August 21, 2014
Dear Parents and Guardians,
The purpose of this letter is to provide you with an update on the provincial labour dispute.
As you are aware, the BC Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) and the BC Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) reached an impasse with regards to negotiating a new contract and, as a result, on June 17, 2014 the BCTF escalated their job action to a full strike. Unfortunately the two parties have not been able to make significant progress over the summer months and the possibility of schools opening as usual following Labour Day is uncertain.
A decision on school opening will likely not be made until Friday, August 29, 2014 in order to provide both parties with the maximum amount of time to reach a negotiated settlement before schools are due to open.
If there is a settlement within the next week, our expectation is that all schools in the Sea to Sky School District will open on Tuesday, September 2, 2014 as ordinarily scheduled.
If there is no settlement within the next week, there are two likely scenarios.
One is that teachers could return to work, continuing job action at a stage lower than a full walk out. This would mean that schools would open on time.
A second scenario in the event of no negotiated settlement is that either picket lines or BCPSEA action could prevent schools from operating. In this scenario, all schools will be closed and students would remain home. School bus transportation will be cancelled. Administrators will remain on site at each school in the event of any emergencies and to support any students who do arrive on site.
Parents are encouraged over the next week and the long weekend to consult media, our school district website http://sd48seatosky.org/ the BCTF website http://www.bctf.ca/ and the BCPSEA website http://www.bcpsea.bc.ca/. If you need more specific information about school-related matters, please contact your principal directly.
It is most unfortunate that there has not been a resolution to this dispute and it remains our collective hope that the two parties adjust their positions and reach a negotiated settlement before schools are due to open. We will continue to endeavour to keep you up to date on this information. Thank you for your continued understanding during this challenging time.
Superintendent of Schools