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No order for districts to cancel early dismissals: BCPSEA

The B.C. government's bargaining agent says they made no order for districts to cancel early dismissal days.

According to an article posted by the Chilliwack Times earlier today, Chilliwack Teachers' Association President Katharin Midzain laid the blame on the BC Public School Employers Agency (BCPSEA) for her district's cancelation of early dismissal days for parent-teacher interviews.

"Midzain suggested the move might be a directive coming from the B.C. Public School Employers' Association (the provincial body that represents school boards in collective bargaining) since she has heard early dismissal days have been cancelled in other districts as well."

But the BCPSEA says it has given no such order.

"The BC Public School Employers Association has not made any provincial directives as to how to deal with the strike as this moment the districts themselves have to be able to deal with the strike and the pressure within their district as they can," says Melanie Joy, chair of BCPSEA, "So the opportunities that they take within their district to address these pressures are of their own decisions between the board and the superintendent."

Joy further clarified that parent-teacher interviews have not been cancelled, but the BC Teachers' Federation says formal interviews won't be happening.

"We are maintaining communication with parents, we're letting them know about their students progress, but we're not going to formal parent-teacher interviews, no," says President Susan Lambert, who says teachers in districts that have cancelled early dismissals may be upset because they had planned to use that time for informal meetings with parents.

Katie Hyslop is the The Tyee's education reporter.

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