I would like to start by thanking Teresa Wadhams for her presentation to the School District Trustees at their Monday meeting. Teresa spoke of her attendance at the Truth and Reconciliation event in Vancouver in September. It took much strength and courage to speak to the Trustees. It is a hard message to hear, but so important that we do hear it. Thanks, Teresa!
Well, our BCTF table officers ( Iker, Hansman, and Mooring) have been busy meeting with the Minister of Education, Pete Fassbender. Actually they only met once on October 31st. It is an interesting date for a meeting with the minister. One could have a bit of fun speculating what folks came dressed as.
The meeting focused mostly on educational issues in the province. All of the bargaining issues are dealt with at the bargaining table.
The new curriculum changes figured prominently on the agenda. Iker made the point that if the implementation is to be successful then there will need to be a commitment of time, money and resources. Teachers need to be well supported to implement the changes.
Interestingly, Fassbender said he ‘ did not want the changes added on to what teachers are already handling.’ He agreed that success could only be measured if teachers have the tools they need to implement change.
Words are lovely, but words without action are pointless. We will see.
This year each district will receive targeted funding to begin implementation of the new curriculum. It is based on a $20 per student formula. Our district received $27,500.
Locally, VINTA recently sent a letter to the Superintendent outlining the sections of our Collective Agreement the deal with curriculum. It calls for a collaborative process where teachers and the district work together to plan the change. For those really keen the Section of the CA is F.22. It refers to the introduction of new curriculum and the establishment of district committees. We will begin to discuss this at our next Joint Pro-D meeting.
The table officers also discussed a number of other issues, including the TRB, the replacement for BCeSIS, FSA testing and gradual entry for Kindergarten. The ministers response to these issues was more or less ‘I will look into it and get back to you”
Other meetings with the minister are planned.
Provincial bargaining continues to take place after a very long break. The bargaining updates are found on the members only secure section of the BCTF website. You will need to log onto the portal at:
To no ones surprise the government has placed the ten-year term for a contract on the table but there has not been much discussion about it. One of the areas they have been trying to get changes in our CA’s is with respect to teacher evaluation. They believe the process is too onerous on a school district. Poor souls….
I would encourage everyone to look at the reports from the table on the website. It does give one an idea of where this government intends to go.
The bargaining process is proceeding but it is fairly low key.
Closing arguments have been made on the court case. We are maintaining that the government has not addressed the court order to provide remedies for stripping our Collective agreements way back when. The verdict will likely be given later in the spring.
The most interesting information to emerge fro the latest court challenge is the actual documentation of how the government strategy during the last round of bargaining was to deliberately provoke us into a strike. The legislation was already written.
And this brings us to the current situation. Not much seems to be happening on the bargaining front and things seem “quiet” .
The legislature sits again in February. The government has indicated we would likely see legislation dealing with education. ( I wonder if we will like it???)
It is entirely possible events could unfold after the Christmas break VERY quickly. There are a number of different scenarios that could play out. Folks who have been through this before can imagine what some of those scenarios might look like.
To this end, I hope to get out and begin the discussions of what we might see in the New Year. I will get in touch with staff reps to arrange VINTA meetings with each staff.
Hope to see you soon,