Awards ceremony won’t be picketed by teachers

Sardis secondary's awards ceremony won't be picketed by teachers Tuesday during rotating strike action, but will teachers attend?

As Chilliwack teachers get ready for their second round of picket lines tomorrow, they will not be targeting Sardis secondary’s awards ceremony.

Because the high school’s awards ceremony is being held at a church and not on school property, it is not part of the job action purview, said Chilliwack Teachers’ Association president Clint Johnston.

The high school’s awards ceremony, which recognizes high achieving students with scholarships and bursaries, is being held Tuesday night at the First Avenue Christian Assembly from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

“We currently have no plans to be picketing non-district sites,” said Johnston.

Johnston also noted the union does not want to negatively impact student extracurriculars with its job action, including graduation and awards ceremonies.

But will teachers attend?

The local union said it’s not advising teachers not to attend, but that they may be in violation of the partial lockout conditions imposed by the government if they do so.

“It is up to the employer to enforce any lockout order if they feel it applies,” said Johnston, noting there’s been confusion and a lack of communication around the partial lockout guidelines.

However, when asked, a Chilliwack school district official responded by citing a Q&A that was issued by the BC Public School Employers’ Association the day after informing the BCTF of the partial lockout.

“Teachers are free to participate in all extracurricular activities, including on school property. There is nothing in the lockout that prevents BCTF members from continuing to participate in such activities as graduation, sports, and awards events. If teachers choose not to participate in such activities, they do so as a result of their own decision.”

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