Teachers, Not Government, Supported by Half of British Columbians

Two thirds of residents think the current contract dispute should be sent to binding arbitration immediately.

Vancouver, BC – A large proportion of British Columbians continues to voice support for the teachers in their lingering contract dispute with the provincial administration after the first few days of a full-scale strike, a new Insights West poll conducted in partnership with CTV Vancouver has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, three-in-four residents (76%) are following the story “very closely” or “moderately closely.” This is consistent with the results of the first Insights West poll on this topic conducted earlier this month.

When asked which of the two sides they back at this point in the contract dispute, half of British Columbians (50%) support the BC Teacher’s Federation (BCTF), while just over a third (37%) side with the BC Government.

There is a profound gender gap on this issue. Women are more likely to support the BCTF (58% to 27%), while men are more likely to side with the provincial government (47% to 42%).

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Residents who voted for the BC Liberals in 2013 are decidedly on the side of the government (61%), while those who cast a ballot for the BC New Democratic Party (NDP) last year are more likely to support the BCTF (77%).

When the views of British Columbians who have children in public school are analyzed, the result is an even split, with 46% siding with the BCTF and 45% supporting the BC Government.

“In the first week of the full strike, the BCTF appears to be holding the upper hand over the BC Government, with a high level of strong support among all residents and parents who have kids in public school,” said Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs, at Insights West. “Conversely, support for the provincial government on this file is mostly moderate.”

There is one issue where gender and political allegiance do not play a significant role. Two thirds of British Columbians (65%) think the current contract dispute involving the BCTF and the BC Government should be sent to binding arbitration immediately, including large majorities of men (68%), women (62%), BC Liberal voters (also 68%) and BC NDP voters (66%).

About Insights West:

Insights West is a progressive, Western-based, full-service marketing research company. It exists to serve the market with insights-driven research solutions and interpretive analysis through leading-edge tools, normative databases, and senior-level expertise across a broad range of public and private sector organizations. Insights West is based in Vancouver and Calgary and has eleven full-time and five part-time employees.

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted from June 17 to June 19, 2014, among 603 British Columbians who are aged 18+ and are Your Insights panel members. YourInsights.ca is Insights West’s in-house access panel offering on-demand samples for both clients and research suppliers looking for Western Canadian populations. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. While statistical margins of error are arguably not applicable to online panels/online studies of this nature, we have assumed that the same margins of error apply as if it were a true unweighted random probability sample with a margin of error of +/- 4.0 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty. Click here to view the detailed data tabulations for this study.

For further information, please contact:

Mario Canseco
Vice President, Public Affairs, Insights West
778-929-0490
mariocanseco@insightswest.com

Photograph: W Silver