Fear and Loathing in SD 33
teacher feels "lied" to over agreement before LRB ruling
Submitted by Chilliwack teacher/Voice file photo
Fearing reprisal and punishments like job loss by being labeled
"unsuitable" or "troublemaker", some teachers are forced underground to air
their opinions. Under those circumstances, teachers can be fired with as
little as two weeks notice. The following is from one of our readers, a
teacher, who and wants to remain anonymous. It's important for our readers
to get an understanding of the issue from as many perspectives as possible.
The Voice inquired with this teacher regarding the report card flap and
here's their response;
September, the LRB originally agreed that, as part of our job
action, report cards were not an essential part of our job and we
did not have to do them as long as we communicated with parents on
their child's progress.
All the teachers in my
elementary school called each parent and also many had parents come
in for informal discussions. I felt I had more time to connect with
parents without having to spend endless hours producing a report
Then in March, Bill 22 was passed and job action ended. Then
started the debate between teachers' unions and Ministry of
Education about whether or not Term 2 report cards had to be issued
as the time for elementary Term 2 reports had passed while we were
still in job action.
Then the LRB was asked by the government to overturn the previous
ruling about report cards and to make it mandatory for us to produce
term 2 report cards.
On the Friday, April 20th, our district said that we only had to
send a simple checklist of how students were doing and that no
matter what the LRB decided, that was what they expected from
On the Monday, LRB ruled that we had to produce report cards.
The school district reneged on their promise and told teachers that
we had to produce the full report card. This is a LOT more work!
Also, at this point, many teachers in our school had already sent
home report cards according to what the school district had decided
upon before the LRB ruling.
So, the main issue is that the school district reneged on their
decision to have us produce a simpler, "short-form" type report.
That is what is getting teachers up in arms!
I remember when Liz McKenzie, our CTA vice-president, came to our
school, someone asked, "What if the district changes their minds?".
She replied that they couldn't, as they had written down everything
the district said at the meeting. And now this - they changed their
minds anyways. How can they totally disregard a promise? (unless,
they are taking lessons from our government on how to rip up
Sorry I don't want my name to go on record. I know I'm a coward but
I need my job (and I love my job, don't get me wrong, I just get
angry when I am lied to over and over).
Like I mentioned before, the Chilliwack Teacher's Association will
have more info, as would Michael Audet at the School District
Here is the
abridged version of events:
The LRB had previously
ruled that teachers did not have to do report cards during job
action. (Job action started in September 2011)
Job action ended March
16th and since elementary reports for Term 2 were due before
that date, technically elementary teachers did not have to do
The Ministry of
Education did not like that so they asked the LRB to re-visit
that ruling and change the ruling to enforce that report cards
would be done.
While waiting for the
ruling, the Chilliwack School District made a deal with teachers
and the CTA (Chilliwack Teachers Assoc) about sending home a
shortened version of report cards for term 2. The teachers
agreed. (April 16th)
The School District
said that even if the LRB ruled that report cards had to be sent
home, they would still stick to the agreed upon conditions of
these report cards.
The LRB ruled that
report cards had to be sent out on Friday afternoon (April 20th)
Monday morning (April
23rd), Superintendent Michael Audet issued a directive that the
district was reneging on their original agreement with teachers
and now full report cards were expected for Terms 1 and 2.
Some teachers have already
sent home the shortened version of report cards as per school
district's original agreement with teachers.
The saga continues..
If you are interested in more details, I suggest talking to Kathryn
Midzain, president of the Chilliwack Teacher's Assoc. or to Michael
Audent, SD33 Superintendent.