Strike looms over start of school

Revelstoke schools are getting ready to start on Sept. 3, but teachers strike hangs over back-to-school preparation.

With one week until a new school year is scheduled to start, the possibility of it being delayed is looming over students, parents and staff.

“I’m pretty stressed out,” one mother of two elementary school students told me. “I have no daycare starting the end of next week. I’m being optimistic but I don’t know.”

Negotiations between the BC Teachers Federation and the BC Public School Employers Association have been mostly silent in the past two weeks ever since Vince Ready, a highly-respected mediator, opted to join in on the talks.

At the Revelstoke School District office, preparations are underway to start school on September 3, regardless of the state of negotiations. “At this time we are planning on regular school opening and we need to continue to do that,” said superintendent Mike Hooker. “It’s not just optimism — we need to make sure we’re ready.”

On Monday a letter was sent out to parents letting them know of the Sept. 3 start date, but it also noted the labour disruption, which started in June, will result in problems, even if an agreement is reached in time.

“As a result of the disruption caused by the labour dispute in June, staff have not had an opportunity to prepare class organization at the elementary schools and the student timetables at the secondary level to the extent we would have liked,” wrote Hooker. “That said, I know our staff will ensure that our students have an enjoyable and successful introduction to the 2014-15 school year.”

The uncertainty over the start of the school year isn’t ignored and the letter also expresses disappointment “that this much uncertainty is existing at a time when our students should be looking forward to a really exciting year,” said Hooker. “Our whole school community is feeling the impact the dispute is having on our students. We’re expressing that to parents.”

For John Secord, who has children entering grades two and four, a delay will just mean an extension of summer vacation for them, though he has bought their school books.

“There’s nothing we can do about it, just wait and see,” he said.

For the mother with one child about to enter kindergarden and the other grade seven, it’s producing stress.

“I told my son summer’s over. He’s going to start reading a novel and doing math games online,” she said. For her child who is starting kindergarden, she will have to secure day care. “She’s the one I’m stressed about.”

Linda Chell, the executive director of the Revelstoke Child Care Society said parents needing child care for their school-aged children can call the child care resource and referral centre at 250-837-6669. There, they can be referred to a licensed family child care provider or enrolled in a full-day program for school-aged children.

Chell said about 30 parents contacted the centre in June, when school ended abruptly, and there is the capacity to provide care for that many children.

The $40 per day the government is offering parents for every day the strike continues will cover the cost of day care, but for the mother of two, she’d rather see the money go to the teachers and for school to start.

“I would rather they don’t give it to me,” she said. “It’s touchy, because I think they’re so easily willing to give it to the parents but they’re not willing to give it to the teachers. That frustrates me.”

 

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Revelstoke mother and daughter return home after coronavirus quarantine in Asia

Jensine Morabito and her daughter were on Holland America’s Westerdam but did not catch the virus

Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for Feb. 27

Items from Revelstoke newspapers, as gleaned and edited by Cathy English, curator… Continue reading

Former Victoria Secret model skiing in Revelstoke

Australian model Miranda Kerr has been in the area for several days

Jocelyn’s Jottings: What gets you fired up?

What gets you fired up? If you said Harry Potter was in… Continue reading

Revelstoke to rehabilitate city hall built in 1930s

The cost is estimated at $800,000

Clothing, jewelry, purses: RCMP ask court about disposal of evidence in Robert Pickton case

Pickton was sentenced to life with no chance of parole for 25 years for the murders of six women

Ryan nets hat trick in return as Senators beat Canucks 5-2

Ottawa winger received assistance for admitted alcohol problem

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs meet with provincial, federal ministers

Neither party speaking on the groundwork laid for tomorrow’s talks

Couple in crash on Highway 1 mistake Shuswap for Lower Mainland

Chase RCMP report Mercedes Benz collides with transport truck

Speaker ‘will not tolerate illegal activity’ on B.C. legislature grounds, says chief of staff

Chief of staff to the B.C. speaker Alan Mullen says situation with demonstrators appears ‘fluid’

MPs to examine privacy implications of facial-recognition technology used by RCMP

The MPs will look at how the technology affects the privacy, security and safety of children

Dates back to 2009: Calgary police lay charges in fraud involving semi-trucks

Three people from Calgary are facing charges that include fraud over $5,000

Laughing ladies and country artists sell out Okanagan venue

Alan Doyle and I Am Woman, Hear Me Laff! back to back sold out

Ministry grants SD67 extension to balance books, submit amended budget

The board of trustees voted Monday to acquire outside help to deal with budget concerns

Most Read