Kitimat District Teachers Association president not holding breath for classes next week

Kim Meyers has her fingers crossed but doesn't see an immediate end to the teacher's strike and lockout.

Kitimat’s teachers are more resolved then ever as they face a potentially long haul in the ongoing labour dispute with the province.

Kitimat District Teachers Association President Kim Meyer told the Sentinel that she’s personally not optimistic that there will be school in the early part of September but is hopeful for a quick resolution if mediator Vince Ready takes on the task.

Kitimat’s teachers have returned to their picket lines this week and were expected to be at full strength next week, the scheduled start of the new school year.

“The resolve is still strong. There’s some hardship happening right now, we’re taking care of each other at the moment,” said Meyers.

She said the reasons for picketing are larger than just local Kitimat issues.

“This is all about the conditions in our classrooms,” she said, saying composition is Kitimat’s largest issue.

“In Kitimat it’s all about composition, it’s all about the make up of our classes. They deteriorate more and more ever year. The resources are not there,” she said. “Our libraries are open maybe a day a week.”

She said if the issue were simply a salary issue then the BC Teachers Federation membership wouldn’t have even taken a strike vote.

She said her fingers are crossed for a speedy resolution but her gut is saying no school in early September at least.

“I don’t see it happening, because the government is waiting for the teachers to move to them and we can’t go down to their level,” she said.