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SD43 scrambling to deal with lockout/strike situation
A planned public school teachers walkout next Wednesday will cancel school field trips, extra-curricular activities and facility rentals and close StrongStart centres on that day in School District 43.
And with negotiations between the province's teachers and the government becoming increasingly volatile, parents are encouraged to stay informed and watch for updates on the the district's website (www.sd43.bc.ca).
On Wednesday, a letter was sent home with students advising parents to keep their students at home the day of the walkout. But with many scrambling for daycare, or some unaware of the situation, the district is prepared to provide limited supervision.
SD43 superintendent Tom Grant said principals will be at school on the day local teachers will take their turn in the rotating strikes announced by the BC Teachers' Federation this week. But if many students show up to school next Wednesday, it will be "very, very difficult," Grant said.
As well, with the situation changing daily — and any number of scenarios possible, from resolution to more job action — Grant said the district will do its best to keep parents informed and up to date.
"We're going to have to be able to communicate with our entire community and we'll have to put a plan in place very quickly," he said.
As to what will happen if there are any strike savings, Grant wouldn't speculate, saying that it's not likely the cash-strapped district would see any of the money anyway.
"I'm just in the dark on any savings that we might get," Grant said.
Meanwhile, teachers have promised not to impede parents from escorting their children across picket lines at daycares and pre-schools located in public schools but the district is encouraging parents to contact their providers to make sure the facility is open that day.
The district will also have to deal with a partial lockout announced by the BC Public School Employers' Association, in which teachers' activities are further restricted. The move is to justify a 10% cut in teachers pay, and is expected to affect before and after school activities on days outside of the scheduled walkout day.