Parents and students of School District 53 face increasing uncertainty the school year will begin on time this year as silence continues to surround teacher’s negotiations with the province.
School District 53 Superintendent Bev Young issued the following press release Monday, August 25:
Unfortunately, the BC Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) and the BC Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) have not been able to make significant progress over the summer months and as a result, the possibility of school opening as usual following the Labour Day weekend is uncertain. While we wish to be hopeful that the two parties will reach a negotiated settlement before schools are due to open on September 2, a decision on school opening will likely not be made until Friday, August 29. This will allow both parties the maximum amount of time to reach a settlement.
We encourage all parents to consult our website at www.sd53.bc.ca for further updates and to keep up to date through local media, especially over the long weekend.
It is unfortunate that the normally exciting beginning to a new school year has been reduced to this level of uncertainty.
This is a frustrating, disappointing and worrisome time for everyone. I am most concerned about the .effect that this continued labour dispute has on our students and hope that the impasse between the parties is resolved quickly at the bargaining table and that our schools can return to normal operation and begin the school year on a positive note.
Thank you for your understanding during this difficult time.
On Monday, August 25, teachers were reported to be back on the picket line on the Lower Mainland and in Penticton, but here in Keremeos the only activity at Similkameen Elementary Secondary School appeared to be contractors completing work on the institiution’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.