Negotiations break down between teachers, province

NANAIMO – School district warns of potential for cancellations of trips, activities.

Teachers are discussing their next steps in job action after contract talks with the province broke down earlier this week.

Negotiations broke down Tuesday, according to Nanaimo District Teachers’ Association president Mike Ball.

“They were at the table [Tuesday] and [Wednesday] was cancelled because lack of progress,” Ball said.

Ball said there were discussions related to whether to escalate job action, although he couldn’t comment further.

Teachers are in the middle of the first phase of job action, which sees teachers on school premises an hour before and an hour after instruction time. They are not partaking in any supervision outside of class and are not communicating with administration.

The second phase would involve rotating strikes, while the third phase would go to a province-wide strike.

Job action by Nanaimo teachers has cancelled an aboriginal graduation ceremony scheduled for May 22 and a number of track meets. It could affect a number of other activities as well.

In a letter addressed to parents, David Hutchinson, Nanaimo school district superintendent, said field trips, graduation ceremonies and awards nights could be cancelled as a result of job action.

The district said parents should be aware that because of the uncertainty from job action, there is a possibility that money already paid for trips or activities would not be refunded.