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Letter from Superintendent Steve Cardwell Regarding Job Action this Monday, May 26

Job Action Update - May 20, 2014

Click here to download this letter in PDF.

Dear Parents and Guardians,

RE: Teacher Job Action

As you are aware, the BC Teachers' Federation (BCTF) and the BC Public School Employers' Association (BCPSEA) are negotiating a new contract and, stemming from these negotiations, the BCTF began job action at the end of April.

We have been informed that the BCTF plans to escalate the strike action to a second phase. This includes full-scale walkouts rotated on a district-by-district basis.  According to the BCTF announcement this morning, all Vancouver public schools will be behind picket lines for one day on Monday, May 26.

The full withdrawal of service will have a significant impact on the school district's ability to offer educational services. While schools will remain open on Monday and staffed by our administrators, we will not be able to offer our regular instruction on May 26 as we do not anticipate that unionized staff will cross the picket lines. As a result, we are encouraging parents to not send their children to school on Monday, May 26 and to seek alternate childcare arrangements as needed.  We anticipate that schools will be back in session on Tuesday, May 27. 

The safety and security of our students is our highest priority. Should any students arrive at school while picket lines are in place, our school administrators will ensure that they are cared for until they can be safely returned to their homes under the supervision of a parent or guardian.

At this point, we are not aware of other days when Vancouver public schools will be placed behind picket lines. However, we understand that this rotating strike action might occur again. We will continue to keep you informed as additional information becomes available.

We encourage parents to keep up to date by checking our website at http://www.vsb.bc.ca.  You might also wish to follow information posted on the BCTF website at http://www.bctf.ca/ and the BCPSEA website athttp://www.bcpsea.bc.ca/.

If you need more specific information about school-related matters during the job action, please contact your school principal directly.

I am proud of the hard work and support provided by all staff in this complex school district. It is my hope that the labour dispute is resolved quickly at the bargaining table and that our school district can soon return to normal operations. Thank you for your understanding during this difficult time.

Sincerely,

Dr. Steve Cardwell

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