Most parents are aware that negotiations between the BC Teacher's Federation and the provincial government are not progressing quickly. Last Thursday, the Teacher's Federation served 72 hour strike notice and announced that Phase 1 of their job action will begin on Wednesday, April 23rd. This phase of job action should have limited impact on students. Schools will remain open and teachers will continue to be available for instruction. What teachers won't be doing is attending meetings with administrators, or participating in regular playground supervision beyond levels mandated by an Essential Services Order.
For schools located in and close to Fort St John, this means administrators and district exempt staff will be supervising schools and playgrounds at breaks. Parents can assist administration by ensuring that they minimize the amount of time students spend at schools before and after the hours of instruction. Your assistance in having students arrive just prior to the commencement of classes and leave promptly after dismissal, is greatly appreciated. Rural schools and those located further from town will continue to be safely supervised with teachers assisting as per the terms of an Essential Service Order.
Negotiations between teachers and the province have a long and rocky history. Like all disputes this one too will be settled eventually. Your patience and proactive approach to the circumstances will help determine how well we all weather this challenging time. Job action is designed to increase pressure at the bargaining table. No doubt, as administrators pick up other duties deemed to be struck work, there will be an impact on the system. Some activities may need to be postponed, rescheduled or put off to another time. The ability to maintain a positive outlook may be increasingly challenged, but patience is always be appreciated. Any major announcements, changes or developments will be made known through local media, the district website and other forms of social media.
Regardless of where they stand in the current dispute, all SD 60 staff remain committed to providing our communities with the best education possible. Hopefully a fair and lasting settlement will be found soon, and we will all be able to concentrate on learning and education matters.