Ed. Note: Prior to the tentative agreement between the teachers and the BC School Employers Association being reached earlier this week the Trustees of School District 51 (Boundary) issued a statement outlining their assessment of the dispute. While Mediator Vince Ready was unable to provide details of the agreement, we felt it still significant to share the thoughts of the local Board of Education.
An open letter to our communities:
We have heard from many parents, community members and staff and we share your sense of frustration and disappointment with the current labour dispute between the Government of British Columbia and the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation (BCTF).
As trustees we are deeply concerned by the effects of this unsettled labour dispute on the learning and social/emotional well-being of our students. We believe a continuation of this dispute will have significant short and long-term negative impacts on our students and the public education system.
Our primary role as trustees is as advocates for the students of School District 51 in support of their learning and well-being. We support our students and teachers in classrooms through the priority decisions we make in the allocation of the public education funds we receive from the Ministry of Education.
The SD51 Board of Education wants an immediate end to the current labour dispute and reopening of our schools. Our board strongly encourages both parties to come to an immediate settlement through a mutually agreed method of either negotiation, mediation or arbitration.
The SD 51 Board of Education has asked the government:
1) To significantly increase education funding so local decisions can meet the increasingly diverse learning needs of students with the input of teachers and administrators.
2) That teachers receive a fair wage increase as we highly value the work they do with students.
3) To immediately make available to the bargaining table the strike savings accrued to date.
4) To ensure that any settlement reached with the BCTF be fully funded by government.
We thank our community for their understanding in this very challenging time. Our school district has a proud history of providing exceptional learning experiences for all students, while also meeting their social and emotional needs.
It remains the hope of the Board of Education of SD51 that we welcome students, teachers and all staff back in their classrooms and schools without further delay.
Board of Education, School District No. 51 (Boundary):