More rotating school strikes expected, recess cancelled effective Friday

  • May. 28, 2014 6:00 p.m.

School was out in School District 50 Wednesday and, with BCTF and provincial negotiations giving way to pressure tactics, it’s likely the first of several rotating strikes. “It is my belief there will be more in the coming weeks. After hearing Jim Iker on the radio (recently), he sounded pretty positive of it,” said SD 50 Superintendent Angus Wilson. It is expected teachers will conduct two weeks of rotating strikes before voting on conducting a full strike. As a counter to the teachers’ rotating strikes, the BC government began a partial lock-out Monday, meaning teachers will receive a 10 percent pay reduction. The BCTF has ordered teachers to physically leave school buildings during recess and lunch. “There’s no need for this,” said Mr. Wilson, “They don’t need to leave the buildings. They are still free to do extra-curricular activities. They are still covered by workers’ compensation.” The series of strikes follow BCTF’s first phase of job action over a month ago, in which teachers stopped supervising recesses. Since that time, SD 50 exempt staff and principals have been supervising students at recess on top of their usual workload. The school board met Tuesday night (May 27) and decided that recess be cancelled, effective Friday May 30, much as other districts have done in the past weeks. Amid the chaos, parents can be assured they and their children can continue meeting with and contacting teachers. In addition, extra-curricular activities should not be impacted because they don’t fall into the category of paid work. Graduation ceremonies, school trips, and sports will go on as usual on Haida Gwaii.

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