Last year marked the first time September 30th – the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation – was recognized as a federal statutory holiday. The Province of B.C. made a public commitment to engage Indigenous Peoples on how to best observe the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation followed by engagement with stakeholders in key business sectors.
As the province continues consultations with Indigenous peoples, it is advising all public sector employers, including K-12 public schools, that the same process should be followed as last year. September 30 should again be observed as a statutory day for remembrance this year for those employees who are normally entitled to federal and provincial statutory days.
The Ministry of Education has advised school districts that in recognition of the province’s approach and based on collective agreement provisions granting federal statutory holidays to some district staff, districts should plan that schools will not be in operation on that day.
Front facing dash cameras on school buses
The CUPE BC K-12 committee has investigated provincial funding for front facing dash cameras on school buses. The following information may be helpful for CUPE locals interested in advocating for front facing dash cameras as a way of increasing safety for students and bus drivers.
School districts have access to funding to replace buses when they reach a certain age or mileage through Ministry of Education’s Bus Acquisition Program (BUS), within the Minor Capital Programs.
Replacement funding for buses includes between $7500 and $10,000 for additional options that school districts can select. One of these options is front facing dash cameras, which cost approximately $2500 – $3500.
It is a school district’s decision which options to select. The Ministry of Education has been informed by the Association of School Transportation Services of B.C. that approximately 80 per cent of new bus purchases include camera systems, either internal or external. It is up to school districts which options they choose to select.