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No lockout planned in school districts as teacher job action continues

Nelson Daily Editor
By Nelson Daily Editor
October 17th, 2011

 A meeting in early October in Vancouver by the BC Public Schools Employers’ Association did not entertain the notion of a lockout of teachers at this point as contract negotiations have stalled.

The BC Teachers Federation is still locked in contract negotiations with the British Columbia School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA), the provincial bargaining agent for local boards of education. In fact, negotiations between the province and the BC Teacher’s Federation over Public Education Flexibility and Choice Act (Bill 28) have been suspended.   School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake) board member and chair of the BCPSEA, Mel Joy, said the BCTF has said the strike is designed to have minimal effect on students and relieve teachers of administrative duties so they can focus on teaching.  

“That position is disingenuous.  Many of the withdrawn duties are fundamental to the teacher–parent–student relationship, including teacher meetings with parents, administering and supervising tests, and assessment and report cards. Strikes, by their very nature, are intended to be disruptive; this strike is disruptive.”

  The BCPSEA called on the BCTF to refrain from escalating their strike and asked them to ensure that teachers will provide report cards at the upcoming report card period. Currently, teacher job action focuses on the withdrawal of many services normally provided by teachers, including preparation and distribution of formal report cards, and participation in parent-teacher interviews organized by school administration  “But report cards are a critical communication for parents and students to determine student progress and identify areas where assistance may be needed,” Joy said. “Students and parents rely on the valuable information contained in report cards to ensure students have the most successful school year possible.”  For those about the graduate Teachers are required by the Labour Relations Board to provide marks for Grade 12 students for the purposes of graduation, applications to post-secondary institutions, and scholarship applications.  At this time of year, parents are normally expecting to receive a formal report card regarding each student’s progress. This year, they will not receive a report card. SD8 said the teachers’ union has “encouraged” teachers to communicate with parents regarding student achievement. Some teachers do this through a phone call, some through e-mail, while others choose to write a note and send it home to parents.  “While we recognize that there will be inconsistencies regarding the manner in which parents receive information, we are confident that our teachers will ensure that parents and guardians are informed regarding student progress,” read an SD8 release.  In addition, parents may be expecting to be invited to parent-teacher interviews. However, the Labour Relations Board does not require teachers to participate in parent-teacher interviews organized by school administration. People can check the SD8 website frequently for updates regarding the strike action being taken at

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