Union files grievances regarding SD71 Alternate Instruction Week

Monday to Friday will become a 4.6-day week as per a new Alternate Instructional Week.

This fall, Comox Valley students will be dismissed early on Fridays and teachers will have a full hour of afternoon prep time, as per a new Alternate Instructional Week. Monday to Friday will become a 4.6-day week.

The Comox District Teachers’ Association is filing a grievance with the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association.

“From our point of view, the whole concept is based around re-arranging teachers’ prep time to save money by having fewer teachers,” CDTA president Nick Moore said. “Secondary teachers, specifically, are distraught.”

He said teachers will work up to 60 additional hours in the school year, which equals about 11 days.

“Every secondary teacher is going to be teaching an additional class of students,” Moore said. “It’s possible that a teacher could have 240 kids next year in secondary. That’s too much.”

From Monday to Thursday, high school students’ first block will run from 9:20-10:40 a.m. Last block is 2:05-3:20 p.m. They will receive four hours of instruction on Fridays.

While some are concerned about the new-look Friday, Moore says others will recognize opportunities involved with the schedule.

“Each secondary school is going to decide what Friday’s going to look like,” he said.

Elementary students will receive three hours of morning instruction and two hours in the afternoon from Monday to Thursday. Fridays will include three hours and 16 minutes of instruction.

“The big change in elementary is that there’s no formal, standardized recess any more,” Moore said, noting a daily allotment of 15 minutes for physical activity.

Fridays also include 65 minutes of ‘curriculum implementation time’ and 40 minutes of teacher prep time.

Because the union is filing a grievance, the school board cannot debate the issue in public. A process is in place to resolve differences based on the collective agreement.

“It’s certainly within their (CDTA) prerogative to proceed if they feel that it contravenes the collective agreements,” school board chair Tom Weber said. “It is the employer’s position that it does not.”

SD71 expects the Alternate Instructional Week will save $1.75 million. Trustees and district staff have been dealing with a $2.8 million shortfall for the 2016/17 school year.

Moore understands the rationale behind the 4.6-day week, noting a shortage in government funding. However, the CDTA is concerned the concept might spread to other B.C. school districts.

“We want to stop it here and now,” Moore said.

View the Alternate Instructional Week at sd71.bc.ca

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

Co-ordinator/founder David Clarke, right, is pictured with members of Comox Valley Street Outreach during Monday’s rig dig. Scott Stanfield photo
Comox Valley group aims to stop overdose deaths, reduce stigma

As the overdose crisis worsens throughout B.C., a local advocacy group is… Continue reading

London Drugs now taking COVID-19 bookings. Screenshot, London Drugs
Courtenay London Drugs now taking COVID-19 bookings

A number of locations in Western Canada selected to give vaccine

A wildfire has started near Gold River, and B.C. Wildfire Service crews are on scene. Photo courtesy Coastal Fire Centre
Wildfire burning in remote area near Gold River

Coastal Fire Centre investigating cause, but confirms it is human-caused

Volunteers paint the famous Denman Island Graffiti Fence with messages for Earth Week. Photo by Danni Crenna
Denman Island celebrates Earth Week

The Denman Island Climate Action Network (DICAN) has kicked off Earth Week… Continue reading

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

Mak Parhar speaks at an anti-mask rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Parhar was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with allegedly violating the Quarantine Act after returning from a Flat Earth conference held in Geenville, South Carolina on Oct. 24. (Flat Earth Focker/YouTube.com screenshot)
Judge tosses lawsuit of B.C. COVID-denier who broke quarantine after Flat Earth conference

Mak Parhar accused gov, police of trespass, malfeasance, extortion, terrorism, kidnapping and fraud

Ambulance paramedic in full protective gear works outside Lion’s Gate Hospital, March 23, 2020. Hospitals are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 patients more than a year into the pandemic. (The Canadian Press)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate declines, 849 cases Tuesday

Up to 456 people now in hospital, 148 in intensive care

Most Read