Nelson District Teachers Association president Paul Boscariol and teachers picketed outside the Prestige Lakeside Inn as the Kootenay Lake School District held a leadership meeting inside on August 20.

Students and parents left in education limbo

The Kootenay Lake school district met today for an opening celebration while Nelson District Association teachers picketed outside.

Pickets were up at near the Prestige Lakeside Inn as Nelson District Teachers Association (NDTA) president Paul Boscariol and teachers rallied outside the hotel this morning as the Kootenay Lake School District held a leadership meeting inside.

More than 20 teachers and supporters were there for what Boscario called “an information picket” as they are still on strike and without a contract. “Everyone here is in support of a solidly supported public education system,” he said.

Fifty people attended the leadership meeting except for the Kootenay Lake Teachers’ Association, which includes NDTA and Creston Valley Teachers’ Association and members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

This is the fifth year for this annual meeting and Kootenay Lake school district superintendent Jeff Jones said the date for the opening celebration was set last year and “we feel it’s a real shame that the KLFA and CUPE couldn’t be there.”

Job action by the BCTF teachers aside, Jones said they need to position their leadership staff to be ready for the school year.

“With spring job action, we haven’t been able to bring them together since May, certainly since the beginning of the full strike [which began June 17].”

In attendance was the senior leadership team, which includes the superintendent, directors, secretary and treasurer; business and operations staff, Kootenay Lake District Parents Advisory Committee and school principals and vice principals.

Boscariol told the Star that teachers were invited by the BCPSEA to enter classrooms voluntarily to prepare for the new school year in spite of the partial lock out.

“If we’re locked out, we’re not going [to the schools] to volunteer; we’re not covered by WorkSafeBC.”

Boscariol also spoke to the matter which is before the BC Court of Appeal. The BC Government appealed the BC Supreme Courts January ruling that the government did not negotiate with the BCTF in good faith in past contract negotiations and imposed a $2 million fine for damages.

The government appealed the ruling in February. While the BCTF and BCPSEA both presented their information to the BC Court of Appeal in the spring, they will likely not hear a ruling from the three judges until mid-October. The outcome of the ruling could have a huge impact on what ever contract is negotiated before then.

“We’re after a fair bargain as we have done so in the past,” said Boscariol.

In early August, the Ministry of Finance announced the Temporary Education Support for Parents which will offer a payment of $40 per day per child under the age of 13 years to help with learning and supervision in the event the labour disruption goes into September.

“What does that say about the government’s position of schools?” asked Boscariol.

On Tuesday the BCTF issued a brief statement on the contract negotiations with the BCPSEA. “It is with regret that we inform you that no resolution has been determined in the longstanding dispute at the bargaining table between BC teachers and the government. While there is still time for an agreement to be reached in order for students to return to school September 2, we are advising parents that they should be prepared for the very real possibility that school will not start as planned.”

L.V. Rogers secondary school principal Tim Hutterman and Jones were to meet with parents of LVR students on Thursday to discuss the potential impacts of the strike and how the school and district can respond to minimize the impact on the students should the strike continue into September.

The BC government has launched a new website to help parents navigate should the strike action continue.

Just Posted

Site C protest held outside Michelle Mungall’s office

The demonstration Wednesday was held following the NDP’s decision to continue the project

Readers light up social media over Christmas lights

Star website and Facebook page flooded with comments

PHOTOS: CP holiday train stops in Nelson

On Tuesday the CP holiday train made its 19th annual stop in Nelson

Special citation for cultural icon

Stephanie Fischer is ‘a true friend’ of Nelson

Where are Nelson’s downtown Christmas lights?

People have been voicing their complaints to the Star about this, so we decided to look into it

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

L.V. Rogers finishes 14th at volleyball provincials

The senior girls struggled during play earlier this month

Nelson’s SEEDS to move from Lakeside Park

New gardening location will be at Seventh Street Park

Columnist, dance instructor honoured by city

A Nelson Star columnist and a creative dance leader receive awards

Grease auditions set for the Capitol

Black productions is bringing 50s musical to town.

Breakfast gives kids a big boost

Books, toys and cash donated

Poverty the featured topic at artistic event

Artists to perform at event organized by Nelson at its Best

Local fabric artist Kate Bridger opens exhibit at Nelson Public Library

Bridger will be exhibited at the Nelson Public Library until Dec. 31

Family doctors should learn to treat addiction, not shun patients: scientist

B.C. Centre on Substance Use’s Dr. Evan Wood said efforts underway to change addiction medicine image

Most Read