Abbotsford schools could be hit by Teamsters strike
Classes could be cancelled in the Abbotsford School District on Tuesday if the union representing school workers does not reach a deal by Monday afternoon.
Teamsters Local 31, which represents the district's clerical workers, bus drivers, custodians and others, issued 72-hour strike notice on Friday.
According to Education Minister Peter Fassbender, the union is refusing to sign on to a deal reached with CUPE in other districts.
"We have a provincial framework that all CUPE support workers throughout the province agreed to and was signed off on, and for some reason the Teamsters seem unwilling to sign off and that disturbs me."
Negotiations will get back underway Monday to try to reach a last minute deal by the afternoon deadline.
The Teamsters haven't laid out their strike plans, but if there isn't a deal and teachers refuse to cross the picket line, students will likely be kept out of classrooms, say school officials.
"We anticipate that members of the Abbotsford District Teachers’ Association will observe any pickets established by the Teamsters. Consequently, any strike activity will disrupt the operations of the school district, and impact students and families," said a notice posted by the district Superintendent Kevin Godden.
"If and when strike notice is served, we will immediately alert all parents/guardians, so that alternative arrangements can be made."
That has Abbotsford parents such as Anyssa Carruthers concerned.
"When I graduated from here, I had to cross lines to graduate. I don't think it is fair to the kids to get a graduation certificate. It has nothing to do with them. It shouldn't affect them," said Carruthers.