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Teacher Newsmagazine Volume 18, Number 5, March 2006

Candidates' statements

FOR PRESIDENT

Jinny Sims
We have begun a journey to achieve full, free collective bargaining rights, restoration of our stripped teaching and learning conditions, and a fair and reasonable salary increase. Our unity and collective strength led to a significant shift in attitude and expectations in BC, and we experienced overwhelming support for teachers and for public education. We know we are not alone. We are only part way there and must continue to fight for our profession, our students and our public education system.

We will also fight for our professional rights, including our right to make professional judgments in terms of student learning. We know the government’s accountability agenda is damaging to teaching and learning. We must focus the debate on the critical need for additional resources to meet the needs of every child, no matter where they live in this province .

I will continue to provide strong leadership, based on membership involvement and co-ordinated strategic action. We will continue to build allies and work with parents, labour, students, and others to build a strong and stable public education system and a just society. It would be an honour to once again speak for the teachers of BC.

EXPERIENCE: Provincial: BCTF President (2 yrs.), BCTF 1st Vice-president (2 yrs.), BCTF 2nd Vice-Ppresident (2 yrs.), BCTF Executive member-at-large (1 yr.), CTF alternate (2 yrs.), CTF delegate (3 yrs.), CTF director (3 yrs.), BCFed Education Committee (2 yrs.), Ministry for Children & Families (3 yrs.), Coalition for Public Education (3 yrs.), Social Justice (3 yrs.), PSA/PSAC (4 yrs.), Health & Safety (3 yrs.), Income Security (3 yrs.), Finance Cttee., Pensions, Summer conference workshop presenter/facilitator, Advisory council of local presidents, pension plan training, Bargaining training; AGM delegate (12 yrs.), LR (5 yrs.). Local: Nanaimo President (3 yrs.), 1st VP (2 yrs.);, Bargaining ctte. & neg. team (7 yrs.), Grievance ctte. (6 yrs.); S/W member & chair (3 yrs.), ProD ctte. (2 yrs.), Program Against Racism (2 yrs.), Malaspina College partnership ctte. (2 yrs.), EAC advisory board (5 yrs.), Co-ordinator for multicultural curriculum (3), Facilitator for conflict resolution. Teaching: 25 yrs., English, social studies, counsellor. Education: B.Ed, UVic & Manchester, UK.

FOR FIRST VICE-PRESIDENT

Irene Lanzinger
Through our actions last fall, teachers sent a strong message about the importance of funding public education and providing teachers with the support and resources they need to meet the needs of every child.

Through our united collective action we asserted our right to bargain and highlighted our need to be fairly compensated for the important work we do in public education. In spite of the courageous stand taken by teachers and the strong support from other unions, parents, and the public, we did not achieve all of our goals. Our challenge for the coming year is to use the momentum and support we have built to achieve those goals.

We must continue our vigorous defense of teachers’ professional autonomy and our opposition to the damaging impact of the persistent accountability agenda. Through our defense of public education and our broader commitment to social justice we strive through every aspect of our work to do our part to build a just and compassionate society.

I consider it an honour to be engaged in that work with teachers and promise my continued commitment to the very important issues we face.

EXPERIENCE: Provincial: BCTF 1st Vice-president (2 yrs.), BCTF 2nd Vice-president (2 yrs.), Co-chief Negotiator Bargaining Team (2000–02), Advisory council of local presidents (3 yrs.), AGM delegate (8 yrs.), Summer conference (6 yrs.), Job action planning committee, LR (1 yr.), (alternate) (5 yrs.). Local: President (3 yrs.), Vice-president (2 yrs.), Member-at-large (2 yrs.), Staff rep (2 yrs.), Bargaining Committee (2 yrs.), Status of Women Committee (2 yrs.). Teaching: Secondary (9 yrs.), Elementary (4 yrs.). Education: B.Sc. (UBC), Teacher Training (UBC), M.Sc (SFU)

FOR SECOND VICE-PRESIDENT

Susan Lambert
I truly believe the gains we made with our strike are immeasurable. The economic gains were one thing. The incredible respect for the profession that developed is quite another and as Paul Shaker says "no small matter." We changed the course of history in this province. And yet it is not enough. As you read this statement you are probably facing the very same teaching and learning conditions that drove you to the picket line in the first place.

It seems as though every component of the government policy known as the "accountability agenda" is a disservice to public education. From the stripping of our agreements, to accountability contracts designed to de-professionalize teaching, to drive-by teacher supervision practices—every component has resulted in an insidious de-valuing of both teacher and learner autonomy. Promises were made at the end of our strike that have yet to be fulfilled. It is time again to get the attention of policy makers and to take action in defense of public education. We have a tremendous unity of purpose that will sustain us in the challenges ahead. I would be honoured to continue meeting those challenges as a part of our strong leadership team.

