Teacher tensions linger
The show must go on, but in some cases, the script and the timing have changed.
The ongoing dispute between teachers and the government has been affecting student activities around the Cowichan region, especially since the B.C. Teachers’ Federation voted to stop participating in some extracurricular activities as part of their job action.
The superintendant of the Gulf Islands’ District 64, Jeff Hopkins, admitted that sports have taken a hit, but volunteers have stepped in to fill the gap, which he said is no big surprise.
“We’ve always had a really strong relationship with community volunteers helping us coach, and we’ve also seen the sort-of the ‘club’ version of some of these things really pick up as well,” he said.
Other events such as theatre productions previously scheduled for the evenings took place during the day, he said, or at night without the teachers present.
Hopkins admitted that the entire year has been full of uncertainty.
“Generally, I would say that morale is fairly low and it’s for a variety of reasons. There’s probably expectation on a lot of people’s minds that there will end up being not a negotiated contract, but a legislated one.”
B.C. Education Minister George Abbott has suggested the government could impose a new contract on the teachers this summer if the two sides do not negotiate a new agreement before the end of June.
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