School District No. 73 will have a one-week spring break in 2018.
Following several weeks of talks with the Kamloops-Thompson Teachers Association, senior school district staff could not negotiate new language in the local collective agreement that would allow for a two-week break in 2018, the school district said in a press release today (June 8, 20187).
“As a result, next year’s spring break will be from March 19 to 23, in accordance with language in the local collective agreement that requires the spring break to start on the third Monday in March.”
The school district’s Board of Trustees voted earlier this year not to renew a pilot project that extended the spring break to two weeks, returning the break to the length and timing specified in the collective agreement.
However, trustees also directed senior district administrators to try to reach a negotiated agreement with the union, with the understanding there could be no loss of instructional days.
The district could not reach a compromise with the KTTA that would have prevented the loss of instructional days, such as moving professional development days outside the school calendar or scheduling the spring break to align with the Easter long weekend. As a result, senior staff decided it was necessary to put the issue to rest and give everyone the certainty of knowing when spring break will occur.
“Our community deserves certainty in the school calendar, so that families and our staff can make plans,” said superintendent Alison Sidow.
“We took the Board’s direction and tried to reach a new agreement. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen.”
Board Chair Meghan Wade said the board believes it is important that any long-term change to the length of the spring break must occur as part of the collective bargaining process.
“We heard that many of our staff and people in the community wanted a two-week spring break, but many other people also said they preferred a one-week spring break. In the end, we have to negotiate such a change in the collective agreement. That is how labour relations works.
“We want what is best for all parties, but especially for our children. This is their education, their future. It must always be our paramount concern,” Wade said.