B.C. teachers' strike could escalate, parents warned

Parents in B.C. are being prepared for an escalation in teacher job action should current contract negotiations fail.

VSB superintendant sends letter warning that failed talks could mean rotating strikes

Students in B.C. could see more job action, as talks between the B.C. Teachers' Federation and the government appear to be reaching a stalemate. (CBC)

Parents in B.C. are being prepared for an escalation in teacher job action should current contract negotiations fail.

Vancouver School Board superintendent of schools, Steve Cardwell has issued a letter to all parents and guardians warning of potential rotating school closures across the province should a settlement not be reached.

"We understand that the BCTF may choose to escalate their job action to a second phase which could include 'rotating' school closures," the letter states.

"If this were to occur, the union would be providing us 48 hours of notice and we would, of course, advise parents of this action."

The letter was not intended to alarm parents, says VSB spokesperson Kurt Heinrich. Rather it was intended to keep them in the loop.

“A big part of that is just to make sure that parents aren't going to be caught unaware of the situation,” he said.

“As soon as we would receive that notice, we would immediately be communicating it to our parent population so they would know what to expect. And then we would go from there “

A  B.C. Teachers’ Federation spokesperson said that while escalating job action is a possibility, there are no plans at the moment to move to stage 2 job action.

During stage 1 action, teachers are refusing to supervise students outside the classroom or communicate in writing with principals and other administrators.

Teachers are still taking attendance, marking and assessing students, completing report cards, communicating with parents and participating in volunteer extracurricular activities.

Their contracts expired last June, and the federation says it's being forced to take action because negotiations are slow.

Read the full letter sent to parents:

With files from CBC's Farrah Merali

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