EXPERIENCE: Provincial: BCTF 2nd Vice-president (2 yrs.), BCTF Executive member-at-large (1 yr.); AGM delegate (21 yrs.), Task Force on the Code of Ethics, Trainer/ facilitator in Namibia (8 sessions) and South Africa (1 session), Staff Rep Trainer (5 yrs.), WOW facilitator, Summer Conference Participant and workshop presenter, BCTF OSD/PD Administrative Staff (4 yrs.), Federation Appeals Board (2 yrs.). Local: (Prince Rupert): Staff Rep (4 yrs.), S/W Committee (1 yr.), Program Against Racism Chair (2 yrs.), Bargaining Committee (1 yr.); Communications Officer (2 yrs.), Labour Liaison Officer (3 yrs.). (Burnaby): Vice President (2 yrs.), LR (4 yrs.), Leave of Absence Committee (2 yrs.), Grade 7 Girls’ Conference (1 yr.), BTA Scholarship Committee (2 yrs.), Job Action Committee (1 yr.). Teaching: 23 years—intermediate, teacher-librarian, learning assistance, gifted education, special needs resource. Education: Honors English BA (SFU), PDP (SFU), Teacher-Librarian Diploma (UBC).

FOR MEMBER-AT-LARGE

Marty Bowles
It has been an interesting year so far. It is going to be more interesting in the time to come. Teachers won the first round, but that was only the beginning. We have found our voices and have stood up for our profession in an historical action. But there is a lot more work left to do.

We should be on the verge of a bargaining breakthrough. I support the bargaining strategy of the BCTF, with the understanding that we must have enough money in the "Big Pot" to make local bargaining a realistic exercise.

I am passionate about Social Justice Issues and I am pleased to see us take on the privatization agenda of the Liberal Government. Our local has been a strong supporter of First Nations teaching interests. Our Union understands the poverty issues so prevalent in our schools today and we have been innovative in our approach to help.

One advantage of teaching in a small local is that I have had the opportunity to teach almost every subject—I have coached every sport offered. This gives me a unique perspective to listen, to any teacher and understand from where they are coming from.

EXPERIENCE: Local: President of the Prince Rupert District Teachers’ Union (1 yr.), Local Rep. for the PRDTU (1 yr.), Staff Rep. (3 yrs.), every union position in the local. Teaching: 27 years (Grades 5–12 in the public system, as a TOC, and on contract basis at Lester Pearson College of the Pacific and at UVic. Education: UVic, I have also been a member of CUPE, the BCGEU, and the United Auto Workers’ Union.

Jim Iker
We are the BCTF and proud to be teachers.

Our strength and passion comes from our daily work in our classrooms, locals, and Federation. This passion was evident in October as we stood firm in defense of our rights and public education.

Continued membership involvement, engagement of new members, and support for all locals is critical for a strong BCTF.

Supporting members in the classroom, defending our professional autonomy and changing the government accountability agenda are important.

I believe in leadership that promotes democratic processes, seeks and heeds member input and provides pro-active strategies that help achieve our goals, and when necessary, stands up for our profession, students, and working people.

Through our united actions we took back our right to strike, achieved unprecedented public support, cracked the "0" mandate, put class size/composition on the public agenda and Learning Roundtable, and achieved local involvement in spending decisions.

By staying unified, we will improve teaching and learning conditions and achieve a fair salary increase.

We must continue to advocate for full scope collective bargaining, funding for a strong public education system, and protection of our social safety net with our allies in Labour.

I ask for your continued support to work on your behalf.

I look forward to talking with you at the AGM.

EXPERIENCE: Provincial: Executive Member at Large (4 yrs.), Learning Roundtable, CTF AGM Delegate (3 yrs.), Bargaining Mobilization Committee Chair (1 yr.), Provincial Bargaining Team member—1st 2 rounds of Provincial Bargaining, GR/LR (12 yrs.), AGM delegate (18 yrs.), Local Presidents’ Advisory Committee (2 yrs.) ,Chair (1 yr.), BCTF Interim Bargaining Structures Committee, Legislative Advisory Committee/team, Staff Rep Training, Summer Conference Participant (24 yrs.). Local: President (14 yrs.), Bargaining Chair (2 yrs.), Chief Negotiator Local Bargaining (all 3 rounds), Bargaining Committee, WLC Chair (2 yrs.), Staff rep, District Health And Safety Committee Rep (4 yrs.), EAP District Committee (14 yrs.). Teaching: 28 yrs. (full and part time), K/2/3/4/6/7–Learning Assistance, Counselling, Special Ed. Education: Honours BA McMaster, B.Ed Dalhousie, Various Counselling Courses, UVic.

Ritchie Kendrick
‘I am the BCTF!’ A great slogan and one our members displayed proudly during the long campaign. This statement is the very cornerstone of our Federation and the foundation of our strength and unity. It is important we never lose sight of what we are: a member-driven professional union. I will work to ensure that teachers’ voices continue to be heard whether they work in our urban centres or in the isolated regions of our province.

