Teachers were planning to distribute leaflets outside B.C. public schools Monday morning at the start of what is likely to be a three-day strike.
Because picketing is not legally permitted in this job action, schools were expected to remain open, with principals, vice-principals and support staff on the job. But almost all districts have cancelled bus services and are urging parents to make other arrangements for their children rather than sending them to school.
“It is not possible for school administrators … to provide appropriate supervision for more than 70,000 students,” Surrey, the province’s largest school district, says in a statement on its website. “Even if just a fraction of the total number of students were to attend, their safety and well-being may be seriously compromised.”
StrongStart Centres and child care programs on school property around the province are not expected to be affected.
The 41,000-member B.C. Teachers’ Federation is striking to show frustration over a lack of progress during year-long bargaining and its opposition to Bill 22, which the government introduced last week to force an end to the dispute and the limited teacher job action that began in September.
“We are simply fed up,” union president Susan Lambert said over the weekend, while apologizing to parents for the inconvenience.
By JANET STEFFENHAGEN, Vancouver Sun March 4, 2012
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