Teachers ordered to write retroactive report cards

Chilliwack teachers will be writing term-two report cards for students despite an earlier agreement between the CTA and school district.

An agreement made between the Chilliwack Teachers’ Association and school district on report cards was scrapped Monday morning.

According to CTA president Katharin Midzain, school district officials informed her the agreement was null and void because of a decision made last week by B.C.’s Labour Relations Board, which ordered elementary school teachers to prepare second-term report cards immediately.

However, there was an addendum in the LRB ruling that stated any previous agreements made between local school districts and the teachers would be upheld at the discretion of the district.

At 11 a.m., Monday morning, Midzain was notified that would not be the case in Chilliwack.

“The way it was described to us is that there is a worry parents would be confused about why Chilliwack teachers aren’t doing report cards the way they are in other districts, and that confusion could cause distress and unrest in this political climate,” said Midzain, not masking her anger.

“I’m so mad, so disappointed. And I think this puts into question the ability for us to make good faith agreements again in the future.”

The BC Teachers’ Federation had been fighting against having to write retroactive term-two report cards for elementary aged students, which the BC Public School Employers’ Association demanded.

Because those report cards would have been issued  during job action, the union didn’t believe it should have to write them.

However, in Chilliwack, before the LRB ruling, the CTA and school district had negotiated an agreement where elementary teachers would write informal reports in progress that stated where a student was currently at and what supports were being provided them.

Now, the union has been told it is expected to write retroactive report cards for elementary students.

“I think current at this time is what’s necessary and all that other information that happened has likely already been communicated to parents,” said Midzain. “We have a lot of faith in our teachers and I would hope that our school board did as well.”

School district superintendent Michael Audet declined comment on the issue.

kbartel@theprogress.com

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