Chilliwack parent angered by continued job action

Some parents in Chilliwack are becoming more frustrated with the ongoing teacher strike.

A Chilliwack parent is threatening to pull her son out of the public school system if the teacher strike is not resolved by the end of the school year.

Kim Edmondson, president of McCammon traditional’s Parents’ Advisory Council, is so fed up, she is now considering home schooling or private school for her son next year.

“I’m sick of waiting this job action out,” she said.

“I don’t buy the claims that job action is not affecting the students. I doubt that any employee that is in the middle of job action without a raise in sight would be willing to give their job their complete attention.”

A CBC report released earlier this week had the superintendent of the Kamloops-Thompson school district indicating an increase in failure rates across the board since the start of job action in September.

Chilliwack school district superintendent Michael Audet couldn’t give any such indication on how Chilliwack students are faring.

“We don’t know how our kids are doing,” said Audet. “We really don’t have any idea how many kids are passing or failing – that is a concern.”

B.C. teachers have been under phase one of job action since the start of the school year. As a result, report cards have not been sent home by teachers. The only reports sent home are for classes taught by principals and vice principals, and those for students in Grade 12.

Edmondson fears kids are being set up for failure.

Students are slipping through the cracks, she said. And if teachers go on full strike, they’ll be denied an education altogether. As well, if a contract is signed that teachers aren’t happy with, “we end up with disgruntled teachers doing a half-assed job because they feel as though they got shafted in the deal,” she said.

“Where do students win in any of these scenarios?”

The Chilliwack Teachers’ Association could not be reached prior to press deadline. However, in an interview with The Progress last November, CTA president Katharin Midzain said the union had made it clear that communication was to continue with parents despite job action.