Updated: Teachers to withdraw from extra curricular activities, write report cards

Overwhelming majority of B.C. teachers voted in favour of full withdraw from extracurricular activities.

Sports tournaments and graduation ceremonies could be the latest casualties in the ongoing labour dispute between public school teachers and the province.

Teachers voted overwhelmingly in favour of further resisting the Liberals’ back-to-work-legislation in a plan that includes pulling out of extracurricular activities such as coaching and graduation ceremony planning. It’s a clear message that has left more uncertainty among parents and educators alike.

The B.C. Teachers’ Federation announced Friday (April 20) that 73 per cent of teachers who participated in a provincewide vote support stepping up their protests against Bill 22, the Education Improvement Act. A total of 21,625 teachers voted in favour of the federation’s action plan, while 7,846 voted against further action.

Meanwhile on the same day, the B.C. Labour Relations Board ordered teachers to immediately prepare report cards for work completed from the beginning of the year until March 17 in addition to June report cards. The reports are due by April 27 (Friday).

For School Bike League commissioner Eric Simonson of Oak Bay High, the vote comes at a bad time for athletics.

“Many coaches (like me) think it is unfair to withdraw from extracurricular (activities),” he said. “I know other coaches will keep coaching despite the vote.”

In the Saanich School District, which covers the Peninsula and the northern tip of Saanich, teachers began withdrawing from extracurricular activities prior to the BCTF vote. Though the Saanich Teachers’ Association voted in March in favour of withdrawing from extracurricular activities, some individual teachers continued to participate, confirmed association president Sean Hayes.

How participation may change once the directive comes from the provincial federation is unknown, Hayes said.

The plan also launches a public awareness campaign and opens the possibility of a second union vote on a full walkout.

In a BCTF release, union president Susan Lambert called the decision to withdraw from extracurricular activities wrenching.

“Teachers struggle with this because these activities bring so much joy to our engagement with students,” Lambert said. “We know this will mean the loss of some highly-valued activities, and we sincerely regret that. But we have to look at the bigger picture and the longer term.”

The Education Improvement Act was passed March 15 following months of work-to-rule job action by the province’s 41,000 teachers and a provincewide walkout March 5. The legislation includes fines of $1.3 million a day for the union and $475 a day for individual teachers who continue to strike.

While talks between teachers and the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association centred around class size and composition, as well as teacher prep time, the two sides were ultimately polarized over the government’s unwillingness to diverge from a two-year freeze on wage increases.

nnorth@saanichnews.com

– with a file from Travis Paterson

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

Just Posted

Colwood man to ride 400 kilometres to fight kids cancer

Man riding for a beloved family member who died from leukemia at 13-years-old

Saanich woman completes 10 marathons, raises double her initial goal amount

Over $20,000 raised for Victoria Hospitals Foundation

UPDATED: Missing 25-year-old Saanich woman found Saturday

Yuhan Jin thought to be travelling by foot or bus, carrying two suitcases

Peninsula businesses launch amidst COVID-19

New music school, martial arts studio, pet food store, welcomed with warm community response

Victoria program helps businesses shift swiftly in wake of COVID-19

Bring Back Victoria helps businesses open patios, create welcoming, safe spaces for customers

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

Travel restrictions inspiring co-operation in border communities

Small border towns are asking for exemption to travel ban

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

Woman arrested near Nanaimo beach after alleged road rage incidents

37-year-old woman facing charges including assault, assaulting a police officer, impaired driving

All inquiry recommendations implemented after fatal Port Hardy RCMP shooting: Ministry

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. cleared the RCMP officers involved of wrongdoing

Leave your deets when dining: Restaurants taking personal info to trace COVID-19

Health officials say indoor dining presents a higher risk

Raptors kneel for both American and Canadian anthems ahead of tipoff

Majority of players have substituted their names on the backs of their jerseys with racial and social justice messages

Most Read