Thursday, December 10, 2020

Prince Rupert teachers express disappointment with SD52's response to concerns

Prince Rupert Teachers, support staff and their 
supporters will be taking their concerns to SD52 officials
today with a car caravan set to start at the School Board
offices at 4PM this afternoon

As they prepare for their car caravan later today to continue to raise their concerns over COVID related issues in the city's schools, the Prince Rupert and District Teachers Union is expressing more frustration with the District.

In an information release from Wednesday, the PRDTU got ahead of the School District's own flow of information related to the Tuesday School Board meeting, noting how they were disappointed that a number of their recommendations have found no traction with Board officials.

“Last night (Tuesday), the School District 52 Board of Trustees held its regular meeting and made some disappointing decisions in relation to school safety during COVID-19. The local teachers’ union is requesting more local leadership on COVID-19 school safety. At last night’s meeting, local teachers certainly did not see the kind of leadership that’s required. None of the school safety motions passed"

In their review of the Tuesday gathering the teachers representatives observed how there were several motions at the Board meeting, and if passed, the motions would have improved school safety. 

In the Statement from Wednesday, PRDTU President Gabriel Bureau observed that "By failing to act, the Board is failing its responsibility for the safety of its employees and the students in our schools.The School District clearly has the authority to exceed the minimal standards already in place. In fact, it already exceeds these requirements in a number of ways. But more is needed. The School District should act now to require masks in schools and classrooms and to provide teachers, staff, and students with other safety improvements."

The teachers also note in their review of events that as an employer the School District has the responsibility to put the safety of its employees first and foremost, equal to the safety of students and other members of the public. 

So far the Board has not released its synopsis of the Tuesday meeting and any thoughts that the Board members may have had about the PRDTU concerns.

The local union membership have been calling for more 'local leadership' for a few months now, reinforcing their  request for a local approach last month.

School District officials will get a refresher course on those concerns this afternoon as the teachers and their supporters take part in a car caravan set to assemble at 4PM near the 6th Avenue East offices of SD52 and then to make for a caravan around the city to create awareness of the ongoing issues that the union has with its employer.

To share more information with the community, the PRDTU has added some additional updates to their website, which you can review here.

For more items of interest on education across the Northwest see our archive page here.

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