Admin staff bearing brunt of teacher job action
Some kids may be celebrating blank report cards this semester, but Grade 12 students applying for university will have to do a little leg work.
Many high school seniors are filling out college applications, and while they wont have a report card to highlight their academic achievements, they can collect marks from their teachers.
“The teachers’ union has been speaking to the Grade 12 students to let them know to be aware of their grades,” said Jim Cambridge, Sooke School District superintendent.
As part of the ongoing job action, teachers are not filling out marks or comments on report cards this month.
Sooke Teachers’ Association president Patrick Henry stressed that just because report cards are bare doesn’t stop teachers from sharing marks.
“If parents want to know how their children are doing they can ask the teachers, nothing has changed,” Henry said adding teachers are still meeting with parents and exchanging phone calls to talk about children’s progress. “As part of the essential service order it’s clear the teacher need not submit marks.”
“Parents are absolutely free to talk to teachers still,” Cambridge said.
November’s report card will be sent home, but will provide little more than an attendance record. If a student takes a course taught by a principal or vice-principal then those course marks will be recorded.
Meanwhile, Sooke School District officials are still scrambling to cover supervision times for before and after school, as well as recess, at 13 schools.
Each day since September a district staff member drives to Sooke to supervise the 15 minute recess and then drives back to the Langford board office to carry on with the work day.
“It’s a big interruption,” Cambridge said. “It’s an hour and a half of unproductive time.”
Lunch hour supervision is done by a CUPE member.
“There doesn’t seem to be much reason (for the teachers’ union) to settle at the moment,” Cambridge said. “Most of the pressure goes to the management staff and we have no influence over the provincial bargaining.”
Henry and Cambridge agree that in SD 62, the relationship between teachers and administration remains positive and upbeat.
“We have a pretty good relationship with the teachers, we all work together for the kids and we all remember that,” Cambridge said.
The job action was brought forward with teacher demands for better control of class sizes, class composition and restoration of funding cuts.
“I didn’t think it would go on for this long,” Cambridge said.