Teachers upset over lack of recess

Teachers show up at Vernon School Board meeting in hopes of discussing recess cancellation

A large group of teachers showed up at the first public meeting for the Vernon School Board, made up of almost all new trustees.

But any hope they had of a discussion of reinstating recess was dashed.

Board chairman Bill Turanski said at their next meeting in January, trustees will discuss the teachers’ job action.

The Labour Relations Board-approved job action, which began at the start of the school year, has resulted in the district’s cancellation of recess.

“The board is concerned about the lack of progress in the job action, so we will address those concerns about the teachers’ collective bargaining in January,” said Turanski. “And we will look at our options because we are aware of concerns surrounding recess, so the board is going to discuss and revisit the issue in January.”

The president of the Vernon Teachers’ Association said while he’s frustrated by the decision to move the discussion to January, he’s pleased that it will be on the agenda.

Bruce Cummings said all of the trustees — except incumbents Turanski and Mollie Bono — have publicly stated that recess should be reinstated.

“I’d rather have it discussed in the open than not discussed at all, and so although it’s frustrating for yet another delay, it’s a good idea and I’m pleased that there’s going to be some discussion,” he said. “I’m tired of this, and I’m not really pleased with washing all this laundry in public but it seems we have to get some sort of movement to get our message out.

“I think bargaining should be done behind closed doors, but we’re stuck and we need recess; it’s the consultation that didn’t happen that got us here in the first place — this should have been dealt with in a rational discussion in August following the Labour Relations Board ruling.”