As you are aware, negotiations between the BC Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) and the BC Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) are ongoing. From March 4 – 6, 2014, teachers across the Province held a strike vote.
Unfortunately, the parties have not yet been able to negotiate a collective agreement and the BCTF has served notice that they will be on strike commencing Wednesday, April 23, 2014. Teachers will implement Phase 1 of their strike action.
During Phase 1, schools will remain open. The BCTF has stated that teachers will
“…continue to teach, write report cards, communicate with parents, and participate in their volunteer extracurricular activities.”
Teachers will not:
- undertake any mandated supervision of students outside of regularly scheduled classes, except as set out by an essential services order;
- attend any meetings with management other than meetings of the worksite joint Health and Safety Committee;
- provide principals or other administrators with any routine printed, written, or electronic communication;
- receive any printed, written, or electronic communication from an administrator;
- be at a worksite prior to one hour before commencement of instructional time and one hour after the end of instructional time, other than for pre-arranged voluntary activities.
We recognize that routines and planned opportunities for students may be impacted. However, I am confident that our teachers will continue to support students in good ways, and that they will continue to help to ensure that our students’ safety is not being compromised.
During this phase of strike action, administrators will be performing some of the duties that teachers will withdraw. We ask for your patience by recognizing that workloads will be increased substantially and administrators will be less able to respond to your requests.
I am confident that our teachers will continue to ensure that our schools are safe and that they are effective learning environments during this phase of strike action. In addition, principals, employees who are not members of the BCTF but who perform supervisory duties, and other administrative staff will be performing some of the duties withdrawn by teachers. As a result, our non-teaching staff members will need to adjust their workloads substantially.
At this point it is mostly the administrative operations and schedules and routines of district staff, school administrators and non-teaching staff that will be interrupted. We may find that other measures will need to be taken should this strike action continue for a length of time. Please watch closely for any information that may outline changes in school hours, schedules or routines.
For more information I urge you to check the following websites:
- British Columbia School Employers’ Association: www.bcpsea.bc.ca
- British Columbia Teachers’ Federation: www.bctf.ca
I encourage you to please be considering alternate childcare arrangements should this job action result in school closures during future phases.
We will endeavor to keep our website updated (www.sd8.bc.ca) and we will strive to keep you informed regarding this job action.
Superintendent of Schools