No end in sight for Saanich School District strike
The Saanich School District strike has entered its third week, and there's no end in sight.
James Taylor is the Vice President of the Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils of Canada. He says the ongoing strike is taking a major toll on students and their parents.
"It's breaking my heart[...] it's tearing at the very fabric of our school communities and it's very difficult," said Taylor.
Meanwhile, both the union and the school district appear to have dug in their heels. The two sides haven’t met for one week.
Dean Coates, President of the local union, CUPE 441, told CTV News, "We're profoundly disappointed that the employer has squandered away. This is now day six of an opportunity to get to the table to try to negotiate."
Meanwhile, the District's Superintendent, Dave Eberwein, says he's frustrated like everyone else that no agreement has been reached yet.
However, Eberwein is adamant that no student will be held back because of the strike.
"No child will be left behind by the strike in terms of grade progression or graduation," said Eberwein.
For its part, the provincial government has repeatedly stated that it's not interested in getting involved.
Today, the Ministry of Finance, on behalf of the province, issued the following statement:
"Our government supports the collective bargaining process. We believe that solutions are best found at the bargaining table. We have the most generous bargaining mandate in over a decade, that allows workers and employers to make real improvements to wages and working conditions. Nurses, paramedics, care aids and social workers have all reached deals within the mandate."
"To date, 53 of the 69 K-12 bargaining locals across the province have ratified agreements. We believe School District 63 and CUPE 441 can too, and we encourage them to continue discussions at the bargaining table."
At the moment, however, the two sides have no plans to meet at a bargaining table. The only thing planned is yet another rally. The next rally is scheduled for Wednesday morning outside of the school board, starting at 11 a.m.