further job action.
"There are, I believe, some Surrey schools that have had school votes and have made a decision to not participate in extracurricular activities but we haven't had a motion to that affect that passed at the local level," said Moffatt.
The B.C. Liberals moved to end the debate on Bill 22 late Monday, announcing it will be passed by Thursday afternoon.
If passed, Bill 22 will eliminate any job action by teachers for an imposed six-month "cooling off" period.
Delegates from the STA will be attending the BCTF's annual general meeting, which begins Saturday, to decide on their next course of action.
"Certainly there will be lots of discussion there about the next steps and what our response is and where teachers see that they can have some agency in shaping the direction of public education," said Moffatt.
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