Teachers facing partial lockout

SD20 asks parents to keep students home during Tuesday’s job action

Though local schools will be open Tuesday, School District 20 is asking parents to keep their children home as there will be no staff available for supervising the grounds.

Kootenay Columbia Teachers Union teachers are set to walk away from their duties that day and onto the picket line as part of a rotating strike throughout the province.

“While schools will be physically open there will be no instruction as we anticipate no teachers to be present,” said superintendent of schools Greg Luterbach. “We also anticipate that no support staff will cross the teachers’ picket lines so we will only likely have the principal at each school.”

The closures are part of a two-stage strike plan voted on by teachers in March when 89 per cent of the 29,300 teachers who cast ballots voted in favour as a means to apply pressure to the government during contract negotiations.

In the latest development, school districts are formalizing their plan to cut teacher pay for strike action with a stop-work order that takes effect 45 minutes before and after school hours and during lunch and recess breaks.

The partial lockout, effective Monday, mirrors the B.C. Teachers’ Federation’s first stage of strike action, refusing student supervision outside classroom hours and communication with management.

The lockout is an attempt to bolster the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association case for cutting salaries by 10 per cent in response to the strike action.

BCTF president Jim Iker told a news conference Thursday the stop-work order will disrupt after-hours activities, including graduation  ceremonies, which the union had sought to protect with the early stages of strike action.

“No more calls to parents, no more emails home, it all comes to an end because of the lockout,” Iker said.

BCPSEA administrator Michael Marchbank notified the union of the lockout terms in a letter delivered Wednesday. The letter also confirmed that if no agreement is reached, secondary school teachers will be locked out June 25 and 26, and all BCTF members will be locked out June 27, the last day of the school year for most schools.

Locally, provincial exams are scheduled from June 18-26, according to the SD20 schedule found on the district website. Prior to making a comment, Luterbach told the Trail Times SD20 is still trying to get a handle on what the news means and how it will impact the Kootenay-Columbia.

Iker said the year-end lockout may disrupt year-end report cards and marking of provincial exams for graduating students.

BCPSEA says the BCTF’s wage and benefit demands add up to 21.5 per cent over four years.

“This is almost four times the rate of increase in the current settlements of the other major public sector unions,” Marchbank’s letter states. “On top of this, the BCTF wants to restore class size and composition formulae that are enormously expensive – in the order of $2 billion annually by year four – despite the fact that educational outcomes have significantly improved since the formulae were removed.”

The union is appealing the pay cut to the Labour Relations Board. Iker said it’s unfair to cut the pay of teachers who are still on the job while other districts take part in one-day strikes.

The union says rotating strikes could continue after next week if the B.C. government doesn’t put more money on the table.

With files from Black Press reporter Tom Fletcher

Just Posted

Police seek witnesses to fatal weekend accident

Wayne Kernachan was struck by a vehicle while responding to an accident

Pedestrian killed on Highway 22 Saturday evening

Police say 51-year-old man died after being hit by car

UPDATE: DriveBC says highway re-opened after accident

Highway 22 closed for seven hours on Saturday

Forestry workers set to begin job action in Kootenays

Operations in Castlegar, Cranbrook, Galloway, Elko, Radium, Golden may see job action this week.

Métis Flag flies in Trail on Louis Riel Day

Area students, officials and public attend flag raising at Trail City Hall

Six students arrested, charged in sex assault probe at Toronto all-boys school

The school’s principal, Greg Reeves, described the video of the alleged sexual assault as ‘horrific’

Laine scores 3 as Jets double Canucks 6-3

Injury-riddled Vancouver side drops sixth in a row

Deportation averted for Putin critic who feared return to Russia

Elena Musikhina, a vocal critic of the Kremlin, has been granted a two-year visitor’s permit in Canada

B.C. to allow Uber-style ride hailing services to operate in late 2019

Fee will be applied to fund options for disabled people

Auditor general takes aim at Liberals’ fighter-jet plan

Suditor general Michael Ferguson is about to release a new report on Canada’s attempts to buy new fighter jets

B.C. couple converts ambulance into a traveling home

The Revelstoke couple plan on touring B.C. ski hills then driving to Mexico

Cyclist defecates, throws own poop at car following B.C. crash

Man defecates in the street before throwing it at a driver locked in her vehicle

Jamie Koe, other curlers kicked out of bonspiel for being too drunk

‘You don’t kick around other players’ bags, it’s disrespectful and we expect better of our players’

Homicide victim found under B.C. bridge identified as Hells Angels member

Chad John Wilson was one of four men arrested in Spain in 2013 on allegations of smuggling cocaine.

Most Read