Bulkley Valley teachers hold a rally along Highway 16 in Smithers on Monday

Teachers to strike next week

The B.C. Teachers' Association has served strike notice for Monday through Wednesday week.

The Bulkley Valley Teachers Union is hosting an information session for the community on Tuesday, Mar. 6.

The event will be at the Northwest Community College in the gathering space, from 7 to 9 p.m..

The session regards Bill 22.

“We want to be able to talk to our community and let them know the concerns from our point of view,” said BVTU President Karin Bachman.

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The B.C. Teachers’ Association has served strike notice for Monday through Wednesday after teachers across the province endorsed the option in a province-wide vote.

The union was required to give two school days’ notice before being in a legal strike position, under a Labour Relations Board ruling on essential services that allows for up to three consecutive days of full strike action next week.

Education Minister George Abbott said Thursday that schools will be open, and parents may send children to school if they do not have other care arrangements. They will be supervised and safe, but likely confined to group activities in gyms, Abbott said.

The LRB ruling prohibits picket lines, allowing unionized support staff to go to work. Administrators will supervise students, but normal instruction will not take place.

In the Bulkley Valley, superintendent Chris van der Mark sent a letter home to parents, advising them of the vote.

He said in the letter that for Mar. 5, 6 and 7 there will be no bus service and classes will not be in session.

Administration and CUPE staff will be reporting to work as usual and StrongStart locations will remain open.

– Cameron Orr and Tom Fletcher

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