First stage of teacher strike action begins tomorrow

School is starting later and there's to be no recess

STUDENTS in the Coast Mountains School District will be starting school later beginning tomorrow and will be going without morning recess thanks to the first round of teacher strike action.

The impacts are the first of what could eventually lead to a full-scale teacher strike action by the BC Teachers’ Federation should its demands for wage increases not be met.

Union members voted in March to endorse the plan, with phase one including refusing communication with school managers, arriving no more than an hour before and leaving an hour after school hours, and refusing supervision of students outside class time. It does not include coaching, report card prep or parent teacher meetings.

“This decision has not been taken lightly,” read a release issued today by the Coast Mountains School District of the decision to start school later. “However without teachers to supervise during recess it is the solution that we have experienced to be the safest and least disruptive to student learning.”

Depending upon the school, the start times will be 10 or 15 minutes later than usual.

Teachers will not be supervising students before school, at recess, or after school, reads the release.

Those duties will be performed by non-union district staff, school principals and vice principals, and some teachers in more rural areas where there is no other district staff available.

Revised bus and bell schedules have been sent home with students.

The district is also advising that some school and grade changes planned for this fall will be delayed due to teachers no longer meeting with administration.

These include the Hazelton-Kitwanga grade reconfiguration committee, the school calendar long-term planning committee, and the Kitimat City High relocation transition team. Job action has delayed the planned move of Kitimat City High to Mount Elizabeth Secondary School until September 2015.

Phase two of the BCTF plan is rotating one-day walkouts in districts around the province. Phase three, a full-scale strike, would require a second vote by members to authorize.