Dear Parents and Guardians,
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 and has now escalated to a district-by-district series of rotating strikes involving a full withdrawal of service.
We have been notified that all Vancouver Public Schools will again be affected by rotating strikes with our schools scheduled to be behind picket lines on Friday June 6. This follows the previous withdrawal of service last Monday.
This one day 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 Friday June 6, we will not be able to offer our regular instruction 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 Friday June 6 and to seek alternate childcare arrangements as needed. We anticipate that schools will be back in session on Monday June 9.
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 more job action might occur, including potential escalation. We will continue to keep you informed as additional information becomes available.
If you have more specific questions about school-related matters during the strike and lockout, 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.
Dr. Steve Cardwell
Superintendent of Schools