SURREY Schools’ Superintendent and CEO Jordan Tinney on Monday advised parents to make alternative arrangements for this week and “look to the very real possibility” that a resolution to the teachers’ dispute may take “much longer.”
This is Tinney’s message:
“It is with deep regret that we inform you that mediator Vince Ready has declared an impasse in the current dispute between the provincial government and the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation. We had hoped that with the pressure building toward September 2nd and with Mr. Ready’s involvement, a deal might be possible before the start of school, but clearly that is not the case. This announcement means we expect all schools in Surrey will again be behind picket lines on Tuesday, September 2nd and be closed as a result.
“We wished we were posting different news today and we acknowledge the incredible pressure the impasse puts on parents and our community. The routines of school are deeply rooted in people’s work lives and daily schedules and such, a disruption is significant to all concerned. The disruption is especially unsettling when there appears to be no end in sight. We have heard many questions from parents about the government putting in place legislation to end this dispute; however, the government has communicated it is not prepared to do that. Both parties have stated that a resolution needs to be found at the bargaining table and with Mr. Ready’s continued involvement, hopefully that will come sooner rather than later.
“Schools are far more than places of learning to our children and community. The places we call school are central to the health and well-being of our society. We look forward to when we can post positive news and whenever there is any suggestion of an impending settlement or a return to school we will certainly update parents immediately. At this point, we suggest parents make alternative arrangements for the coming week and look to the very real possibility that a resolution may take much longer.”
DIANNE Turner, Superintendent, Delta School District, in a letter to parents, students and the community, said:
I am writing this letter to provide you with updated information about school start-up next week. Unfortunately, school will not start on Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014.
Teachers will continue to be engaged in a full-strike on Tuesday, and this strike could potentially last throughout the entire week of September 2-5, 2014.
Over the weekend, mediator Vince Ready stepped away from the labour negotiations between the BC Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) and BC Teachers’ Federation (BCTF). He did so indicating the two sides are too far apart to mediate at this point. This means a deal has not yet been reached and schools will remain behind picket lines on Tuesday, with a strong likelihood the pickets will continue throughout the week.
School Operation during the full strike: With schools behind picket lines, there will be no instruction and no support staff / CUPE members on site. While school buildings will be open, only principals and vice-principals will be in the buildings. Since staff will not be available to provide adequate supervision or instruction, we ask parents to NOT send their children to school and to make alternative childcare arrangements as needed.
Strong Start Centres will also be closed and user groups will not be able to operate because we will not have staff in place to facilitate building use. We understand that pickets are not intended to impact daycares, so daycares located within Delta School District buildings may remain open; however, please directly contact your daycare operator to confirm whether or not they are open.
Transportation: School buses for students with special needs will not be running during the strike.
Further Information: The Delta School District will continue to inform parents of any changes or developments in the job action status through school websites, the district website at web.deltasd.bc.ca and via email. We ask parents to pay close attention to our website and to local news media for reports regarding the strike.
I appreciate the difficulty of this situation for our families and I want to thank all of our parents, students and staff for your patience throughout these uncertain times. I remain optimistic that a negotiated settlement will be reached soon so our students can get back to school.