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Job Action Update - June 9, 2014 - Letter from the Superintendent

Dear Parents and Guardians,

As you are aware, the BC Teachers' Federation (BCTF) and the BC Public School Employers' Association (BCPSEA) are continuing to negotiate a new collective agreement and stemming from these negotiations, the BCTF began job action at the end of April and has now escalated to a series of rotating strikes involving a full withdrawal of service.

All Vancouver Public Schools will again be affected by rotating strikes with our schools scheduled to be behind picket lines on Wednesday June 11. This follows the previous strike days on Monday May 26 and Friday June 6.

This one day full withdrawal of service will again impact the school district's ability to offer educational services. While schools will remain open on Wednesday June11, 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 Wednesday June 11 and to seek alternate childcare arrangements as needed. We anticipate that schools will be back in session on Thursday June 12.

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.

You might also be aware that the BCTF is conducting a second vote today and tomorrow to determine if teachers will move to a full-scale province-wide strike.  We anticipate the results of this vote will be released on Wednesday June 11.  If the school district is behind picket lines during a full-scale withdrawal of service that extends for longer than a few days, there could be an even greater impact on school operations. We are assessing the potential impact on provincial exams, report cards and summer school programs, and will advise you as soon as possible what to expect for the remainder of this school year and into the summer.

If you have more specific questions about school-related matters during the strike and lockout, please contact your school principal directly.

I am sorry that the normally exciting end to the school year has been reduced to this high level of uncertainty.  I am sure that this is a frustrating, disappointing and worrying time for you.  I am most concerned about the effect that this continued labour dispute has on our students.  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 and conclude the school year on a more positive note. Thank you for your understanding during this very difficult time.

For more updates around job action, click hereParents might also wish to review information posted on the following websites:

Sincerely,

Dr. Steve Cardwell

Superintendent of Schools

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