Friday, August 20, 2021

With school set for September 7th return the BCTF calls for range of school safety measures on COVID, launch petition towards their quest

The BCTF launched a fairly extensive Social Media blitz on Thursday, that as the labour organization continued on with a push towards expanding on school safety measures on COVID with the 2021-22 school year just a few weeks away.

“We are hearing from more concerned families than ever before in this pandemic. They’re worried that their children who are too young to be vaccinated might be going back to school without enough protections in place. Things are most definitely not normal right now, so we can’t carry on as if they were.”BCTF President Teri Mooring

The renewed call for COVID precautions in BC schools comes as the fourth wave, summer surge for COVID in the province continues on with a growing number of new cases recorded daily.

The information flow of Thursday included five measures that the BCTF wants to see in place at all schools when classes resume on September 7th.

1. School-based clinics to allow easy access to vaccinations for eligible students.
2. Funding for ventilation system upgrades to meet the minimum standards of MERV 13 filters, and HEPA filters in workspaces where MERV 13 filters are not possible. 

3. N95 and/or medical-grade masks available for all students and staff upon request. 

4. Comprehensive COVID-19 testing strategy that includes asymptomatic testing. 

5. Designated time for health and safety training at all schools and worksites.

As part of their approach towards getting the Ministry of Education to consider their calls for action, the BCTF launched an online petition on 

You can learn more about that initiative which continues to gain signatures through the day from this link from the website

The current hot topic of vaccination mandates was also part of the BCTF information relay on Thursday, though they don't address the issue of whether they are in favour of such a mandate, directing those reading their social media themes to raise that topic with the provincial government.

Towards their call for additional COVID measures for the schools, the BCFT received some support from the Canadian Union of Public Employees today, with CUPE calling on the province to focus on providing clean and healthy environments for students and stafff for the new school year.

You can review the CUPE statement here.

Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside is expected to outline how the Province plans to address COVID issues in the schools prior to the start of school in September, though no date. has been announced for when they will be revealing the details to any plans that they may have.

When summer vacation began at the end of June, the Ministry had indicated that they were hoping to have a 'near normal' back to school when September arrived.

More on Education can be reviewed from our archive page here.

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