May 22, 2014 11:02 pm

‘We’re the pawns, once again': BC Parent Advisory Council

Rotating strikes are days away and all the back and forth between the BC Teachers’ Federation and the provincial government has left many students and parents confused about how things will work when it comes to extracurricular activities and graduation.

The majority of students involved in extracurricular activities are coached by teachers both before and after school hours but according to the teachers’ union, those activities could soon be cancelled.

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A letter was issued to the union by the employers’ association yesterday, which states teachers are not to be at school more than 45 minutes before class begins or later than 45 minutes after class is over.

In a press conference earlier today BCTF president Jim Iker said, “by locking teachers out before and after school, student activities by the hundreds will be cancelled by the government.”

According to the union along with extracurricular activities being affected, it may also have an impact on graduation ceremonies.

But in the ongoing war of words, the employers say teachers can spend their free time as they wish.

“A lockout does not affect volunteer activities,” Peter Cameron, BCPSEA negotiator said.

“The BCPSEA defines many things as volunteer activities and many of those we agreed — it’s unpaid work. You don’t lock people out for unpaid work. “

For parents, the details of the strike action is still murky and does not calm their concerns for their children’s educational well-being.

“This has been a real test of my patience, of everyone’s patience, we’re worried,” Terry Berting, BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils said.

“Eventually the teachers will be back at work and the government will be back doing what it does and the kids will have really had to deal with some difficult issues. We’re the pawns, once again.”

~ with files from Tanya Beja

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