Don’t expect B.C. teachers to do retroactive report cards.
Members of the BC Teachers’ Federation will decline to make up report cards that were not issued prior to passage of Bill 22. That is the latest salvo in fight occurring between teachers and the government.
In response to Education Minister George Abbott’s comments last week that he intends to compel teachers to issue retroactive report cards, BCTF President Susan Lambert noted that, since September, teachers have been communicating regularly with parents through a variety of informal means such as phone calls, e-mails, notes to the home, etc.
“The minister knows full well that teachers have been communicating with parents to ensure they are aware of how their children are doing in class,” Lambert said.
The BCTF has been clear that Grade 12 final grades and marks required for graduation, post-secondary application, and scholarship purposes will be provided.
“Minister Abbott is ignoring a commonly accepted labour relations principle: struck work is simply not done. Clearly a requirement to make it up would render any strike ineffective. In this dispute, report cards would be considered struck work. It is unfortunate that Mr. Abbott is once again needlessly inflaming an already tense situation.”
Debbie Morran, president of the Mount Arrowsmith Teachers Association (MATA) agreed with Lambert and said the government’s actions are only making matters worse.
“I think Minister Abbot is making statements that are only going to inflame the situation and that are unfounded. We don’t believe that any students have been harmed through the lack of a report card and those are the terms he has used.”
She said in School District 69 (Qualicum) teachers have taken a conciliatory approach and said parents are more than welcome to contact teachers if they have any questions.
She added that the International Labour Organization (ILO) which rules on labour practices around the world has ruled that the Liberal government has violated international labour organization standards on six different occasions.
She said what the government is doing is unprecedented and that will be determined by the labour relations board which has already set precedence in this situation.