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Victoria teachers being told to hold off on preparing report cards

Apr 24 2012

The Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association is telling its members to hold off on preparing report cards despite a Labour Relations Board order that they be done by the end of the month.

The association has scheduled a meeting with its members for this afternoon at Esquimalt High School to discuss their next move.

Teachers and administrators have told the Times Colonist that the local union instructed its members last week to put off starting work on the reports until the membership had a chance to meet.

Association president Tara Ehrcke today declined comment until after the meeting.

“We haven’t had an opportunity to meet as teachers in Victoria to discuss and make decisions around how to respond to the LRB order,” she said. “We’ll be doing that this afternoon.”

Greater Victoria superintendent John Gaiptman said he had heard that district teachers had been told not to complete report cards, but had few other details.

“I am hoping that there is a change in that belief, and that they will do the report cards,” he said.

Gaiptman said he met with Ehrcke this morning. “But at this point nothing has been resolved.”

In a decision released Friday, the labour relations board instructed the B.C. Teachers' Federation to stop telling teachers to refrain from submitting marks, writing reports or performing other work that was withdrawn during their legal strike.

“BCTF and its locals will immediately advise BCTF members to submit marks and prepare student reports,” Michael Fleming, associate chairman of adjudication, stated in a five-page decision.

Teachers have until April 27 to complete the work.

The province's 41,000 teachers, who are without a contract, began the school year by refusing to write report cards or meet administrators. The School Act requires three formal report cards a year. The first was sent in December without grades. The second, due last month, was never issued.

The government ordered that second-term reports go out following the passage of Bill 22 last month. The legislation halted work disruptions. The union refused, arguing that the missed reports constituted “struck work.”

lkines@timescolonist.com