Teachers won't set up classrooms
As the school year approaches, no deal seems likely to end the schools strike. (REUTERS)
The latest letter from the BC Public School Employers’ Association has teachers outraged. According to an email the BC Teachers’ Federation sent to members, BCPSEA is lifting the lockout during the last weeks of summer vacation, expecting educators to prepare for the start of the school year and set up their classrooms on their own time.
However, come September the government may impose a lockout again if an agreement isn’t reached, barring teachers from doing school-related work after 4 p.m. and docking their pay.
In the email, the union reminds members the strike is still in full effect and no one is to enter worksites. BCTF executives along with 200 other union members will meet in Kamloops Friday to discuss strategy for what they call maximizing pressure to reach an agreement.
Meanwhile, a new website, bcparentinfo.ca, was rolled out by the province Monday. The site gives more details on the $40-a-day parent support from the province, along with bargaining updates and learning resources. Legal guardians of children in public schools under the age of 13 will be able to apply for the fund via a web form in September.
“It’s important for parents to look at all of the options available to them … on other potential learning opportunities,” says B.C. Minister of Education Peter Fassbender, adding the site was launched to give parents as much information as possible if the strike continues into the school year.
Both parties have agreed not to engage in public discussion after mediator Vince Ready set aside time this month to help with bargaining. Fassbender says the site has nothing to do with any details at the bargaining table.