Teachers return to classrooms and will likely stay for awhile

Teachers are back at work and will likely stay there for the time being, says the Comox District Teachers' Association president.

Teachers are back at work and will likely stay there for the time being, according to Comox District Teachers’ Association president Steve Stanley.As of Thursday morning, Stanley said there hasn’t been any discussions in the BC Teachers’ Federation regarding walking off the job next week, adding that it’s unlikely because spring break starts for many schools in Victoria and Vancouver.”Some people would be on vacation and they would have no consequences and other people would be penalized, so I think (the BCTF is) looking at all those factors when they’re making these kinds of decisions,” explained Stanley.He added that spring break in the Comox Valley will be during the first two weeks of April, while other school districts throughout the province have spring break dates interspersed between now and then.”So from now until basically mid-April all the school districts kind of spread out in there so it would be very difficult to do any kind of job action and have it uniformly applied across the whole province,” he explained.Meanwhile, Thursday and Friday were declared bell-to-bell days, meaning teachers restricted the amount of time spent at school and limited the amount of interactions they did at lunchtimes.”So the struggle’s not over,” said Stanley. “We continue to look at our options and investigate what else we can be doing.” During the teacher strike earlier this week, some Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) members stood alongside teachers at a rally on Tuesday. However, School District 71 superintendent Sherry Elwood said all CUPE school support staff were working during the strike. “Most CUPE  staff would have been performing their usual work,  however CUPE staff who would normally be working directly with students would have been working on tasks which are connected to other school work,” said Elwood in an e-mail. “In addition, the district organized professional development  opportunities for staff to choose to attend over the past three days.”writer@comoxvalleyrecord.com