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January 18, 2017

  1. Next steps on full implementation of the Supreme Court decision
  2. Interviews on the Supreme Court of Canada win
  3. Report says that textbooks are crucial to tackling discrimination against LGBTQ people
  4. Opportunities for Members: Committee vacancies for the Teacher Magazine Advisory Board and other bodies
  5. Standing in Solidarity with First Nations in the Peace region

Next steps on full implementation of the Supreme Court decision

Discussions with the employer and government continue this week. Our representatives continue to press the Federation's key priorities and expectations for next steps in this process flowing from the Supreme Court of Canada decision and LOU #17 in our collective agreement. The Federation's priorities and expectations are:

  • School districts should be given instructions to share all data and work collaboratively with BCTF locals to inform implementation of the restored language.
  • School districts should be given instructions to begin planning for the full implementation of class-size language, non-enrolling staffing ratios, class composition and inclusion language, and local process/ancillary language from the third year of the 1998-2001 agreement, plus additional and superior local language.
  • The provincial budget in February must contain the necessary funds to fully implement the restored language for the purposes of spring 2017 staffing processes. 
  • The parties consider additional staffing and supports for the remainder of the 2016-17 school year.
  • The parties continue to discuss recruitment and retention initiatives, as well as increasing opportunities to access in-service in all regions of the province.
  • The parties leave proposals for more substantive changes to the restored language for the collective bargaining table opening in 2019. 

To date, the employer and government have not committed to an implementation timeline, or indicated whether or not they intend to pursue a different approach. This is of great concern, and the Federation will push for more movement over the next couple of weeks. There is no reason why full implementation cannot proceed. For more on LOU #17 and other information, see this Q&A.

Interviews on the Supreme Court of Canada win

Glen Breakfast TVTwo recent interviews featuring BCTF representatives speaking about the Supreme Court of Canada win and next steps help explain where things stand and what's next. Watch this interview with BCTF President Glen Hansman on Breakfast Television or listen to this Common Law Radio podcast featuring Glen and General Counsel Diane MacDonald for a more in-depth analysis of some of the legal issues. Please share with your networks, and feel free to use in union meetings at your school.

Report says that textbooks are crucial to tackling discrimination against LGBTQ people

A new post from Education International takes a look at a recent Global Education Monitoring Report Policy Paper that shows textbooks play a major role in helping build tolerance and they positively shape young people's views and acceptance of sexual diversity. The UNESCO research finds that challenging homophobia and transphobia in education is most effective when LGBTI issues are included in teaching and lesson plans, and when LGBTI people are positively portrayed across different instructional materials.

When textbooks feature positive representations of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities and expressions, they indicate to all learners that LGBTI people are a legitimate and integral part of society, and affirm their equality in dignity and rights.

The Federation's TeachBC site that allows members to post and share learning materials has some excellent resources for BC teachers on sexual diversity. Those include, Language and Terminology to Explore Gender and Sexuality and The Gender Spectrum: What Educators Need to Know.

Opportunities for Members: Committee vacancies for the Teacher Magazine Advisory Board and other bodies

The BCTF has an opening on the Teacher Magazine Advisory Board that participates in the annual planning and review of our flagship magazine. Learn more here about the posting. The BCTF is also seeking members to serve as Annual General Meeting Ombudspersons, members of the W.R. Long Memorial International Solidarity Fund Committee, and directors of the BCTF Assistance Society. Please go to the Opportunities for Members page to learn more.

Standing in Solidarity with First Nations in the Peace region

At the fall BCTF Representative Assembly meeting, delegates elected from locals across the province passed a motion calling on the Federation to express its solidarity with First Nations trying to assert their rights related to the loss of agricultural and traditional lands as the construction of the Site C dam moves forward. The Federation has written to the various nations to show our support and to the various levels of government urging them to honour First Nations' rights.


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