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Children’s entertainer Charlotte Diamond backs teachers in labour dispute – BC

Another children’s singer and songwriter is throwing her support behind the teachers in the ongoing labour dispute.

Award-winning musician Charlotte Diamond has been a children’s entertainer for decades.

She says before she delved into the music industry, she was a teacher for over 15 years and knows firsthand what teachers are going through.

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“I know the conditions that I worked under,” she says. “It is much more demanding for teachers. When you do not have enough support from school counsellors, librarians and specialist teachers, children fall by the wayside.”

69-year-old Diamond says her family is directly affected. Her grandson is in grade 2 and is out of school. Her son’s girlfriend is also a school counsellor and is on a picket line right now.

Diamond is in favour of binding arbitration to help resolve the dispute. On Monday, BC Teachers’ Federation president Jim Iker said union’s members would take the vote on the issue on Wednesday, but education minister Peter Fassbender has vehemently denied any possibility of binding arbitration to end the dispute.

Diamond says if that fails, she wants to see the two parties go back to working with someone like Vince Ready to resolve the crisis.

She says the education system is struggling and more funding is needed.

“I am appealing to the rest of the province to put pressure on the government, so that they will free up more funds to supply the needs of our teachers.”

Last month, another children’s entertainer, Raffi Cavoukian, also weighed in on the dispute.

Cavoukian fired back at B.C. Premier Christy Clark after she tweeted that a deal with the BCTF has to be affordable for taxpayers.

Cavoukian also tweeted to say “government is playing politics with B.C. kids’ basic right to education.” He says parents deserve an apology and a resolution to the strike.

Diamond says she is adding her voice to help get things moving along.

“It seems to me that if we do not speak out, things will not change, and we cannot leave this in an entrenched position. Something has to be done.”

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