News

Teachers' strike closes Parksville Qualicum Beach schools on Wednesday

District 69 schools will be behind picket lines tomorrow (May 28) as part of the B.C. Teachers’ Federation’s rotating one day strikes.

While rumours fly, there is no indication that classes will be affected by job action on other days, unless further action is taken by either side.

Mount Arrowsmith Teachers’ Association president Debbie Morran said they don’t take the action lightly.

“As teachers, we care deeply about our students and we empathize with parents who have to re-work their schedules,” she said in a news release. “Many of us are parents too, and that is one of the reasons we are taking this action.”

The rotating closures are part of a two-stage plan teachers approved in March, with an 89 per cent yes vote. Every district in the province will be on strike for one day this week, with this district shutting down Wednesday along with 13 other districts from Victoria and the Lower Mainland to the Okanagan and north.

School will reopen Thursday as usual.

While the first stage job action meant teachers are not attending meetings or supervising students outside of class, leading to some school sponsored events being cancelled, teachers are still able to take part in extracurricular activities which are considered voluntary.

MLA Michelle Stilwell and school district have not responded to calls for comment from The NEWS.

• On Monday, the B.C. government released what it called an information bulletin to The NEWS, listing websites with information from its side of the bargaining table.

"As the British Columbia Teachers' Federation (BCTF) begins rotating  school closures this week, the Ministry of Education would like to bring to  media's attention the following resources:

• Factsheets on class size, student achievement, class composition and education  funding are available at:  www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/ministries/education/factsheets/

• Information for parents, including questions and answers about the BCTF's strike  and the British Columbia Public School Employers Association's (BCPSEA) response  to the strike, is available at:  www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/downloads/Information_for_Parents_on_BCTF_Strike.pdf

• BCPSEA's most-recent outline of wage demands and bargaining positions is  available at: www.bcpsea.bc.ca/documents/publications/For%20the%20Record/No%202014-03%20REVISED%20MAY%2016%202014-For%20the%20Record%20March%2024%202014.pdf

• BCPSEA's letter to BCTF president Jim Iker, which confirms that teachers are still able to participate in extracurricular activities, can be found at: www.bcpsea.bc.ca/documents/teacher%20bargaining/Bargaining%20Bulletin/00-MM-Letter%20to%20BCTF%20President%20Jim%20Iker-May%2025%202014.pdf

• BCPSEA's consolidated questions and answers on the strike are available at: www.bcpsea.bc.ca/documents/teacher%20bargaining/Bargaining%20Bulletin/00-MR-Consolidated%20Q%20and%20A%20May%2024%202014%20-%20Copy.pdf

Other general information on teacher bargaining can be found on the Ministry of  Education newsroom at: www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/2014/02/teacher-bargaining-information.html or on BCPSEA's website at: http://www.bcpsea.bc.ca."

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