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

Honouring the resilience of residential school survivors on Orange Shirt Day

Wear an orange shirt on Sept. 30 to remember and honour survivors of residential schools

New video takes viewers soaring over Cultus Lake

Posted to YouTube, the vid showcases the natural beauty of the lake and its surroundings

Permanent fish-passage solutions considered at Big Bar landslide

151,000 salmon detected this year north of site

Chilliwack Community Services ends Community Driver program

The volunteer-driven offering helped clients get to important medical appointments

CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Sept. 27

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

105 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death as health officials urge B.C. to remember safety protocols

There are currently 1268 active cases, with 3,337 people under public health monitoring

Another death as COVID-19 outbreak at Delta Hospital climbs to 18 cases

Total of 12 patients and six staff in one unit have tested positive for COVID-19: Fraser Health

B.C. nurses report rise in depression, anxiety, exhaustion due to pandemic

A new UBC study looks into how the COVID-19 response has impacted frontline nurses

National child-care plan could help Canada rebound from COVID-induced economic crisis: prof

A $2 billion investment this year could help parents during second wave of pandemic

16 MLAs retiring from B.C. politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation

Taxpayers pay $4 for every dollar MLAs contribute to their pensions

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Search suspended for Indigenous elder last seen mushroom picking in northwest B.C.

Mushroom picker Thomas (Tommy) Dennis has been missing since Sept. 16

‘Bonnie’ and ‘Henry’ among latest litter of service dog puppies

B.C. Alberta Guide Dogs names two pups after provincial health officer

Most Read