rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Support B.C. teachers' battle against unlawful education cuts

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

Please help rabble.ca support democratic movements (like this one!). Become a monthly supporter.

Statement by the Vancouver Ecosocialist Group, June 15, 2014

All progressive people and groups, especially trade union members and organizations, should be on our feet at picket lines and massive rallies supporting the British Columbia teachers' strike to win back protections for the quality education of our children.

Growing class sizes and slashed special needs services mean that all students face increased obstacles to learning right inside their classrooms. Vulnerable students with special needs, who should benefit from eliminated staff positions and other resources, suffer even more. Teachers are fighting to defend them.

Gordon Campbell's Liberal government illegally stripped negotiated language on class size and composition out of teachers' contracts over a decade ago. Despite two B.C. Supreme Court rulings declaring this unconstitutional, Christy Clark's Liberal government refuses to reinstate the language, alleging that it would be too costly. That cost, not teachers' reasonable salary demands, stalls a settlement in the current dispute.

But there's plenty of money available for oil and gas pipelines, coal mining and export expansion, fracking, a liquefied natural gas industry, and the Site C Dam. Help for our children is too expensive, but billion-dollar subsidies are available to fossil fuels, the richest industry in history -- and one that accelerates climate change and its multiplying disasters.

What a coincidence that teachers have been among the most vocal unions in opposing pipelines and other fossil fuel projects. Some have also included oil spills, climate change and fossil fuels in class work, because it is their job to teach youth to think critically about issues crucial to their futures.

Really, it's no coincidence that teachers and Victoria disagree on many important questions. The B.C. Teachers Federation is currently on the front line of the struggle against the international, neo-liberal agenda, which targets public education along with public healthcare and most other social spending, while promoting unbridled fossil fuel extraction and most other environmentally damaging profit-taking.

In recent days in Vancouver, serious, passionate gatherings have opposed tar sands pipelines, attacks on medicare, and the growing suppression of the right to dissent. In addition to large rallies backing teachers, people have met to support the Hupacasath First Nation's court case against an anti-democratic trade agreement.

All of these "concerns" and many more are, in fact, battlegrounds.  Corporate profiteers have created them as part of their neo-liberal strategy to destroy all political, legal, and institutional roadblocks to maximizing profits, but also to quash any effective opposition voices or groups (trade unions chief among them).

And they go even further by seeking to disintegrate any belief that social solidarity -- taking care of each other, sharing costs to improve our collective lives -- should be the basis of our society, rather than the dog-eat-dog, everyone-for-himself vision that makes it easier to squeeze profits from disconnected individuals.

Teachers stand for social solidarity, for quality education, for decent lives and vibrant communities, for a future based on eco-sanity. They are embroiled in this war, which we don’t want but cannot ignore. Stand with them on picket lines in your neighbourhood, in huge support rallies wherever they are. If they lose, we all lose.

Stand together! Support the teachers! Defend public education!


You can read background to the B.C. teachers' strike in the following feature on the website of Rank and File.ca: B.C. teachers' struggle: A reader.

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.