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Clock ticking on deal

Local moms wave to passing motorists as they honk in support of their fight for education in front of Ellison Elementary Wednesday afternoon. - Jennifer Smith/Morning Star
Local moms wave to passing motorists as they honk in support of their fight for education in front of Ellison Elementary Wednesday afternoon.
— image credit: Jennifer Smith/Morning Star

Parents could be waiting as late as Friday to find out if school will be starting as planned on Sept. 3.

The Vernon School District superintendent and board chairperson issued an update letter to parents on the ongoing labour dispute between the B.C. Teachers’ Federation and the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association.

“Unfortunately, the two parties have not been able to come to an agreement at the bargaining table,” said Superintendent Joe Rogers and board chairperson Bill Turanski in the signed letter.

“While we are hopeful that the two parties will reach a negotiated settlement before schools are due to open Sept. 3, a decision on school opening will likely not be made until next Friday, Aug. 29.”

A professional development day is scheduled for Sept. 2, which staff will use to prepare for the return of students if a settlement can be reached.

“This will allow both parties the maximum amount of time to reach a settlement,” the release states.

The local school district hopes to see the labour dispute resolved quickly so schools can return to normal operations and begin the school year on a positive note.

“It is unfortunate that the normally exciting beginning to a new school year has been reduced to this level of uncertainty. This is a frustrating and difficult time for students, parents and staff,” states the release.

“We are most concerned about the effect that this continued labour dispute has on our students.”

Parents can check for further updates at www.sd22.bc.ca as well as through the media, especially over the long weekend.

 

Meanwhile some Vernon parents are adding pressure to ensure both sides come to a timely agreement.

Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and anyone concerned about kids'  education are invited to join a neutral demonstration at Polson Park Sunday (near the fountain) from 3 to 5 p.m.

Those attending are asked to bring signs saying: "Our kids deserve an education."

 

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