by Contributor on Friday, August 29, 2014 - 1:24pm

August 29, 2014

Dear parents and guardians:

Unfortunately, as of writing this letter, no settlement has been achieved between the BC Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) and the BC Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA). This reality has put the start of the school year in serious jeopardy.

The normal hustle and bustle of the beginning of the school year, where teachers are in schools and classrooms this week preparing for the school year, has not happened this year due to the ongoing labour dispute.

Recent News

Fatal accident on Salmo/Creston Friday afternoon

Fatal accident on Salmo/Creston Friday afternoon
An Alberta man has died after a motorcycle accident this afternoon, according to RCMP West Kootenay Traffic Services Sgt. John Ferguson.
"On Aug.

New board director for Interior Health

Pat Dooley . . . appointment to IH board

Interior Health is pleased to announce the appointment of Patricia (Pat) Dooley to its Board of Directors effective Aug. 31, 2014.

“We are very fortunate to be joined by a Director with the heart, drive and focus of Pat Dooley,” said Board Chair Norman Embree.  “She is incredibly dedicated to her community and passionate about health care.”

UPDATED: Mediator Ready walks out on talks; sides are too far apart

Nothing new after Wednesday meeting puts school term in jeopardy.

There will be no deal in the teachers' strike coming soon as veteran mediator Vince Ready walked out on talks between the B.C. teachers' union and the provincial government Saturday evening in Richmond, B.C..

Ready left negotiations saying the sides are too far apart to come to a resolution anytime soon.

"I don’t see a resolution here before the start of school given the positions of the parties. They are a long, long ways apart," the veteran mediator said.

Ready has been with the two sides since Thursday.

Regional News

Now that talks have stalled registration opens for parent support program

Now that talks have stalled registration opens for parent support program

Starting today, parents of public school students 12 years old and under can register at the government website address to receive $40 perstudent for each day school is not in session due to the ongoing labour disruption in B.C. public schools.

The Temporary Education Support for Parents (TESP) program is intended to help parents with the added cost of learning and supervision for the duration of the labour disruption.

UPDATED: Pilot involved in Crawford Bay plane accident trying to abort landing

The Cessna 172 that crashed burns on the Kokanee Springs Golf Course. — photo courtesy Facebook page of Mainstreet Newspaper

Bill Yearwood, with the Transport Safety Board’s Pacific region, told the Edmonton Journal the pilot involved Saturday's plane accident in Crawford Bay decided to execute a rejected landing and attempted to take off again.

“Something was not right on the landing and the pilot elected to abort the landing. During that takeoff from the aborted landing, the aircraft contacted trees and tragically crashed,” Yearwood said.

“(The pilot) had serious injuries, but we believe he will survive,” Yearwood added.

NFD responds to early morning tree fire

NFD responds to early morning tree fire

Nelson's police and fire departments both responded to a tree on fire with large flames in the 1500 Block of Ward Street early Saturday (August 30) morning.

Nelson Police arrived first at the call at 1515 Ward Street, extinguishing most of the fire using dry chemical extinguishers to help prevent the fire from spreading to the house said assitant Fire Chief Mike Daloise.

The first arriving crew from Nelson Fire Department primary objective was to ensure that the fire had not spread to the house itself and to extinguish the fire.

Provincial & National

BCTF President calls upon Premier to meet and resolve dispute

BCTF president Jim Iker . . . call on Premier to get involved

BCTF President Jim Iker is calling upon Premier Christy Clark to meet with him to help reach a fair settlement to the current strike/lockout before September 2.

Over the weekend in talks with Vince Ready, the BCTF trimmed its package by $125 million. By contrast the BC Public School Employers’ Association did not bring one penny to the table.

Furthermore, the government is demanding a court case escape clause, that would in effect nullify two class size and composition wins in the BC Supreme Court and any future decision in teachers’ favour.

BCTF too far from affordability zone for mediation

Education Minister Peter Fassbender . . . disappointed

 Minister of Education Peter Fassbender issued the following
statement Saturday following the decision by mediator Vince Ready to leave talks:

"Today veteran labour mediator Vince Ready determined that the parties  are too far apart for mediation at this time.   

"I'm very disappointed for students, parents and teachers. What should be a time of excitement and anticipation will instead be marked by frustration and uncertainty.