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Press Release May 26: Current Job Action Harms Students with Special Needs

The ongoing labour dispute between the BC Teacher’s Federation and the Provincial Government, including rotating strikes by teachers and the recent lock out announced by the government, creates turmoil for parents of children with special needs.


New Westminster, B.C., May 26, 2014 The impact of the labour dispute and now further action by the Government has a disproportionate impact on students with special needs and their families. “Students with special needs who require individual education plans and other supports are most vulnerable during strikes and lock outs.  In addition, catching up after job action like this puts students with special needs at a particular disadvantage.” says Faith Bodnar Inclusion BC Executive Director. “Furthermore, parents may not be able to adjust their schedules as their children require specialized care at home. It’s not a matter of finding a babysitter. Many students will require trained caregivers during the dispute while their parents work. The impacts are even greater for single parents who work.”

Annette Delaplace, Inclusion BC President and parent of a student with special needs comments, “We know that schools struggle with diminishing resources and flat line budgets, putting undue pressure on schools and educators. Without adequate funding and resources students with special needs and other diverse learners are often the first to suffer and have the greatest challenges once these disputes are settled.”

“In a properly funded and supported education system, educators have manageable class sizes and the resources they need to ensure all students receive a quality education. “ Bodnar adds. “While there are significant short term negative impacts for students, especially for those with special needs, the long term impact of an underfunded and under resourced education system is felt by all of us. We all pay for an inadequately resourced educational system.”

Inclusion BC calls on the government and BCTF to resume bargaining and resolve this dispute as soon as possible, so that students can return to school with the knowledge that our province values their right to a quality education.

Inclusion BC is a provincial advocacy organization with over 70 member agencies dedicated to building communities and enhancing the lives of children and youth with special needs, adults with developmental disabilities, and their families. This is achieved through supporting abilities, promoting action, and advancing rights and social justice.

Faith Bodnar, Executive Director
604.777.9100 x. 516 (office)

Vanessa Elton-Smith, Communications Coordinator
604.777.9100 x. 503 (office)


Quick Links

British Columbia Government Newsroom: Teacher Bargaining - What does it mean for BC parents?

British Columbia Government Newsroom: Teacher bargaining information

BC Teachers' Federation: Letter to Parents

BC Teachers' Federation: Press Release: Christy Clark lockout impacts grads, exams, and more 

CBC News: B.C. teachers' strike and lockout: 8 things you need to know

The Globe and Mail: Parents sing school-strike blues as teacher walk-outs begin in B.C.

CTV News: Dispute between B.C. teachers, province leads to rotating strikes

Times Colonist: Teachers’ strike starts in Sooke today

The Vancouver Sun: B.C. teachers, employer suspend contract talks ahead of Monday strike action

The Vancouver Sun: BCTF and government share a dysfunctional relationship and tortured history

CBC Radio: The BCTF side of the education system dispute

Inclusion BC - Press Release: 2014 BC Budget: Inclusion BC Analysis

Inclusion BC - Press Release: Educators come together to support innovative transition planning

Inclusion BC - Press Release: Ruling on teachers' collective bargaining could have implications for students with special needs

Inclusion BC website: http://www.inclusionbc.org/