August 25: School Start-Up and Strike News
As we move toward the first week of September we now have some clarity about how this last week of August will play out. With appreciation to the Saanich Teachers Association (the local arm of the BC Teachers Federation) for continuing to inform the district about pending job action, this week`s news is that the STA will erect picket lines in front of the School Board Office on Keating Cross Road on Tuesday August 26 and Thursday August 28. This will result in unionized staff from the board office and facilities/maintenance/grounds being unable to attend work on those two days, although the offices will remain open under the auspices of management staff. The only exception will be the morning of Tuesday August 26 when management staff will be off-site for a district meeting.
While the board office will be behind picket lines for those two days, schools will not. Parents are welcome to go into schools for the usual business of preparing children for the school year, but please note that where you might normally expect to see teachers and counsellors in the week before school that will not be the case this week. Of course, the big question remains in regard to what to expect the week of September 2, our scheduled start-up day. While we will remain hopeful that a contract solution will emerge through negotiation or mediation we all need to be prepared for the possibility of the school year starting under some form of job action, possibly a full strike. Thank you for your continued patience and, again, I encourage you to stay apprised of developments through the media or through this website.
Still looking forward to a great year,
Dr. Keven Elder
Superintendent of Schools