Teacher’s job action is having effect

Schoolteachers have not yet secured a collective bargaining agreement, but their limited job action is having an impact

PORT HARDY— Vancouver Island North schoolteachers have not yet secured a collective bargaining agreement, but their limited job action is having an impact according to local school administrators and parent advisory councils.

School District 85 trustees were given reports from superintendent Scott Benwell and District Parent Advisory Council representative Penny Mills during their regular meeting Oct. 11 at the district office.

“I asked administrators the impact on them of the job action,” Benwell said.

“Aside from the noon supervision schedule and additional workload, they cited a feeling of being disconnected as a staff unit.”

As part of their ongoing contract negotiations with the B.C. School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA), local teachers continue to instruct students, but have refused to take part in administrative tasks, ranging from playground duty at recess to distributing and collecting fundraising information and income.

The action is designed to bring pressure on negotiators, and appears to be having an impact as trustees were recently called to a meeting with BCPSEA officials.

“They talked about the job action and wanted to know its effect on us,” said board of trustees chair Leighton Wishart, who attended the meeting.

“We told ‘em the pressure is mostly on our administrators. At this point it’s not affecting our students.”

The job action may not be affecting classroom instruction, but Mills said representatives from the Port McNeill Elementary School and Eagle View Elementary PACs have indicated negative impacts on their students.

“There are concerns coming in from Eagle View about (playground) supervision, so much so that parents are coming in to watch their own kids because they’re not satisfied they’re receving sufficient supervision,” she said.

“Also, fundraising has become more difficult. The issue with teachers unable to handle money or pass out fundraising letters or remind kids to fundraise means we have to speak to parents face-to-face.”

Benwell, meanwhile, thanked VINTA for what he called a problem-solving approach to its negotiations.

Fred Robertson, the VINTA representative, reiterated the job action was crafted to allow teachers to continue to do what they do best.

“Our job action must be having an effect if BCPSEA called trustee representatives to Vancouver to ask questions,” Robertson said.

 

Just Posted

Port Hardy council hesitant to formalize question period in agendas, refers it to committee

In first act as new council, representatives were uncertain about formalizing question periods.

Gas prices on Vancouver Island to drop six cents

But a ‘volatile’ market could lead to increases in the coming weeks

Mt. Waddington’s Salvation Army releases eye-opening statistics report for 2017

Shelter overnight stays saw a 431 per cent increase since 2014.

B.C. Legions in need of young members to continue aiding veterans into the future

Lest we forget what thousands of men and women did to fight for Canada’s freedoms – but without new membership, many Legion chapters face dwindling numbers

BC Ferries passengers wait to leave Vancouver Island after Remembrance Day

Traffic aboard BC Ferries slows after Remembrance Day long weekend

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Vancouver Island remembers

Important stories shared as Islanders salute those who made the greatest sacrifice

Protesters confront Environment Minister in B.C.

Protesters wanting more for killer whales confront Catherine McKenna

Humans reshaping evolutionary history of species around the globe: paper

University of British Columbia researcher had the paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society

Toronto ‘carding’ activist Desmond Cole stopped by police in Vancouver

Cole says his experience reveals what daily life is like for black and Indigenous residents

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

Cowichan school district defends lack of notice to parents following elementary student arrest

Officials with School District 79 stand by their decision not to send out an alert.

B.C. firefighters rescue horse stuck in mud

‘It happens more often than you’d think,’ says deputy chief

Most Read