Dear Parents and Guardians,
The purpose of this letter is to provide you with an update on the provincial labour dispute and, in particular, with respect to school operations starting on Tuesday, September 2.
As you are aware, the BC Public School Employers' Association (BCPSEA) and the BC Teachers' Federation (BCTF) have been on a full-scale strike since June 17, 2014. Unfortunately, there was no resolution to the dispute over the summer months and although we were hopeful that this weekend's discussion with mediator, Vince Ready, would result in a resolution, these discussions were unsuccessful.
While we remain hopeful that an agreement can be reached in the near future, Vancouver public schools will unfortunately not be able to open as normal on Tuesday, September 2 and for the foreseeable future as we anticipate that our schools will be behind picket lines resulting in teachers not reporting to work.This withdrawal of service will impact the school district's ability to supervise and provide educational services for students. Therefore, we ask parents to not send their children to school and to seek alternate childcare arrangements.
Parents are encouraged to consult our website (www.vsb.bc.ca) and follow the local media for updates.
This is disappointing news for our staff, and especially our students and families. I regret that the normally exciting school year opening has been reduced to this high level of uncertainty.We have an outstanding public education system in British Columbia and 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 impasse is resolved quickly and that our school district can soon return to normal operations and our staff and students can return to teaching and learning.
Thank you for your understanding during this difficult time.
Dr. Steve Cardwell
Superintendent of Schools
c. Vancouver Board of Education
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