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Update: Government considers busing an essential service
Due to an Essential Services Order from the Labour Relations Board Friday morning, it has been determined that buses will be running for all students taking provincial exams during the next two weeks, SD 27 superintendent Mark Thiessen said.
School District 27 administration is treating Friday, June 13 as the last day of school for students.
As it stands now, school will be closed for the summer two full weeks ahead of schedule across the province after the B.C Teachers Federation served 72-hour strike notice Thursday. At the same time the BCTF also gave notice that Monday, June 16 would be a “study session,” where teachers will not be at school. Children are asked to stay home.
“Students will be encouraged to clean out their desks or their lockers and take home all of their school supplies,” said SD 27 superintendent Mark Thiessen Thursday afternoon.
Provincial exams for grade 10-to 12 students will continue as scheduled. Pickets will be down, and management will supervise exams.
“Unfortunately, the district will not be providing bus transportation to and from exams, so students and their parents are responsible for this transportation,” Thiessen said. “Students living in remote parts of the Cariboo-Chilcotin may be able to complete exams at their neighbourhood schools and should contact these schools to inquire.”
He said students in Grade 12 will receive their report cards by mail. Students in other grades will not receive report cards for this term at this time.
Pickets are expected to be back up at schools Tuesday, June 17. Community user groups will no longer have access to school fields and facilities.
Schools in School District 27 were closed and teachers were on the picket lines Thursday as part of scheduled rotating job action.
While striking teachers did receive honks and waves by passing motorists during the strike, some residents also voiced their frustration.
“It’s ridiculous for the children –– it makes me so mad,” said Hilda, a grandmother who was caring for her grandchildren.
Thiessen said the labour dispute has been hard on everyone.
“We all look forward to less turbulent times.”
The issuance of strike notice followed an 86 per cent strike vote Monday and Tuesday with a record turnout of more than 33,000 union members.
If a deal is reached over the weekend, school is expected to resume as soon as possible, Thiessen said.