Schools expected to open Monday

Schools throughout the South Okanagan will reopen Monday if teachers ratify a new six-year contract.

Penticton community ministry supervisor Joey Cyr of the Salvation Army and Staples General Manager Joe Aschenmeier with some of the materials and gift cards the business helped provide for the 60 back-to-school backpacks distributed to students who are expected to return to class Monday if teachers ratified a new contract Thursday. The backpacks

Penticton community ministry supervisor Joey Cyr of the Salvation Army and Staples General Manager Joe Aschenmeier with some of the materials and gift cards the business helped provide for the 60 back-to-school backpacks distributed to students who are expected to return to class Monday if teachers ratified a new contract Thursday. The backpacks

Schools  throughout the South Okanagan will reopen Monday if teachers ratify a new six-year contract.

Students will return for a shortened first day as usual, followed by a regular class schedule on Tuesday, according to press releases from both the Okanagan Skaha and Okanagan Similkameen school districts.

Parents should consult individual school websites for start times.

Results of the teachers’ vote were not expected to be announced until late Thursday, after deadline.

Okanagan Skaha Teachers’ Union president Leslea Woodward predicted earlier in the day that members would ratify the deal, reported to contain a cumulative 7.25 per cent wage increase and $400-million fund to address class size and composition concerns.

Teachers “realize that under the circumstances and with the present government this is the best we can do right now,” said Woodward.

“Are teachers happy? They’re happy to go back and see their kids. Are they happy about the deal? No. But it is what it is.”

No additional school days are expected to be added, nor will days be lengthened, to make up for time lost due to the teachers’ strike, said Okanagan Skaha superintendent Wendy Hyer, who noted that  decision was made the  by the Ministry of Education.

Hyer asked parents to be patient as schools get up and running and administrators sort out other issues related to report cards, grades, schedules and transfer requests.

School trustees are expected to ratify the teachers’ agreement at special meetings Friday.