Updated: Teachers to withdraw from extra curricular activities, write report cards

Overwhelming majority of B.C. teachers voted in favour of full withdraw from extracurricular activities.

Sports tournaments and graduation ceremonies could be the latest casualties in the ongoing labour dispute between public school teachers and the province.

Teachers voted overwhelmingly in favour of further resisting the Liberals’ back-to-work-legislation in a plan that includes pulling out of extracurricular activities such as coaching and graduation ceremony planning. It’s a clear message that has left more uncertainty among parents and educators alike.

The B.C. Teachers’ Federation announced Friday (April 20) that 73 per cent of teachers who participated in a provincewide vote support stepping up their protests against Bill 22, the Education Improvement Act. A total of 21,625 teachers voted in favour of the federation’s action plan, while 7,846 voted against further action.

Meanwhile on the same day, the B.C. Labour Relations Board ordered teachers to immediately prepare report cards for work completed from the beginning of the year until March 17 in addition to June report cards. The reports are due by April 27 (Friday).

For School Bike League commissioner Eric Simonson of Oak Bay High, the vote comes at a bad time for athletics.

“Many coaches (like me) think it is unfair to withdraw from extracurricular (activities),” he said. “I know other coaches will keep coaching despite the vote.”

In the Saanich School District, which covers the Peninsula and the northern tip of Saanich, teachers began withdrawing from extracurricular activities prior to the BCTF vote. Though the Saanich Teachers’ Association voted in March in favour of withdrawing from extracurricular activities, some individual teachers continued to participate, confirmed association president Sean Hayes.

How participation may change once the directive comes from the provincial federation is unknown, Hayes said.

The plan also launches a public awareness campaign and opens the possibility of a second union vote on a full walkout.

In a BCTF release, union president Susan Lambert called the decision to withdraw from extracurricular activities wrenching.

“Teachers struggle with this because these activities bring so much joy to our engagement with students,” Lambert said. “We know this will mean the loss of some highly-valued activities, and we sincerely regret that. But we have to look at the bigger picture and the longer term.”

The Education Improvement Act was passed March 15 following months of work-to-rule job action by the province’s 41,000 teachers and a provincewide walkout March 5. The legislation includes fines of $1.3 million a day for the union and $475 a day for individual teachers who continue to strike.

While talks between teachers and the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association centred around class size and composition, as well as teacher prep time, the two sides were ultimately polarized over the government’s unwillingness to diverge from a two-year freeze on wage increases.


– with a file from Travis Paterson

Just Posted

Women’s Expo seeks to empower women this weekend

Victoria Women’s Expo set for Saturday and Sunday at Pearkes Recreation Centre

Major expansion coming to Royal Bay Secondary

Province will build space for 600 more students on same site

Colwood wins Victoria Flower Count for a five-peat

The 43rd annual Flower Count had over three billion blossoms counted in total

Langford fundraiser for kidney disease is a success

Maureen Hobbs thinks B.C. Transplant says it best: “Live life. Pass it on.”

Preschool group helps release fish into Glen Lake

The number of fish released correlates to the number of fish caught per year

Vancouver Island’s Best Videos of the Week

A look at some of the best video stories from the past week ending March 16, 2018

Lilia Zaharieva wants to share her medical good fortune

UVic student wants treatment for cystic fibrosis made available for all

Canadian survivors, supporters rally against proposed ’60s Scoop settlement

Some have accused the government of underestimating the number of survivors

Women’s Expo seeks to empower women this weekend

Victoria Women’s Expo set for Saturday and Sunday at Pearkes Recreation Centre

Nordic athlete Arendz to be Canada’s flagbearer at Paralympic closing ceremony

The biathlete and cross-country skier from Hartsville has raced to five medals in Pyeongchang

Salmon Arm community cheers on Natalie Wilkie as she wins first gold medal

Local skier tops the podium in 7.5km race at the PyeongChang Paralympics

Experts: Society has a role in trying to prevent domestic violence

Experts are speaking out following the murder of a woman and her son in Ontario

RV David Thompson unveiled in Victoria’s Inner Harbour

Parks Canada research vessel part of billion-dollar environmental investment

Northern lights chasers in Canada discover new type named ‘Steve’

Phenomenon linked to a powerful current created by charged particles in Earth’s upper atmosphere

Most Read