EDITORIAL: Would they have taken a break in the winter?
Today (Sept. 6) is the de facto start of autumn, in spite of the heat wave that continues to blister Kamloops.
Today is the first day of classes as the 2011-2012 school year begins.
Across the massive Kamloops-Thompson school district, 14,000 students are shaking off summer and getting ready to learn anew.
Unfortunately, students will also be learning a bit about labour law as teachers begin job action tied to the fact their union, the B.C. Teachers’ Federation, cannot agree to a new contract with the government-appointed B.C. Public School Employers’ Association.
Job action should not impact students at this point as teachers will still teach. What they will not do is administrative duties, such as taking part in parent-teacher interviews, taking attendance or supervising school grounds during recess.
That we are beginning the school year today and the two sides remain a Grand Canyon’s width apart on a long list of issues is all the more frustrating when one realizes both sides enjoyed a nice, long summer vacation (longer than any other working stiff could manage).
The BCTF’s contract expired on June 30, yet the two sides did not sit down to meet until Aug. 23.
That’s almost two months of bargaining time wasted, despite rhetoric from both sides claiming they want to reach a deal that is fair and that students and teaching conditions are the true focus of this battle.
On behalf of parents and students across B.C. — get it done already.