AREA PUBLIC schools will be open next week despite a planned March 5-7 teachers’s strike but parents are being urged to keep their children away, says a school district press release issued last week.
“While school facilities will remain open under the supervision of school district staff, we will be unable to provide students with instruction during this period of job action,” the release reads.
There are a few exceptions for programs not staffed by teachers including FirstStart and StrongStart, Hazelton After School Sports Club, JumpStart at Parkside and Kitimat and PACES Child Care.
School buses won’t be running.
“It is the sincere hope of the Board of Education that this dispute will be concluded quickly and that normal school operations will resume as soon as possible. In the meantime, we will do our utmost to keep you informed of any new developments in a timely manner over the next week,” the release indicated.
The three-day strike for more pay, benefits and more services for special needs students follows the failure by the teachers and province to agree to a new contract.
A major sticking point is the province’s decision not to provide any more money for wages and benefits. It says if teachers want a raise, they’ll have to find the money elsewhere in their existing benefits package.
Meanwhile, the province has introduced legislation banning strikes and calling for the services of a mediator. That could pass next week.