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Teacher strike will shorten school day
The B.C. Teacher’s Federation served strike notice on the Central Okanagan School District late Wednesday afternoon.
The move means that unless ordered by the B.C. Labour Relations Board to stop, teachers will start their job action at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, the first day back to school for thousands of local elementary and secondary students.
According to the school district, it has been told by the BCTF that the first phase of the action will include a withdrawal of administrative services and the removal of teacher supervision responsibilities outside of instructional time. Regular classes will continue.
Superintendent of schools Hugh Gloster said an immediate result will the elimination of the 15-minute break during the day for elementary students and that will mean the school day will be 15 minutes shorter than usual.
“Accordingly, at the end of the day, students in all schools will be excused 15 minutes earlier than usual,” he said.
School bus services will have their schedules adjusted to accommodate the earlier dismissal.
The school district plans to send home a letter with students on Tuesday explaining the ramifications of the initial phase of job action by the teachers. The letter will also go to parent groups and individual school parent advisory councils.
Anyone with questions is asked to contact Gloster.
In the letter, the school district includes a lengthy list of activities the teachers will not participate in and advises parents of students who do not ride the school bus to have their children arrive as close to the school starting time as possible and leave immediately after dismissal at the end of the day.
It also says principals and vice-principals may be limited in their abilities to talk to parents about their childrens’ progress in school due to carrying an extra workload as a result of the teachers’ job action.