Local schools officials are asking for patience from the community as teachers start phase 1 of their job action Wednesday.
In an open letter Kootenay Lake District Superintendent Jeff Jones says the workloads of administrators will be increased substantially and they will be less able to respond to requests.
With the teacher job action effecting student supervision outside of regular classes it will be left to principals, vice-principals and other employees to perform those duties.
Some districts in BC plan to cancel recess and end the school day earlier.
***Open Letter To Community from SD8 Superintendent Jeff Jones***
To The SD8 (Kootenay Lake) Community
RE: Strike Action
As you are aware, negotiations between the BC Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) and the
BC Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) are ongoing. You may recall that
we advised you on February 25, 2014 that teachers across the Province held a strike
vote on March 4, 5 and 6.
Unfortunately, the parties have not yet been able to negotiate a collective agreement
and the BCTF has served notice that they will be on strike commencing Wednesday,
April 23, 2014. Teachers will implement Phase 1 of their strike action.
During Phase 1, schools will remain open. The BCTF has stated that teachers will
“…continue to teach, write report cards, communicate with parents, and participate in
their volunteer extracurricular activities.”
Teachers will not:
undertake any mandated supervision of students outside of regularly scheduled
classes, except as set out by an essential services order;
attend any meetings with management other than meetings of the worksite joint
Health and Safety Committee;
provide principals or other administrators with any routine printed, written, or
receive any printed, written, or electronic communication from an administrator;
be at a worksite prior to one hour before commencement of instructional time and
one hour after the end of instructional time, other than for pre-arranged voluntary
We recognize that routines and planned opportunities for students may be impacted.
However, I am confident that our Teachers will continue to support students in good
ways, and that they will continue to help to ensure that our students’ safety is not being
During this phase of strike action, administrators will be performing some of the duties
that teachers will withdraw. We ask for your patience by recognizing that workloads will
be increased substantially and administrators will be less able to respond to your
I am confident that our Teachers will continue to ensure that our schools are safe and
that they are effective learning environments during this phase of strike action. In
addition, Principals, employees who are not members of the BCTF but who perform
supervisory duties, and other administrative staff will be performing some of the duties
withdrawn by teachers. As a result, our non-teaching staff members will need to adjust
their workloads substantially.
At this point it is mostly the administrative operations and schedules and routines of
district staff, school administrators and non-teaching staff that will be interrupted. We
may find that other measures will need to be taken should this strike action continue for
a length of time. Please watch closely for any information that may outline changes in
school hours, schedules or routines.
For more information I urge you to check the following websites:
British Columbia School Employers’ Association: www.bcpsea.bc.ca
British Columbia Teachers’ Federation: www.bctf.ca
I encourage you to please be considering alternate childcare arrangements should this
job action result in school closures during future phases.
We will endeavor to keep our website updated (www.sd8.bc.ca) and we will strive to
keep you informed regarding this job action.
Superintendent of Schools/CEO