The Chilliwack School Board, 2019-2020. (Submitted)

Chilliwack school board minutes suggest legal advice being sought

Board has been divided on next year’s calendar for months, with two trustees in perceived conflict

The Chilliwack School District may be getting legal advice on whether trustees who are married to teachers are really in conflict when voting on school calendars.

The Board of Education has been debating the 2020/21 school calendar for several months, first disagreeing with the Chilliwack Teachers’ Association (CTA), and then rejecting binding arbitration. The board consists of seven trustees. Two of those trustees, Willow Reichelt and David Swankey, are married to teachers. Because of this, they have stepped out of discussions on the matter due to a potential perceived conflict of interest.

The vote to reject the binding arbitration has been three-to-two twice now, and discussions have become heated among the board.

READ MORE: Chilliwack school board rejects arbitration ruling on calendar

Earlier this week, the CTA responded to the board’s actions by issuing a vote of non-confidence. They called the decision to reject the arbitration “a bizarre move with no legal basis.”

In the May 12 Chilliwack School Board regular meeting agenda, the in-camera minutes note that the board discussed the calendar privately on April 28. That was their regularly scheduled in-camera (not public) meeting.

Then on May 4, the board held a special in-camera meeting. The only item on that agenda reads: Legal Opinion Regarding Conflict Trustees.

Trustees cannot speak publicly about the in-camera meetings, and the media does not have access to full minutes of those meetings.

Missing from the May 12 agenda is any discussion on the school calendar. Under the B.C. Schools Act, the district must submit a calendar to the Ministry of Education at least three months prior to the start of the next school year. That gives them until the end of May. There is one more meeting before then, on May 26.

READ MORE: Chilliwack teachers issue vote of non-confidence in school board after ‘bizarre move’


@CHWKcommunity
jpeters@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Chilliwack School District

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chilliwack Crown asking for nine years prison for prolific offender

Crown says lengthy term is warranted as John Field has spent 32 of his 40 adult years in custody

RCMP confirm man dead in Chilliwack shooting incident

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

Chilliwack Economic Recovery Network provides info for local businesses

Local retailers and restaurants are eager to get back to business in a way that’s safe.

UPDATE: Police oversight agency investigating after shots fired Saturday night in Chilliwack neighbourhood

RCMP reported a ‘distraught male’ fired at police officers on Christina Drive – IIO is on scene Sunday

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

‘Not a joke’: Promoter wants to rocket-launch man the length of White Rock pier

Brooke Colby says he’s building an eight-foot rocket in his backyard

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

Boy, 2, left with ‘soft tissue injuries’ after being hit by car in Squamish intersection

Boy was release from hospital, police continue to investigate

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Most Read