Armstrong Elementary School closes Friday and Monday due to staff shortage – Vernon News

Teachers refuse to work

Armstrong Elementary School is closed Friday and Monday due to a staff shortage.

A letter from School District 83 Sut. Donna Kriger posted on the school website on Jan. 13 that the school “will be functionally closed due to staff shortages and the district’s inability to accommodate staff shortages to provide the required level of instruction, safety and supervision to our students. “

The report does not say that the closure is caused by teachers’ refusal to work.

However, the BC Teachers Federation has confirmed that four teachers have refused to work and made an unsafe job claim through WorkSafe BC for low compliance with mask wearing despite public health regulations.

The president of the North Okanagan-Shuswap Teachers Association, Graham Gomme, was reluctant to comment on the situation, but said teachers feel unsafe due to the number of students who have mask exemptions.

“We are working with WorkSafe BC to see if that school is a safe place to work because of the number of exemptions there are at the school,” said Gomme.

“The principal works hard, the teachers work hard and I know the parents have their own concerns about the problems that exist.”

In a letter dated Jan. 7, Kriger said, “In accordance with the advice and directions of the provincial health officer, masks remain an integral part of the COVID-19 safety protocol.”

The district also has plans to increase the protection of its personnel.

In a Jan. 3 letter, Kriger said the district will “work on a limited supply of N95 masks for staff.”

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