Kamloops teachers’ union wants two-week spring break retained

The president of the (KTTA said it’s something his union was asking for back in 2007

Dale Bass – Kamloops This Week

David Komljenovic doesn’t want to see the Kamloops-Thompson board of education do away with a two-week spring break.

The president of the Kamloops-Thompson Teachers’ Association (KTTA) said it’s something his union was asking for back in 2007 and was glad to see it attached to their contract three years ago as a memorandum of understanding.

At that time, the KTTA raised concerns about instructional time and agreed to work a slightly longer day to make up for the extra week off.

Teachers voted 92 per cent in favour of changing their collective agreement for a three-year pilot project consisting of a two-week spring break.

Komljenovic said the concerns about instructional time remain and are heightened by the fact many teachers have larger classrooms as the district adjusts to an increase in enrolment.

He said the break is a welcome respite for teachers and students.

Komljenovic said if the two-week break is not included in the upcoming calendar, he’ll be pushing for it when contract talks with the teachers’ union begin again in 2019.

Last week in a 4-3 vote, trustees decided to return to a one-week break in March, beginning next year. However, it’s possible the issue will be revisited. Regulations require the school calendar be posted for 30 days for input before it is submitted to the Ministry of Education.

If there is feedback voicing opposition to the decision, trustees will have to consider it, according to board chair Meghan Wade. She was one of three trustees who voted to maintain the two-week period, along with Joe Small and Joan Cowden. Vice-chair Gerald Watson and trustees Rhonda Kershaw, Cara McKelvey and Kathleen Karpuk voted against continuing with two weeks.

There are two online petitions about the subject, one in favour of a two-week break and one promoting the return to a one-week vacation.

 

There are 60 school districts in B.C. Seven have one-week spring breaks and 53 take a two-week vacation in the spring.