Prince Rupert teachers not to blame for lack of two-week spring break

The Prince Rupert District Teacher's Union is not willing to take the blame for School District 52 not having a two-week spring break.

Editor:

The Prince Rupert District Teacher’s Union is not willing to take the blame for School District 52 not having a two-week spring break as this headline implies.

The Northern View should have investigated and at least asked the local union why.

In April 2013, then superintendent Lynn Hauptman contacted the PRDTU about working towards a two-week spring break. The PRDTU replied that timelines were too short to negotiate the necessary changes to the collective agreement and that maybe we should talk again the following January.

Rather than waiting for the employer, the PRDTU surveyed members and found the majority supported a longer break, but fair compensation needed to be given to teachers on call (TTOCs) and temporary teachers as these members would be working longer days but would not be paid for that time.

The union put forward several proposals, but was unable to come to an agreement on any of them with the employer.

Other districts that have agreed to a two-week spring break have agreed to compensation to their TTOCs either in the form of salary or funds for them to be paid while participating in district training.

Teachers were not willing to achieve a two-week spring break on the backs of our most vulnerable members, and that is something I am proud of.

Kathy Murphy,

PRDTU president

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