Teachers union considering five-year action plan 

‘Won’t be business as usual’ teachers vow after being legislated back to work

Teacher representatives from across the province will meet in Richmond this weekend to debate the union's suggested five-year action plan to fight provincial government legislation which has rewritten public-sector contracts.

The B.C. Teachers Federation will look closely at their options at this meeting said Marjorie Reimer, president of the Howe Sound Teachers’ Association.

"It won’t be business as usual in Howe Sound Schools," she said.

"We will be looking at the kinds of things we will no longer be able to do because we are going to be in these difficult situations with our special needs students and our class sizes."

It’s likely teachers will continue their ban on extracurricular activities and participation in things like staff meetings and parent teacher meetings may also be affected.

And said Reimer, teachers may no longer be able to afford to subsidize their classroom expenses as many have done for years. Most teachers spend about $1,000 of their own money to improve class experience for their kids.

"This is a very difficult thing for teachers because we know how important it is to students education," said Reimer.

"But we won’t have the energy.

"Certainly teacher’s goodwill will affect the kinds of activities we have done with a whole heart. Integrating new curriculum will be more difficult for us, full participation in staff meetings, and all kinds of things like giving freely of our evenings for parent-teacher interviews.

"It is a recognition of the realities that we can no longer do all these other things when we are faced with the restriction of our income, the inability to believe in democracy, and the very much harder job we are going to be doing."

Local parents while pleased the strike is over are unsure what the future will hold.

"I think there are hard feelings around," said Maureen Richmond chairwoman of the Parent Advisory Committee for Whistler Secondary.

"When there are hard feelings like this it can take a while for things to get back to where they had been."

At Myrtle Philip, the school still appears to be in Phase II of the job action with lunch time book clubs still cancelled this week.

PAC chairwoman Kris Shoup is hoping for the best, believing it must be possible for teachers, administrations, and parents to work together for students.

"It is time for it to end," she said.

"We just need to get back. Our children are losing out."

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