Ministry of Education continuing to monitor SD27

By Greg Fry
December 7, 2017 - 9:13am

KAMLOOPS — Still no resolution in the Cariboo-Chilcotin School District between administration and the teachers' union.

Last month, the Cariboo-Chilcotin Teachers' Association unanimously passed a motion of non-confidence in the superintendent, secretary-treasurer and school board trustees.

The union is alleging financial mismanagement noting the district isn't complying with last year's BCTF Supreme Court of Canada ruling concerning class size and composition.

B.C.'s NDP government sent special advisor Dianne Turner to Williams Lake last week in response to the situation.

"She met with some district officials. She met with the Administrators Association and she met with the Teachers' Association," says CCTA President Murray Helmer. "She spent three hours with us. We reviewed documents, talked about the situation, gave her examples, gave her factual, concrete information that she could take back to the minister and report back on how she's gauged the feelings of the membership, the administrators and how the situation looked from somebody from the outside."

So, what's next?

"The minister is on record as saying he's waiting for a report from Dianne Turner and at this point I have not heard back from her on what her intentions are. I assume that report is forthcoming and we'll hear something at that point. I have heard speculation she's coming back (to Williams Lake) but there's no confirmation on that."

Helmer is hoping some good can come out of the situation to the benefit of staff and students.

"There are a lot of things that could be done differently and better that would make our environment more inclusive and more safe for our members. Free from harassment type behaviours and as well the supports for students in the classrooms. We have a lot of vulnerable special needs students that are not getting the benefits of what the restored contract language was supposed to provide."

CFJC Today contacted School Board Chair Tanya Guenther this week for her take on Turner's visit but she declined to comment.

Education Minister Rob Fleming wasn't available for comment today but the Ministry provided the following statement: "The Ministry and the BC Public School Employers Association are aware of the CCTA motion and will continue to monitor the situation. Since issues were identified by several groups, the Ministry sent Dianne Turner to further explore the concerns we are hearing about.

"She will be continuing her examination of the district's affairs over the next month."

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