UPDATE: Prince Rupert teachers’ union says cancelling recess unfair to students

The Prince Rupert District Teacher's Union is accusing the school district of breaking a ruling of the LRB by cancelling recess.


The Prince Rupert District Teacher’s Union (PRDTU) is accusing the school district of breaking a ruling of the Labour Relations Board by cancelling recess.

“In our mind that goes against the Labour Relations Board essential services ruling, which says administration and excluded staff is suppose to be picking up the recess supervision. Two years ago the district did that and they have lots of numbers for doing that, but the district chose not to … we don’t think that it is fair to students to cancel recess. I think they should restore recess, follow the order and have administration and excluded staff provide that supervision as they are doing in other school districts,” said PRDTU president Kathy Murphy.

Murphy said she has read of five other school district’s cancelling recess, but said there is no justification for the decision in Prince Rupert.

“They are doing it without showing cause that there are not enough people. The ruling said recess would be provided by management and if there wasn’t enough they could talk to teachers about having the local do some of that work, but we do feel that is enough,” she said.

“They’re not the only [district], but in the minority for sure.”



Beginning tomorrow, Prince Rupert students will start the school day 15 minutes later than usual and miss out on the regularly scheduled recess.

The decision to shift the schedule by 15 minutes was made in response to work-to-rule job action from the B.C. Teacher’s Federation that starts April 23. While teachers have taken job action before without similar changes being made, superintended Sandy Jones said the district felt the move was the fairest possible.

“The challenge is that in the first round of job action teachers are no longer providing supervision, so we would have to depend on excluded staff to that. We did that last time there was job action and those staff provided supervision for a long time … part of my role is to make sure all employee groups are supported and it is not very supportive to ask one group to leave their position to take on that work before returning to their regular positions,” she said.

“It is regretful, and hopefully it is short-term, that we have to cancel recess but it is done so we are not asking something extra from one employee group in the district.”

While some school districts have taken to ending the day 15 minutes early instead of starting 15 minutes later, Jones said this configuration was the most widely adapted

during the last round of job action.

“We hadn’t considered ending earlier, which would affect every scheduling aspect of the day. With this method, the only real change is at the start of the day leading up to recess. It’s less complicated this way,” she said, noting she is hopeful negotiations lead to a new contract in the near future.

“Obviously the people that make those decisions are not in Prince Rupert, but I am really hopeful there is a quick resolution this time.”

Details on the impact the changes will have on individual schools and bussing can be found at the school district’s website.

Just Posted

Kurka keeps thing official

The longtime hockey referee has been on the ice in Prince Rupert for more than 30 years

Rampaging toward the playoffs

The Prince Rupert Rampage beat the Terrace River Kings 8-5 on Jan. 20

Sweet tradition returns: Sugar Shack 2018

The 2018 Sugar Shack festival celebrates Francophone culture in Prince Rupert Jan. 24-27

Joie de vivre

Finding those “awe” moments with family, friends and food

Christians unite for one service in Rupert

Father Terry Brock is hoping to unite all of Prince Rupert’s Christians under one roof for one night

VIDEO: New whale rescue equipment comes to Rupert

Fisheries officers took to the water to practice saving stranded whales

Carriers wanted for the Northern View

We have open routes for carriers all over Prince Rupert

Philadelphia Eagles headed to Super Bowl

After routing the Minnesota Vikings 38-7, they will face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots

Heavy snowfall closes Mount Washington on Vancouver Island

Road to ski resort deemed unsafe, vehicles buried under more than three feet of snow

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Final phase of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials to kick off in B.C.

Doctors hope to get psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy legalized in Canada and the U.S. by 2021

Most Read