Chilliwack schools not open to students during strike

Chilliwack schools will not be open to students over the duration of next week's three-day teacher strike.

The Minister of Education says schools will be open during the three-day strike next week, but Chilliwack superintendent of schools says they’ll be closed.

Superintendent Michael Audet made the decision to close the schools after speaking to several other nearby school districts.

Because of limited supervision, “it’s just not safe for the kids,” said Audet.

“I’ve been in touch with my colleague superintendents in Fraser Cascade, Mission, Abbotsford, Maple Ridge, and we’re all doing the same thing.”

Audet noted that school facilities would remain open, and they would be staffed with principals and vice principals. As well, all non-teaching staff have been informed those days are regular working days.

However, in a media conference call Thursday, B.C. Education Minister George Abbott repeatedly noted that all schools would be open during the strike.

“Schools will be open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday,” said Abbott. “Children will be safe and they will be watched over,” but because there will be no instruction for those three days, “where it is possible, we are encouraging parents to find alternate [childcare].”

When asked by The Progress about Chilliwack’s decision to close schools, Abbott curtly responded, “we’ll follow up on that.”

Nearly 28,000 B.C. Teachers’ Federation members voted yes to the strike option out of the 32,209 who voted Tuesday and Wednesday, after the B.C. government tabled legislation to impose a “cooling-off period” for the end of August and impose heavy fines on the union and its members for strikes during that time.

Nearly 9,000 teachers did not vote, and more than 10 per cent or 4,263 voted against strike action.

The B.C. government will be debating legislation, this afternoon, that would extend the current teacher pay and benefits for another six months, while a mediator works with the BCTF and the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association in an effort to find common ground on class sizes, special needs support and other issues.

The strike runs Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.

The Chilliwack school district has posted a letter to parents on its website informing them of the situation, and will be sending letters home with students today.

~ with  files from Tom Fletcher

Just Posted

Garrison store going to new heights for children’s charity

Save-On Foods employees raising cash for BC Children’s Hospital, by throwing managers from airplane

Tourism Chilliwack brings home industry award of excellence

Sto:lo Welcome Figures carving project outside the Visitor Centre loomed large in the win

UPDATE: Dying days for 25-bed mental health facility on Chilliwack/Abbotsford border

Closure of Mountain View criticized by NDP in opposition but hasn’t reversed Fraser Health decision

B.C’s Indigenous tourism sector takes centre stage in Chilliwack

One-day workshop will look at ways to embue the industry with authenticity

IIO seeks witness in Dodge Ram who may have seen fatality after Taser incident in Chilliwack

Second police watchdog release of vehicle images asking for driver/occupant to make contact

Vancouver Aquarium’s resident octopus released into ocean

Staff let the Giant Pacific octopus go into the waters near Bowen Island so she can reproduce

Two killed, dozen hurt in French supermarket hostage-taking

French counterterrorism prosecutors are taking charge of the investigation into the shooting of a police officer in southern France

Canadian women move to No. 4 in FIFA world rankings

Canadian women match all-time high, move back to No. 4 in FIFA world rankings

Supreme Court rules former Stephen Harper aide guilty of influence peddling

A one-time senior aide to former prime minister Stephen Harper has been found guilty of influence peddling by Canada’s highest court.

Annual inflation rate rises to 2.2% for its fastest pace since fall 2014

Statistics Canada says the consumer price index in February was up 2.2 per cent compared with a year ago

B.C. drug smuggler pleads guilty in U.S. court

Shuswap man admits to using helicopters to transport marijuana and cocaine across the border

Canucks find scoring touch in 5-2 win over Blackhawks

Four Vancouver skaters have two points apiece in victory over Chicago

‘Not well thought out:’ Arizona family slams B.C. speculation tax

American family spends half the year in vacation home on Vancouver Island

Family of B.C. wildfire victim wants better emergency preparedness for vulnerable people

Williams Lake’s David Jeff “fell through the cracks”

Most Read