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Picketing may escalate this week

Two Langley Education Centre teachers react to honks of support on Monday morning. Teachers picketed the school board office and Langley Secondary with plans to escalate picketing this week.  - Monique TAMMINGA/Langley Times
Two Langley Education Centre teachers react to honks of support on Monday morning. Teachers picketed the school board office and Langley Secondary with plans to escalate picketing this week.
— image credit: Monique TAMMINGA/Langley Times

From the honks of support on Monday, striking teachers in Langley appear to have won the war of public opinion.

But the battle with the provincial government continues for the hundreds of instructors in the school district who await a contract settlement with picket signs in their hands.

Two Langley Education Centre teachers, joined by CUPE support workers, were out picketing at Langley Secondary on Monday.

A large contingent of CUPE workers and at least four teachers picketed outside the Langley School Board office.

None of the teachers The Times talked to knew if they would be returning to work on Sept. 2. Most said they haven’t felt a financial hit yet because they are still coming off summer holiday.

They were waiting for a directive from Langley Teachers’ Association about whether picketing would escalate around Langley this week.

The CUPE support workers The Times talked to said they won’t cross picket lines.

Langley School District secretary-treasurer David Green said the district does not expect any decisions to be made until at least Friday, Aug. 29, and is asking parents to check the district’s website over the long weekend for updates.

The new Yorkson Middle School is ready to welcome students Sept. 2, if class is actually in session, Green said.

“We remain hopeful. We’ve been told if a settlement is reached, we have to be ready to go for Tuesday,” Green said.

But if no agreement is reached, parents are asked not to bring their children to school and to look for alternative care, he said.

The Township and City have created camps for kids with the City calling one of its camps “strike camp.”

The Langley Centennial Museum joined forces with the Fort National Historic Site to offer kids week-long pioneer schooling.

Xtreme Cheer and Dance offered a camp to 100 kids for the first week of school. That camp is full and now they are offering another camp for the second week.

The government has created a website, bcparentinfo.ca for the latest bargaining news and how parents can register to get a $40 a day payment for children 12 and under.

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