In BC, Canada, #BackToSchool likely WON’T Happen – BC Teachers Strike

by Susan

For the month of August, here at we’ve been excited about Back-to-School.

We’ve hosted Back-to-School giveaways, blog post roundups, photo shoots and a shopping guide.

We’ve been sharing the excitement of kids throughout North America as they return to school on various days throughout the month.

But we haven’t mentioned one huge snag for Janice, myself, our kids and all the families living in BC, Canada.

Our kids are likely NOT going back to school any time soon.

No Back to School for BC Students

While many of our readers and American friends don’t realize it, Janice and I are actually Canadian. We live in British Columbia where the teachers have been on strike since 2 weeks before the scheduled end of school in June.

We try and stay out of politics and not discuss divisive issues here at 5 Minutes for Mom because our mission and site tagline is “Bringing Moms Together”. That’s why we haven’t even mentioned the strike.

We feel for the teachers and understand their requests. We know they’re fighting for what’s best for our kids. We all want teachers to be well compensated, class sizes to be as small as possible and awesome support for special needs.

So my frustration is not to say I don’t want those needs met.

But I want BC kids to go back to school!

It’s so devastating for students and teachers to not be able to welcome a new school year with enthusiasm and excitement for an upcoming year of learning.

With both sides being miles from even mediation, I fear this dispute will last far too long and spoil any hope for our kids to have a successful September.

So for all of my friends outside of BC, please be thankful that your child actually gets to experience “Back-to-School” this year.

And for my friends here in BC, we share your pain and frustration. We all want our kids to go back to school.

Petition for BC Parents

A group of parents started the petition “Minister of Education Peter Fassbender & BCTF President Jim Iker: Resolve the teachers’ dispute and get our students back in the classroom” and need your help to get it off the ground.

bc teachers strike petition

If you’re a BC parent, will you take 30 seconds to sign it right now? Click here to sign the petition.

I was not involved in creating this petition, but I’ve signed it. Here’s a message from the parents would made it…

Why This Petition Is So Important

We are asking mothers, fathers, and other family members or caregivers of BC public school children to sign our petition to send a strong message to the BC Liberal Government and the BCTF to end the teachers’ dispute.

This petition gives a voice to BC parents to end the dispute and ensure our children begin the school year by September 2nd. By this date, our children will have been out of the classroom for approximately 75 days, already a significant disruption to their learning. The uncertainty surrounding the beginning of the school year has raised frustration and anxiety in parents concerned about their children’s education, finding reliable childcare, and their own ability to work. The per-diem promised by the government will not cover the cost of a day of childcare and does not consider the struggle many parents will face finding this care.

Temporary Education Support

BC Parents with children 12 or under can register for Temporary Education Support for $40 per day during the BC Teachers Strike. Click Here to Register Now.

While, this temporary support won’t solve the complex issues caused by this strike, it will be some help for parents of young children who need to pay for child care. You can share the link to the form with your friends, by retweeting the tweet below.


Written by Susan Carraretto, co-founder of 5 Minutes for Mom
Talk with me: @5minutesformom and
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Email Author    |    Website About Susan

Susan Carraretto and her identical twin, Janice Croze, created 5 Minutes for Mom in 2006. Susan loves all social media, but her top addiction these days is Pinterest. She recently published a children's book titled "The Pest Detectives" which you can download now in digital format for free.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dawn August 31, 2014 at 9:36 am

Wow, Susan, I had no idea this was happening for you guys. What a hardship this must be for so many families, and the not knowing must be so frustrating. Here’s wishing for swift resolution.


2 Susan August 31, 2014 at 6:33 pm

Thanks Dawn.

Yes, it is such a frustration… and an impossible situation for many families. The uncertainty and trying to plan for childcare for working parents is so difficult.

I am fortunate that I work from home so I have flexibility. But I am worried about my children missing out on learning. A couple weeks at the end of the last school year was manageable, but missing out on September is not.


3 Dawn August 31, 2014 at 7:00 pm

Wow- this has been going on a long time! I hope a resolution is on the horizon that gets the kids back in school!


4 LeeAnn G Taylor {The Mosaic Life} August 31, 2014 at 9:31 pm

I’m so sorry you all are having to experience this.

When I was a child, Louisiana teachers went on strike and I have vivid memories of riding a bus to school and seeing the teachers out front with their signs in the picket line. Our parents volunteered as substitute teachers so we could at least go to school, but our schooling that year was definitely disrupted.

Really hope a resolution is found quickly!


5 Susan September 1, 2014 at 9:50 pm

Yes, it is so frustrating.

Wow, that’s amazing that parents were allowed to be volunteer teachers… I can’t imagine that happening these days. You were fortunate… but these strikes are always upsetting for everyone involved.


6 Lisa Marie September 3, 2014 at 3:20 pm

I know so many parents in BC are trying to figure out what to do about their children’s education right now. As a homeschooler (and supporter of Canadian education) I put together this list of ideas to help keep learning while the teachers are on strike. Hopefully it can help some stressed out parents.


7 Susan September 3, 2014 at 8:08 pm

Thanks Lisa Marie… I will take a look!


8 Jennifer Donovan September 4, 2014 at 8:05 am

I can’t believe it’s gone on for so long. It seems that someone has got to give in at some point.


9 bcparent September 6, 2014 at 6:09 pm

I get behind any movement which get’s these two warring children (BCTF & PROVINCE GOV’T) out from behind their barricades of rhetoric and posturing which is costing my child his education.
I would offer that we tell these two groups to head back to the table while the teachers and our children head back to the classroom by Sept 15th; otherwise we, the parents and those truly responsible for their education will bring them en masse to the schools; form groups and teach them ourselves. Should the doors be open to us without the teachers we will then accept as written what the gov’t presently has offered. If the teachers are their but we are not allowed entry, we will accept as presently offered by the teachers their proposals and force the PUBLIC doors to do as the PUBLIC demands. That should get both sides racing to the table!


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