Canadian Union of Public Employees members Ann Walker

Canadian Union of Public Employees members Ann Walker

Strike won’t delay exams, grad ceremonies

Provincial exams continue until Tuesday (June 24), despite Nanaimo teachers and their colleagues walking out in a full-scale strike.

Provincial exams continue until Tuesday (June 24), despite Nanaimo teachers and their colleagues across the province walking out in a full-scale strike.

The B.C. Labour Relations Board ruled that provincial exams, which began yesterday, are an essential service. According to Donna Reimer, Nanaimo school district spokeswoman, the district believes there is enough management staff to assist with exams and if teachers are required, it would only be on a limited basis.

Mike Ball, Nanaimo teachers’ union president, said while teachers are behind pickets, they won’t prevent students from taking exams and will only assist if necessary.

“The protocol is that they call the union first and we ensure they’ve deployed everybody that’s possible and we have a bank of people that we would be calling to go in,” said Ball.

As per the ruling, there will be a special entrance that students will enter to take provincials, so as not to interfere with picket lines and in most cases, but not all, it will be the main entrance to the high school.

“There’s specific information about the picket lines, where to enter the school and the picket lines will be open for a half hour before exams and a half hour after the exams,” Reimer said.

School administration will mark exams.

Graduation ceremonies will take place June 25-26 at the Port Theatre, with staff taking care of organization. Ball said some teachers will be in the crowd.

“My understanding is there are some [teachers] who will be attending but they’re attending, they’re not supervising,” Ball said, adding that it’s unlikely teachers will assist with award presentations.

For any exam or bus schedule information, please visit www.sd68.bc.ca.

reporter@nanaimobulletin.com