Teachers are winding down extracurricular activities as they decide what to do now that legislation has halted their job action.
“That’s one of the very few options that we have left under Bill 22,” said president of the Terrace and District Teachers’ Union Karen Andrews of legislation that requires teachers to take up work duties they’ve been refusing to perform since September.
A province-wide vote will be held by teachers on April 17 and 18 to determine their next step in response to Bill 22, or The Education Improvement Act, which extends Teachers’ former collective agreement while a mediator is appointed to find a new one.
Some of the things that will be voted on by teachers at that time are the withdrawal of extracurricular activities, along with the possibility of a second vote which would decide on a full withdrawal of teaching services, says Andrews.
“We do take our actions very seriously, we want to give the whole province a chance to determine our direction,” Andrews said on why teachers are waiting almost a month to vote.
Teachers will also be preparing second term report cards, but Andrews says only from the date the legislation was passed, March 15, and onward to the end of the school year will grades be included.
Teachers are reacting strongly to Bill 22 because they say it leaves important issues – such as class sizes and the number of special needs students in each class unaddressed.
Those issues and a 15 per cent wage increase over a three-year period have been the major sticking points between the two parties in negotiations.
While the government is sticking to its net-zero mandate on wages, the Education Improvement Act does add $165 million over three years to improve services for special needs students.