Updated: Teachers to withdraw from extra curricular activities, write report cards

Overwhelming majority of B.C. teachers voted in favour of full withdraw from extracurricular activities.

Sports tournaments and graduation ceremonies could be the latest casualties in the ongoing labour dispute between public school teachers and the province.

Teachers voted overwhelmingly in favour of further resisting the Liberals’ back-to-work-legislation in a plan that includes pulling out of extracurricular activities such as coaching and graduation ceremony planning. It’s a clear message that has left more uncertainty among parents and educators alike.

The B.C. Teachers’ Federation announced Friday (April 20) that 73 per cent of teachers who participated in a provincewide vote support stepping up their protests against Bill 22, the Education Improvement Act. A total of 21,625 teachers voted in favour of the federation’s action plan, while 7,846 voted against further action.

Meanwhile on the same day, the B.C. Labour Relations Board ordered teachers to immediately prepare report cards for work completed from the beginning of the year until March 17 in addition to June report cards. The reports are due by April 27 (Friday).

For School Bike League commissioner Eric Simonson of Oak Bay High, the vote comes at a bad time for athletics.

“Many coaches (like me) think it is unfair to withdraw from extracurricular (activities),” he said. “I know other coaches will keep coaching despite the vote.”

In the Saanich School District, which covers the Peninsula and the northern tip of Saanich, teachers began withdrawing from extracurricular activities prior to the BCTF vote. Though the Saanich Teachers’ Association voted in March in favour of withdrawing from extracurricular activities, some individual teachers continued to participate, confirmed association president Sean Hayes.

How participation may change once the directive comes from the provincial federation is unknown, Hayes said.

The plan also launches a public awareness campaign and opens the possibility of a second union vote on a full walkout.

In a BCTF release, union president Susan Lambert called the decision to withdraw from extracurricular activities wrenching.

“Teachers struggle with this because these activities bring so much joy to our engagement with students,” Lambert said. “We know this will mean the loss of some highly-valued activities, and we sincerely regret that. But we have to look at the bigger picture and the longer term.”

The Education Improvement Act was passed March 15 following months of work-to-rule job action by the province’s 41,000 teachers and a provincewide walkout March 5. The legislation includes fines of $1.3 million a day for the union and $475 a day for individual teachers who continue to strike.

While talks between teachers and the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association centred around class size and composition, as well as teacher prep time, the two sides were ultimately polarized over the government’s unwillingness to diverge from a two-year freeze on wage increases.

nnorth@saanichnews.com

– with a file from Travis Paterson

Just Posted

420 celebrations turn over new leaf at B.C. legislature

Cannabis is legal for the first time in the 21-year existence of the 420 event in Victoria

VIDEO: ‘Stewie the Starfish’ mascot revealed at Premier League kickoff party

Pacific FC kickoff party scores in Victoria Inner Harbour

Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Bowl for Kids’ Sake returns to Langford

Annual fundraising event held from April 26 to 28

Report calls on Saanich to expand multicultural programming at recreation facilities

Report also notes that Saanich could do more for sexual minorities.

WATCH: Movie star and PACE alum Calum Worthy talks musical theatre and his career

“American Vandal” and “Austin and Ally” actor has been returning to the program for over 20 years

POLL: How often does your family use BC Ferries?

Navigating the lineups for BC Ferries is a way of life for… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of April 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

VIDEO: Fire guts Peachland home

Crews are still on scene pumping water onto the blaze in the Okanagan neighbourhood

$6K raised in one day’s time for family of woman gunned down in Penticton

GoFundMe launched for family of Darlene Knippelberg, to pay for funeral costs and other expenses

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Most Read