September 06, 2014 - 10:28 AM
KAMLOOPS - With teachers on strike it is more than classroom eduction suffering, many extra-curricular activities, likes Girl Guides, preschool and sports, are being left out in the cold.
School District 73 Supt. Karl de Bruijn says pretty much all program rentals are on hold right now.
“We have no way of cleaning or locking the building if we don’t have staff in place. For the most part (these programs) have been cancelled up to this point,” de Bruijn says. “Long term leases, like daycares, have not been affected though. Picketers haven’t stopped them from going in.”
These closures have been in place since the teacher strike began in June, but with so few programs renting over the summer months the impact was not felt quite as much as it is now.
School fields have not been affected by the strike yet, but dr Bruijn says it is a possibility if the strike carries on much longer.
“We got the grounds cut last week (when teachers) were not picketing elementary schools,” he says, “The crews are still working when they can, but they won’t cross picket lines.”
Crews were able to get to more grounds maintenance done on Friday as teachers took down the picket lines to meet at McArthur Island for a general meeting and a rally by the Overlanders Bridge. This extra bit of maintenance should keep fields running for a bit longer, but de Bruijn is concerned fields will become unusable if maintenance is put off for too long.
Teachers have been engaged in a full strike since June and school was cancelled this week after negotiations broke off this past weekend. Mediator Vince Ready declared the two parties too far apart for mediation at this time and now the teachers’ union is asking the government to accept binding arbitration as a way to settle the labour dispute.
Unless there is a miraculous break through in the labour dispute, there will likely be no school next week as well.
To contact a reporter for this story, email Jennifer Stahn at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-819-3723. To contact an editor, email email@example.com or call 250-718-2724.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014