UPDATE: Prince Rupert teachers want unpaid wages used to reduce wait times for psycho-educational testing

The Prince Rupert Teacher's Union is challenging the district to put unpaid wages from the three day strike back into the education system.

The Prince Rupert and District Teacher’s Union is challenging the school district to put unpaid wages from the three day job action back into the education system.

Specifically, the union is asking that the money be put into reducing the wait list for psycho-educational testing for students who need extra support.The motion was passed by union members at a meeting on March 7, which marked the end of the three day strike.

“Now every public school teacher in this district has given up three days of pay, through striking against the government’s proposed Bill 22.  That was part of our struggle to improve the situation in the classroom, so now we’re challenging the District to use the unbudgeted windfall from not paying us for those days to do something good that needs doing to improve the situation in classrooms too,” said Elliot Fox-Povey, a teacher at the middle school.

“We’ve been told new testing for students who likely qualify for further support in the classroom, students who have had serious problems and been identified as in need of more support, won’t receive psycho-educational assessments this school year,” added Crystal MacLeod, Vice President of the Prince Rupert District Teachers’ Union.

However, Prince Rupert School District superintendent Lynn Hauptman says more information is needed before any such decision can be made, and that the district may not be able to access that money at all.

“The district is unaware of any financial benefit to the district from the three day strike. In fact, Minister Abbott has talked about how the ministry would use the salary savings,” she said.

“At this time we expect the three day strike will lead to an accompanying reduction in ministry funding. The board would need more information before any spending ideas can be considered.”