The majority of Coast Mountains School District students will not be receiving report cards this year thanks to the the ongoing labour dispute between the province and the teachers’ union.
Superintendent Katherine McIntosh posted a notice to parents on the school district’s website this afternoon that said as Kindergarten through Grade 9 report cards have not been deemed an essential service by the Labour Relations Board (LRB), they will not be distributed. Students in grades 10 through 12 will receive report cards as they have been deemed an essential service by the LRB.
“School principals will contact parents directly if there are any concerns about your child’s placement for September 2014,” wrote McIntosh.
And unless parents have been involved in discussions with their school principal, all K-9 students will be promoted to the next grade level, she wrote.
Students are in the midst of Grade 10-12 provincial exams, which have also been deemed an essential service.
But earlier this week, the ministry of education issued a notice saying the format for English 10 and Social Studies 11 would be changed due to concerns over the validity of marking. Students will have the opportunity to re-write any provincial exam for the period of one year.
And today, BCTF president Jim Iker said that summer school could be next on the chopping block, saying in a news conference that if a settlement wasn’t reached by June 30 teachers would be picketing summer school locations. The two sides met today for “exploratory talks” dealing with possible mediation.
But education minister Peter Fassbender refused to temper the government’s position, responding later this afternoon that the government and the union are still far apart on wages and benefits.
“Mediation will not split the difference between our respective positions,” he said. “A mediator will not shake loose hundreds of millions of dollars that we simply do not have.”