The school board is closing all public schools on the islands until the teachers’ strike is over, according to a notice from the board Thursday afternoon.
“..all schools will be closed for the duration of the strike. Furthermore, all bus transportation has been cancelled,” the notice says, adding that the school board “regrets this inconvenience and it is the sincere hope of the board that labour negotiations will be concluded and that normal school operations will resume as quickly as possible.”
Teachers on the islands and in the rest of the province will be walking the picket lines starting Friday morning, after they voted to walk out and stay out until their demands are met.
“We have served notice to the school district the teachers will not be at work from Friday onwards,” QC District Teachers’ Association president Duncan White told the Observer Thursday. “The teachers are making sure loose ends are wrapped up at the schools and preparing to go on picket line duty from Friday onwards,” he said.
Teachers are angry about a government-imposed contract settlement that gives them no wage increase. They voted over 90-percent province-wide on Wednesday to stage the illegal walkout starting Friday.
Teachers want an acceptable resolution to the issue of class size, bargaining rights restored, and more money.
There are about 65 teachers on the islands who will be on strike Friday. They wouldn’t have been at work anyway that day as it was to be a district-wide professional development day, now cancelled. And since Monday is a holiday, the strike won’t have much effect on the six schools on the islands until Tuesday morning.
Further information is available at www.sd50.bc.ca, by calling your local school principal or the school district information hotline, 250 559-2385.
This website will have more information on events affecting schools on the islands as the strike and the province’s response develops.
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