Professional Rights and Responsibility
Claiming professional rights and responsibilities
Current government directions in education have eroded the professional rights and voices of teachers. The BCTF has developed a model for a PD day to promote professional leadership.
BC College of Teachers is dissolved
Bill 12 - 2011, The Teachers Act, repeals the former Teaching Profession Act and dissolves the BC College of Teachers. It is replaced with a new council with a more focused mandate, including setting standards for certification of teachers, approval of teacher education programs at universities, and adjudication of serious disciplinary matters. While a new clarity on the body’s mandate is welcome, there are concerns. The legislation essentially removes a teacher’s right to appeal any decision of the new BC Teachers’ Council to the courts, and it provides for hearings to be public.
The 15-member BC Teachers' Council will be comprised of:
- three teachers nominated by BCTF
- five practising teachers elected from regions
- seven persons from education partner groups, appointed by the minister
The Bill divides its responsibilities between four new authorities: the BC Teachers’ Council, a Disciplinary and Professional Conduct Board, a Commissioner, and a Director of Certification. Our BC Teachers' Council web page includes information about the new structures, fee and application information, standards, and the complaint process.
Freedom of speech
Teachers believe that it is their responsibility to push for improved learning conditions within a strong and stable public education system.
Dr. Seuss’s take on equal rights seen as too political for schools
In recent years BC teachers have struggled to assert their right to free expression in the face of repeated attempts by the employer to limit our critique and silence our voices. But the decision by a Prince Rupert school district official to ban a quote from Dr. Seuss’s Yertle the Turtle really takes the cake. More...
Kinzie Decision 2008: Freedom of expression victory
Cranbrook teachers in the Southeast Kootenay School District have won a significant victory in their dispute with the local school board over FSAs. An arbitrator has found that the board clearly violated the teachers’ and their union’s freedom of expression by denying them the right to communicate with parents about the FSA—a standardized test given to Grades 4 and 7 that teachers oppose.
Munroe Decision 2004
School boards attempted to prevent teachers from using school bulletin boards, parent-teacher interviews, and other means to communicate with parents and the public about class sizes, school closures, and non-enrolling teachers.
The BCTF filed a grievance in 2002 and Arbitrator Don Munroe ruled in favour of the union in 2004. The Munroe decision was upheld by the BC Court of Appeal in August 2005. In February 2006, the Supreme Court of Canada denied the employer's application for leave to appeal. It was a win for teachers.