No breakthrough in school labour dispute; classes will not start on time.
Students will not be returning to class as planned, following the break-down of talks between the BC Teachers Federation and the Public School Employers Association. Mediator Vince Ready withdrew from meetings with the two sides Saturday night, declaring an impasse and saying they were too far apart for mediation. BCTF president Jim Iker is now calling for the premier to step in and get negotiations moving again.
In a notice to students and parents, Cowichan Valley District superintendent Joe Rhodes says, “If a settlement is reached, the expectation is that all public schools in the Cowichan Valley School District will open on Tuesday, September 2, 2014. If a settlement is not reached, the School District could be behind picket lines and no regular instruction would be available. If this is the case, I would ask that parents not send their children to school and encourage parents to make alternate childcare arrangements as needed. As student safety is our highest priority, if any students arrive at school while picket lines are in place, our school administrators will ensure that they are cared for until they can be safely returned to the care of a parent or guardian.”
Fresh updates will be posted on the SD79 website.
Nanaimo Ladysmith schools were scheduled to open September 3rd, which also seems unlikely now. In his latest update superintendent Dave Hutchinson says, “We face a unique situation in our school district, because there have been pickets at our District Office and many schools for most of the summer. Support staff have not been able to report for work and we have not been able to carry out the many tasks that are essential for a safe and orderly start-up of schools. For that reason, we will use the first day that teachers and support staff are back at work to plan and organize school opening.”
SD68 is also recommending parents check their website, for more updates.