Frustration grows over school strike

Vernon School District chairman Bill Turanski expressed his frustration as teachers' job action enters its sixth month

With the teachers’ job action about to enter its sixth month, there is still no end in sight.

Vernon School District chairman Bill Turanski expressed his frustration as trustees met Wednesday.

“After 70 meetings, the two parties have not come closer to an agreement,” said Turanski.

“Apparently it’s going to take some time yet. We had a meeting with MLA Eric Foster informing him of our concerns and asked him to do what he could to speed up the process.”

In addition, the board has sent letters to the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association, the B.C. Teachers’ Federation and the Ministry of Education expressing their concerns over the slow pace of bargaining.

Vernon Teachers’ Association president Bruce Cummings wanted to know if the board had offered any specific suggestions as to how to break the deadlock.

“We feel that these groups know how to break the deadlock,” said Turanski.

Earlier this month, the BCTF brought a new, $300 million package of proposals to the provincial bargaining table.  That package was rejected by Education Minister George Abbott.