School districts mull options in labour dispute 0
School districts are feeling the crunch one month into the teach-only job action.
On Monday, the sentiment was loud and clear at a B.C. Public School Employers' Association meeting in Vancouver where school trustees discussed the job action's effects.
"There are 60 school districts and each one has its own unique circumstances," said BCPSEA chairwoman Melanie Joy. "There's overwhelming concern that there's a negative effect on students and the longer (job action) goes on, there will be more of an impact."
While nothing has been decided, options include forcing the B.C. Teachers' Federation to pay for benefits should a strike occur, implement pay cuts to reflect the actual amount of work completed, and finally, a lockout.
"(A lockout) seems, to me, to be irresponsible," said BCTF president Susan Lambert. "We designed the current job action very carefully not to affect students."
While a lockout is an option, it would still require approval by the labour board.
"Employers in British Columbia, in this case, the B.C. Public School Employers' Association, have a right to discuss labour tactics, as does the union. That's what BCPSEA is doing," Education Minister George Abbott said.