Editorial: Schools get back to the real job

The summer holiday is over and school kids are back in the classrooms for another 10 months of education.

The summer holiday is over and school kids are back in the classrooms for another 10 months of education. Along with the ABCs and three Rs, this year they might even get report cards.

This year students and their parents don’t have to worry about scrapped after-school activities or navigating the simmering tensions between teachers and administrators.

In September 2011, students entered classrooms with teachers on a work-to-rule job action. Instruction didn’t stop, but teachers didn’t write report cards, wouldn’t host parent-teacher conferences after school hours and in some cases, coaching for sports teams was taken over by volunteer parents.

In the Saanich and Sooke school districts, for one, the administrators – principals, vice-principals, superintendents, managers – scrambled to cover watching elementary kids at recess and after school. A three-day strike in March capped off a terrible year in public education.

This year classrooms are somewhat back to normal, but the labour war between teachers and government remains – especially with the issue of class size and composition. The B.C. Teachers’ Federation is suing the government to regain bargaining rights over these points, and to challenge the hated Bill 22. BCTF has a court date in December.

This kind of posturing could be moot. Education Minister George Abbott said that he expects the next round of bargaining with teachers to begin next March or April 2013, mere months before next provincial election. By then Abbott, and many other high-profile Liberals, will be coasting toward retirement.

This awkward gap between the start of the school year now and the likely demise of the ruling Liberal government means it could be a quiet year for labour relations in education.

The BCTF won’t waste its time seriously negotiating with a lame-duck administration when it could re-start negotiations with a more labour-friendly NDP government. Outgoing Liberals will be more than happy to hand this hornet’s nest to their friends across the aisle.

 

 

Just Posted

Local tongue-in-cheek opportunists flog snow huts

‘Executive’ and ‘eco-friendly’ one-bedrooms pop up on Craigslist and Used Victoria

Province urges backcountry adventurers to stay safe this weekend

Search and rescue responded to 28 incidents last Family Day weekend

Snow storms prompt reminders to prepare for emergencies

Province reminds public of essential supplies

West Shore fundraiser serves up hope for kids with food allergies

Proceeds assist Oral Immunotherapy Research Program at BC Children’s Hospital

Sidewalk Trio reuniting at The Oaks

The next Blues for Eric scholarship benefit concert is Feb. 23

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Ammonia leak shuts down curling club in Nelson

It’s not yet clear when the leak was detected

Pavelski’s 31st goal helps Sharks top Canucks 3-2

Vancouver one point out of second NHL wild-card spot

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Names keep adding to vaccine petition started by B.C. mom

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Most Read