Teacher job action starts April 23

Teachers will start job action April 23 but say it will be aimed at administration and not have an impact in the classroom.

This is stage 1. The B.C. Teachers’ Federation says teachers won’t be supervising students outside the classroom, such as during recess, and will not do administrative duties.

Teachers will prepare report cards and meet with parents.

“I will not speculate on how long stage one will last. It will depend entirely on what happens at the bargaining table,” said BCTF president Jim Iker.

(See the Langley School District letter to parents below)

The BCTF had sought a Labour Relations Board ruling on essential service levels.

The BCTF says there is no schedule for escalation to stage 2, but that it would depend on progress at the bargaining table.

The LRB would likely also determine the ground rules for stage 2, which is rotating strikes around the province, something the teachers have never done before.

Iker said last week that the teachers asked for the ruling because little progress had been made in negotiations between teachers and their employer.

The ruling may also address anything the government has brought to the LRB, which could include a request for teachers to pay the full cost of their benefits during any job action.

Peter Cameron, the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association’s chief negotiator asked for this in a letter to Iker, and said in a news conference that the move, estimated to cost $5 million a month, was required to put pressure on the teachers to settle. Iker called the move “outrageous” because the teachers would still be teaching in stage 1.

The major issues are salaries, the duration of the agreement, and class size and composition. The employer is offering a 10-year contract with a seven per cent wage increase over the first six years and indexing for the following four years. The teachers are asking for 13.5 per cent over a three-year contract.

– Files from the Vancouver Sun

For more from the Sun, click HERE

Langley School District letter to parents:

Dear Parent/Guardian,

 

As you are probably aware, the BC Teachers’ Federation served 72-hour strike notice today

and will commence Stage 1 strike action in BC schools on Wednesday, April 23, 2014.

 

The main issues in this contract negotiation will be settled at the provincial level between the

BCTF and the BC Public School Employers Association, which represents all public school

districts at the bargaining table.

 

In the Langley School District we are committed to providing a safe learning and working

environment, to fulfill our obligations under the School Act to teach the K-12 curriculum and to

preserve the respectful relationships essential to student success between all the education

partners in the community.

 

During Stage 1 strike action teachers are ‘not required’ to perform duties that have been

declared ‘non-essential’ by the Labour Relations Board (LRB).  The list includes the supervision

of students before and after school, at lunch hour and during recess.  Parents are encouraged

to access the BCPSEA website (www.bcpsea.bc.ca) where you will find the LRB ruling and

bargaining updates.  A link has also been added to the main page of the School District website

(www.sd35.bc.ca).

 

Most importantly, I want you to know that student safety will not be compromised.  The safety of

children remains a high priority of our school communities and supervision will be provided.  

Administrative and management personnel will provide before school, after school, recess and

lunch hour supervision as required.

 

During Stage 1 it is also important for you to know that teachers will be taking attendance,

marking and assessing students, completing report cards and communicating with parents.

 

Information updates about teacher job action, as it affects Langley schools will be posted on the

district website.  Your patience and understanding during this period is appreciated.  The Board

of Education and District Leadership Team of the Langley School District all hope that a

resolution can be achieved quickly.

 

Sincerely,

Suzanne Hoffman

Superintendent of Schools

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