August 28, 2014 3:48 pm
Updated: August 28, 2014 3:52 pm

Vernon School District pushes for end to teachers strike

Global Okanagan

VERNON — In a strongly worded letter to Education Minister Peter Fassbender, the Vernon School District’s (SD 22) Board of Education made its stance on the teachers strike clear.

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“We strongly urge the parties to enter mediation without any preconditions and conclude a settlement this weekend,” writes Board of Education chair, Bill Turanski. “We are very concerned that a continuing strike will serious effect our students learning, particularly our secondary school students on quartered and semestered timetables. Every week of a strike reduces the quartered students learning time by 10 per cent.”

The board is also questioning the $40 per day pay out to parents from the province.

“We recognize that there are families that require support,” continues Turanski, “we feel, however, that these funds should not come from funding allocated to education.”

In the meantime, the Vernon school district is ready should the strike be resolved in time for the beginning of school next week.

In a letter sent out to parents, Superintendent Joe Rogers says “if a settlement is reached this weekend, the expectation is that all public schools in the Vernon School District will open Wednesday, September 3.”

Rogers says the schools will require one day to complete all the preparations for the first day of classes, but “schools will be open for students the second day following whenever an agreement is reached.”

The superintendent echoes the education board’s sentiments, hoping schools will re-open for the first week of classes.

“It is my hope that our labour impasse is resolved quickly,” says Rogers, “so that our school district can soon return to normal operations and begin the school year on a positive note.”

Both sides are set to meet with mediator Vince Ready again Thursday afternoon.

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