LETTER: Report cards may be added to teachers' duties by labour board
The purpose of this letter is to share more current information with you regarding the strike action being taken by the members of the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation (BCTF).
At the time of writing, teachers throughout the Province of British Columbia are
entering their third month of strike activity and are still in Phase I of teacher job action.
Phase I of the teachers’ job action focuses on the withdrawal of many services normally provided by teachers, but deemed by the Labour Relations Board to be “non-essential.”
If you have been following the strike action, you will know that there are many issues
being discussed at the provincial bargaining table. Unfortunately, it is my observation that progress is slow and I am concerned that we will not be seeing an end to the strike action any time soon. For more information about the strike action, I encourage you to visit our website (www.sd51.bc.ca).
I strongly encourage you to visit the website for the British Columbia School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) to better understand some of the issues and challenges related to collective bargaining and the present strike action being taken by teachers. You can access their website from our job action update page on our website. You may also wish to access the perspective of the BCTF by visiting their website (http://www.bctf.ca/).
Report cards: updated information
The Deputy Minister of Education has directed school districts to ensure that formal
report cards are provided for each student, as required by legislation. However, during strike action being taken by members of the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation (BCTF), teachers are required neither to complete nor distribute formal report cards for students as these services are considered by the Labour Relations Board to be “nonessential.”
Teachers are not required to provide any student assessment data to administrators or the school office, except grade 12 marks required for graduation,
post-secondary applications, and scholarship purposes.
Last week BCPSEA submitted a request to the Labour Board to reconsider their
designation of report cards as a “non-essential” service and require teachers to
complete report cards. We anticipate a decision from the Labour Board mid-
November. If the Labour Board deems report cards an essential service then the
district will be supplying report cards to parents in the normal fashion.
If the Labour Board does not change its designation then in order to ensure that school districts are acting within the parameters of the relative laws, each student will be issued a formal report card from the District that includes attendance information, the names of the student’s teacher(s), the signature of the Principal, and information regarding student achievement in classes that are taught by administrators, who are not members of the BCTF.
Teachers have been encouraged by their local union Presidents to communicate with parents regarding student achievement. This direction is strongly supported by District Administration. We recognize that teachers are choosing to phone, email or send notes and informal reports home with students to parents. Parents are advised that contact by teachers will vary and that there likely will be very limited consistency within the same school and throughout the district.
Parents are encouraged to telephone their child’s teachers if you have questions or
concerns about your child’s progress.
Superintendent of Schools/CEO