BCTF experience with the labour movement since joining in 2003
Since joining the BC Federation of Labour in 2003:
- We had public BC Federation of Labour support during our campaign to restore a democratic teachers’ college.
- We had tremendous support from the BC Federation of Labour and local labour councils during our withdrawal of services in October 2005.
- BCTF members have attended annual BC Federation of Labour conventions with over a thousand representatives of other unions in BC. Teachers have had the opportunity to bring forward issues of concern to the K–12 public school system and teachers have become aware of concerns of other workers in the province.
- BCTF members have served on BC Federation of Labour committees, such as the Education Committee. By serving on this committee, BCTF members are able to help develop the BC Federation of Labour position on public schools. Before we joined, the voices of teachers in the K–12 sector were absent. According to Susan Lambert, BCTF second vice-president and representative on the BC Federation of Labour Education Committee, “Class size and composition would not be household words if we were not affiliated with the BC Federation of Labour.”
- BCTF has representatives on the BC Federation of Labour Executive Council, which makes decisions between conventions. By participating on the council, the BCTF representatives were able to co-ordinate support for our campaign for a democratic college and support for our withdrawal of services in October 2005.
- BCTF representatives have served on the BC Federation of Labour Occupational Health and Safety Committee. They were able to bring forward issues of concern to teachers, to help develop programs for educating young workers about health and safety rights on the job, and to co-ordinate efforts to pressure government to introduce worker-friendly changes to the law, regulations, and policy.
- BCTF members have participated in local labour councils around the province. This provides an avenue for teachers to build support for our issues in the community with members of others unions who are often parents and to become aware of other issue facing workers in our communities.