School District 70 administrators and not teachers will be supervising recess starting this week, Alberni District Teachers’ Union President Ken Zydyk said.
The move is part of teacher job action which in the initial phase will see them still in classrooms but not performing administrative duties.
According to Zydyk, teachers will not supervise students outside of the classroom, and this includes supervision before and after school as well as during recess. They will also not attend meetings with administrators.
Teachers will however continue to teach, write report cards, communicate with parents, and participate in volunteer extracurricular activities.
“We’ll be working with administrators to make sure students are safe. There should be no noticeable effect on students or parents,” Zydyk said.
At Alberni Elementary School teachers don’t perform lunch hour supervision. The duty is instead carried out by CUPE staff under terms of contract.
As long as the job gets done Amber Watts, whose son and daughter attend Alberni Elementary, doesn’t have a problem with it. “As long as they are supervised by qualified people and are safe that’s all that matters to me,” Watts said.
The move stems from a teacher strike vote that was taken province wide in March. With the vote supporting job action teachers served 72-hours job action notice on April 17.
According to a BC Teachers Federation news release, the action was prompted by a lack of progress between teachers and government at the provincial bargaining table.
The government and BCPSEA are ignoring the BC Supreme Court ruling on class size, composition, and staffing levels, according to the release. Government is also asking for a 10-year term agreement.
“We’ve been patient, but we felt we needed to take this action to lever the government back to the table,” Zydyk said.
Any escalation of job action, which would mean rotating strikes, will depend entirely on progress at the negotiating table, the BCTF said.