School was supposed to start last week. Normally that means kids are settling back to the routine of daily classes while parents are sorting through various bills for new clothes, school supplies and other educational expenses.
But this year things are different.
The ongoing labour strife between the province and its teachers has basically put the students’ futures on hold.
An endless summer may mean extra fun time for elementary kids, but it has become a logistical nightmare for parents.
How can any parent plan for the coming month? Do they need to find daycare? Do they need to take time off to stay home with younger students?
At the other end of the scale, parents have to consider what to do with older children. Should they find part-time jobs? How do they stay focused, especially those entering Grade 12?
When can they set their timetables to ensure needed classes are available?
If an agreement is reached between the two warring sides, when will schools open? How long will it take for the classrooms to be ready and teachers to be prepared?
How much time is needed to return to normal? What about the atmosphere?
Will students be entering a hostile work environment once labour peace is finally reached?
If the work stoppage goes further into September, how will the learning time be made up?
These are all questions, with few answers available. So much will depend on what’s negotiated that it is almost impossible for management, or teachers, to answer.
Bargaining has to be ramped up if there is any hope to return to normality. Students — and everyone else involved — need that stability.
Get it solved!