As the year winds down there are a few bits of information and pearls of wisdom to pass along.
The first of these is my very sincere wish that everyone have a great holiday. I hope everyone gets to spend a little time with friends and family, enjoy a peaceful time and perhaps even enjoy a beverage of your choice.
And now for the other bits…….
First Nation’s Education Committee
This is a committee that meets about 4 times a year. It is comprised of representatives of local bands, folks from the SBO and trustees. It advises the School District on matters pertaining to aboriginal education. The committee also has a teacher representative sitting on the committee. This is a non-voting position. As per our Collective Agreement when the district is looking for someone to sit on a committee they ask VINTA to put someone’s name forward.
We recently received such a request from the Secretary Treasurer. If anyone is interested in sitting on the First Nation’s Education Committee, could you please let me know. We hope to have the selection process in place by our General Meeting on January 22nd.
And, speaking of which, there will be a VINTA General Meeting on Wednesday January 22nd. It will take place at Eagleview School. This will be a good meeting to attend, for a whole host of reasons, not the least of which there will most likely be some very pertinent provincial bargaining information to share. Glen Hansman, BCTF First Vice President, will also be attending our meeting to bring us a provincial update.
We attended a Joint Pro-D meeting a few weeks ago with the Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent. At the meeting we discussed the letter we sent to the District reminding them of the consultative process outlined in our Collective Agreement for the introduction of new curriculum. The district agrees that teachers need to be an integral part of the introduction of any new curriculum.
The ministry is currently seeking feedback with respect to the parts of the curriculum they have published. This would be a good time for anyone with concerns about said new curriculum to bring them forward. The feedback link is: https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/feedback-form
As soon as there is more clarity as to what the new curriculum might look like we will sit down with the District and begin to discuss the implementation.
It has been a fairly quiet autumn on the bargaining. Not much negotiating was actually taking place as both sides were focused on the conclusion of the court case. The government maintains that BILL 22 and the LIF addressed the earlier court ruling. We politely disagree. There will likely be a decision given in the spring of 2014.
I would really encourage everyone to go to the members only portal of the BCTF website – https://bctf.ca/myBCTF/default.aspx . All of the bargaining updates are located there. There is an agreement with BCPSEA that bargaining updates for members be posted on secure websites.
During the last few sessions it is becoming increasingly clear what this government’s agenda really is – and it ain’t pretty. Without going into too much detail here, the government seems to be going after strips to our current ageements in the areas of teacher evaluation and prep time. This list seems to be growing with each passing bargaining session. There is much more detailed information on this in the Reports from the Table on the members only portal. It is very interesting.
Equally telling of government intentions is their refusal to schedule any bargaining sessions after February 19th. This corresponds to when the legislature will be in session and one day after the budget is presented. Oh my goodness, what an unusual coincidence…
And we all know what follows the festive season — FSA season. The FSA tests for grade 4 and 7 will be administered from January 13th- February 21st.
We have been very clear in our opposition to the FSA tests and the manner in which tests are overused and misused by groups like the Fraser Institute
We have sent information out to parents to help them understand our concerns with the FSA tests.
There continues to be an agreement between the BCTF and BCPSEA on a process to facilitate the sending home information about the FSA tests.
More information on this in the New Year.
I do hope everyone enjoys a good holiday. See you in the New Year.
Vancouver Island North Teachers’ Association