Prince Rupert teacher’s union says no plans to cancel classes this fall

With teachers from across BC ready to strike on the first day of school if a new collective agreement can’t be negotiated before the summer comes to an end, both the Prince Rupert school board and the local teachers union are assuring residents that classes won’t be canceled and that most people won’t even see much of a difference.

With teachers from across BC ready to strike on the first day of school if a new collective agreement can’t be negotiated before the summer comes to an end, both the Prince Rupert school board and the local teachers union are assuring residents that classes won’t be canceled and that most people won’t even see much of a difference.

While 90 per cent of public school teachers in BC voted last week to “strike” if a deal cannot be made, it isn’t actually like a strike in the usual sense.

Instead of closing the schools, teachers are threatening to stop performing all administrative work outside of just teaching in the classroom, hoping that this will put pressure on the Provincial Government, which has refused to even consider giving the teachers pay increases, without risking back-to-work legislation.

“We are hoping that it puts enough pressure to get them back to the table with some reasonable offers,” said Joanna Larson, the president of the Prince Rupert District Teachers’ Union.

While things like paperwork may not be done while the teachers are on strike, the union says it will try to inconvenience students and parents as little as possible. For instance, there will be no official report cards given out if the teachers are striking, but Larson says that teachers will find a way to keep parents notified on how their student is doing in class. Things like nutritional programs, recess supervision and other jobs that teachers do will still be done.

“It’s going back to what teachers love; it’s going back to why we came to this job: to teach only. Services to kids and parents are still there, it’s just the administrative stuff we’re dropping, all the extras that have increased our workload and are stressing teachers out,” explained Larson.

“We think most families aren’t going to notice much of a difference in September.”

Both the union and the school board are hopeful that it won’t have to come to a strike in September, but according to the representative from the school board’s negotiating team, Cam McIntyre, the strike would simply mean more work for the administrators at local schools.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Prince Rupert couple Alvin Tait and Loni Martin have postponed their wedding two times due to COVID-19 affecting the marriage rates in Prince Rupert. (Photo: supplied/L.Martin)
No marriages in Prince Rupert in 2021 so far

Weddings down 23.9% in P.R. since COVID-19 with B.C. wedding industry loss at $158 million

Three North Coast organizations are granted funding to promote multiculturalism and support anti-racism, Jennifer Rice MLA announced on April 8. Conrad Elementary School students recognized the first Black Shirt Day on January 15, 2021, to advocate for anti-racism. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
North Coast organizations to benefit from anti-racism funding

$944,000 granted in provincial funding to aid multiculturalism

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has suspended indoor dining at restaurants and pubs until at least April 19 in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. sets new COVID-19 daily record with 1,293 cases Thursday

New order allows workplace closures when infections found

The new 3,500 hectare conservancy in Tahltan territory is located next to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (BC Parks Photo)
New conservancy protects sacred Tahltan land near Mount Edziza Provincial Park

Project is a collaboration between Skeena Resources, conservation groups and the TCG

Heavy wet snow fell in Prince Rupert on April 7, making the dock a Rushbrook slippery for vehicles. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Three back-to-back weather systems with snow down to sea level

April showers are supposed to bring May flowers — but not in Prince Rupert.

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Librarian Katie Burns with the Fraser Valley Regional Libraries poses for a photo in Chilliwack on June 18, 2019. Monday, April 12, 2021 is Library Workers’ Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 11 to 17

Library Workers Day, That Sucks! Day, and Wear Your Pyjamas to Work Day are all coming up this week

Robinson Russ, 37, was fatally stabbed on April 4, according to a statement from police. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police name victim following city’s fourth homicide of 2021

Robinson Russ, 37, was fatally stabbed Sunday in the Downtown Eastside

A man wears a face mask past the emergency department of the Vancouver General Hospital. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Calls for stricter action in B.C. as COVID-19 variants projected to climb

Jens von Bergmann says the province has taken a ‘wait and see’ approach when early action is needed

Vancouver’s park board general manager issued a new order Friday restricting tents and other temporary structures from being set up in Strathcona Park after April 30, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver park board issues order to restrict tents in Strathcona Park

The order issued Friday restricted tents and other temporary structures from being set up after April 30

Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning says the players who’ve tested positive for COVID-19 are recovering and the team still intends to play a 56-game season. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Canucks players ‘mostly on the other side’ of COVID outbreak: general manager

The athletes have had a “whole range” of COVID-19 symptoms, said team physician Dr. Jim Bovard, but no one has needed to be hospitalized

Police are investigating after a man was shot Thursday, April 8 while sitting in a car in Vancouver. (Black Press files)
Man shot in Vancouver while sitting in a parked car: police

The victim is currently in critical condition. Police say no arrests have been made.

Teachers from SD42 and other districts in the Lower Mainland flocked to Surrey on Tuesday in the hopes of getting a COVID-19 vaccine. (Sheelagh Brothers/Twitter)
Don’t line up for vaccines unless asked to come, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

Social media post shows teachers lining up outside of Surrey clinic for leftover doses

Most Read