Principal and Vice Principal Association – "At this stage, it is likely that we will be in the early stages of job action on the first day of classes"

The president of the B.C. Principals’ and Vice-Principals’ Association delivered a gloomy message to his membership Friday to mark the end of this school year and the start of summer.

I had hoped to end the year by sharing a positive and optimistic perspective but unfortunately that will not be the case,” Jameel Aziz wrote in his weekly enews. “At this stage, it is likely that we will be in the early stages of job action on the first day of classes. We are still trying to understand what shape this will take, but bulletins issued by the BCTF and BCPSEA will probably answer a lot of these questions. As in any job action, you will have to follow the direction of your Board and Superintendent. We are requesting that the information coming from those groups is clear and consistent across the province. Issues around attendance have been highlighted and are being examined so that the safety of students remains the priority through all of this activity.

“The Association will not be taking a position in support of either side’s view in this negotiation. We are not at the table, and the outcome of the negotiations will not be influenced by any opinions we have, even if we cared to share them. I know that pressure will be put on you to show support or take a position, however, I advise you not to do this. We are part of the management team and we take our direction from our individual Boards. As the school leaders, we are expected to continue to build, or rebuild if necessary, the culture and objectives of the school once job action ends.

“I will be working through the summer to have the most up-to-date information for you and to be able to share the ramifications of any decision in a timely basis. Fifty percent of our current members were not principals or vice-principals in 2005 when we last went through BCTF job action, so we want to ensure that those members are supported and have a clear understanding of their role. I anticipate that this fall will be neither routine nor pleasant, but I remain confident that, whatever occurs, principals and vice-principals will do their best to minimize the impact on students and families.”

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