Staffing and LIF

May 13th

Greetings everyone,


The lay off /recall process is now complete.  Everyone who was on laid off or was on the recall is has made their choice for next year.  As you may have seen, the district just posted the resulting available positions. Mostly, these posting consist of part time positions.  Some are as small as one-block postings.  In the past some folks have been able to combine some of the posted vacancies.  This makes for a larger percentage of an assignment, however the nature of the position a bit eclectic, at best.

As there is no one left on the recall list, any position that should become vacant will be posted in the same manner.

Anyone is always able to apply for any posted position.

We will meet with the District for local bargaining again on Wednesday, May 22nd.  The main item on the agenda will be post and fill.  The district has indicated they are willing to discuss post and fill.  Our objective is to open the process up as much as possible.  We will let you know of any progress we make at the bargaining table.  Any potential agreement we may come to with the District is always subject to a ratification vote of our membership.

LIF positions

 The Learning Improvement Fund was established last year by the government as a response the court case we won with respect to the 2001 stripping of class size and composition from our contracts.  After cutting $2.5 billion from education over ten years, the addition of slightly over $100 million over 3 years is hardly an adequate response.  The courts will rule on the adequacy of the response later this year.

Having said that the SD #85 share of the LIF money amounted to $232,000 for staffing this year.   The same amount will be directed toward staffing next year.  According to the statute that established the fund the money is to be over and above existing staffing.  There must also be consultation with the union before the funds are allocated.  12% of the fund is to be spent on CUPE positions.  The rest is to be spent on teaching staff.

Last year the process consisted of the union and the District consulting with school staffs and then meeting to consult about how the money would be spent.  That resulted in 2.0 FTE being assigned to schools – often in fairly small bits.  There was also money assigned to each school for Professional Development-type activities.  It was not quite what we had wanted; however there have been some very positive reports from some schools.  The entire fund is meant to be spent each year.  This year most of the folks who ultimately filled the positions were at the beginning of the salary scale.  It became clear there was sufficient money to allow for a further 0.5 posting at Christmas.

We have had an initial meeting with the Superintendent and Asst. Superintendent.  We reviewed how the money had been spent and what could be presented to staffs for consultation for next year.  One of the thoughts was to try and limit the smaller bits of positions.

The discussion focused on posting in the neighbourhod of 2.7-2.8 FTE.  The thinking was to split this equally between the 4 larger schools in the district and post a .5 FTE itinerant position to work with the smaller schools.  This position would be full time to the end of January.  The idea was to have the person work intensively with a school for several weeks at a time rather than divide the position into wee tiny bits at each school.

The exact nature of each position will be left to each school staff to decide. The regulation stipulates that the funds be directed toward ‘Learning Improvement’.  I am not clear what part of anyone’s job is not directed toward learning improvement, but heh, we didn’t write the thing.

So, coming to a staff near you, will be a discussion/consultation about the Leaning Improvement Fund for the 2013-14 school year.

As a VINTA staff, could you:

a)  have the discussion as to how the fund could be potentially dispersed, and

b) what the assignment at your school could look like.

I am available, and more that happy to come and discuss this with any and all staffs.


There was discussion earlier in the spring about the re-introduction of teacher evaluations every 3-5 years. This discussion has been put aside for the time being.  BCPSEA plans to table language at the provincial table on some form of teacher evaluation.  This will likely happen at some point after the election.  Any local discussion at this time would be problematic – at best.



Fred Robertson

Vancouver Island North Teachers’ Association