Alberni teachers mull extra curricular activities withdrawal

Sports and even graduation ceremonies could be out in SD 70 in retaliation by teachers for adoption by the provincial government of Bill 22.

Sports and even graduation ceremonies could be out in School District 70 in retaliation by teachers for adoption by the provincial government of Bill 22.

Alberni District Teachers Union president Ken Zydyk said Wednesday that there have been discussions among local teachers about the issue.

“Nothing formal has come through and there is nothing planned,” Zydyk said. “But I am aware that there has been informal discussion about this.”

Extra-curricular activities refer to lunch hour, drama, music, and art programs and clubs that teachers participate in outside of class hours.

Sports and grad are also considered extra-curricular activities and could be impacted by a withdrawal. “Sports seems to be high profile and where most of the discussion has been centered,” Zydyk said. “Nothing has been determined yet though.”

The move would follow districts such as Sooke, Delta, Okanagan and Kamloops, who have voted to withdraw from extra-curricular activities.

A decision on whether or not the B.C. Teachers Federation formally supports such a move will be determined at their AGM, which starts on March 17, Zydyk said.

“We’ll consider what our next steps should be,” Zydyk said. “I’m not predicting anything at this point.”

Meanwhile, Bill 22 is expected to be brought into legislation on Friday, Zydyk said. If passed, the effects will be felt immediately.

Introduced in the legislature in February, Bill 22 will trigger a six-month cooling-off period and parachute in a government-appointed mediator.

The move is a fait accompli because the mediator will have to manoeuvre within the border of the province’s net-zero mandate, Zydyk said

“The effect will be immediate; we won’t be able to demonstrate or protest at work,” Zydyk said.

How the move will impact students isn’t know yet but Zydyk expected that the long term affects would suss out in the fall, he said.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com