During our action in October, we stood firm on our values and inspired citizens of BC to share our goal of protecting and improving public education.

Across the province teachers echoed the same sentiment; it wasn’t about the $50! It was about standing up for our rights and the rights of all students. It was about being brave enough to stand up to a government that didn’t want to acknowledge the state of working and learning conditions in our schools.

We have earned the trust of the people of BC. I am proud of what we have achieved and I welcome the opportunity to build on this relationship as we continue to strengthen our stand for public education and the rights of teachers.

EXPERIENCE: Executive member of SOTA/SOSTU (15 yrs.), local President (2 yrs.), Staff Rep (13 yrs.), PD Chair, Strike Committee Chair, PR Chair, Communications Chair, all committees. Zone meeting Rep (5 yrs.), AGM Delegate (4 yrs.), Summer Conference (2 yrs.), BCTF Public Education Conference (2 yrs.) Teaching: Teacher-in Charge: Aboriginal Education (4 yrs.), BC Secondary Alternate (14 yrs.), Elementary (2 yrs.) and TOC (2 yrs.): UK Secondary (2 yrs.) Education: Certificate of Education (Theatre Arts), University of Wales, Bangor, Wales, Bachelor of General Studies (English major), BC Open University (ongoing).

Kathleen Thomson
We live in times whereby the rights of teachers and students to a quality public education system are under open attack. We have had our collective agreement stripped of its most child-centered provisions; our freedom to bargain eroded; and our professional autonomy challenged. All this is taking place in an education system characterized by underfunding, an obsessive accountability agenda, and a climate increasingly conducive to greater teacher surveillance.

As an experienced Executive member, I am enormously proud of our collective decision last fall to walk off the job and say: "Enough is enough." Our defiance yielded some returns, not the least of which was a groundswell of parental support. But much remains to be done.

If re-elected as Member-at-Large, I promise to work unceasingly to achieve:

• improved salary and working conditions, a return of stripped provisions, and the right to strike.

• meaningful bargaining structures that enshrine local negotiations.

• action plans aimed at returning professional autonomy to teachers.

• an end to government’s agenda to run public schools through SPCs, site-based management, and a slavish adherence to quantitative performance goals.

Let’s return education to those who truly own it—the public, teachers and the kids we serve.

EXPERIENCE: Provincial: BCTF Executive member-at-large (6 yrs.), CTF delegate (5 yrs.), Staff pension plan advisory committee (2 yrs.), Negotiations training, bargaining conference (2 yrs.), Summer conference delegate and workshop presenter (9 yrs.), Chair Metro West zone council (1 yr.), AGM delegate (12 yrs.). Local: President (8 yrs.), Vice-president (1 yr.), grievance panel (2 yrs.), Staff Rep (5 yrs.), Negotiations, job action, advocacy committees, etc. Community: Co-chair, Municipal planning/environment committees, SFU senate (2 yrs.).Teaching: Secondary English, German, French (11 yrs.), SFU TA (2 yrs.). Education: BA, PDP (SFU), PhD courses and comprehensives.

John Wadge
I can't recall a time when our union, our profession, or public education has not faced some kind of threat. But for the last four years all three have faced an attack of unprecedented intensity. Clearly, the current government has a comprehensive plan that would see our union rendered powerless, our profession degraded, and public education turned over to the private sector.

We have met the challenges admirably, stopping the government’s attempt to control our profession through their take-over of the College. Now our professionalism is again under attack from the accountability agenda. We must take this challenge head on as we did with the College issue.

We have taken back the right to strike and given the government pause.

But we now face the uncertainty of a new bargaining structure and quite likely restructured governance. We must be prepared to take back our bargaining rights regardless of the changes.

I draw on a depth of experience in union work that will serve the Federation well in our struggle. If elected I will be a tireless defender of our union, our profession, and our public schools.

EXPERIENCE: Provincial: AGM Delegate, Local Representative, Summer Conference delegate and presenter. Local: Surrey Teachers Association President (3 yrs.), Grievance Officer (3 yrs.), Bargaining Committee, Job Action Co-ordinator, Grievance Committee, Staff Rep., Staff Committee Chair. Teaching: 24 yrs. Elementary, Secondary, Special Ed.

Val Windsor
My proudest moment as a teacher was in October, when teachers in this province rose with a single united voice to protest more than three years of repressive government actions and legislation. Throughout the job action, the BCTF Executive Committee worked tirelessly to provide crucial leadership, direction and support to members.

The issues that moved teachers to strike in October are far from settled and all members will work to ensure they remain at the forefront. Continued attacks on teacher professionalism and the pervasive nature of the accountability agenda are two major issues among others that need to be addressed. We must also continue to work on involving our new members in the work of the Federation.

The BCTF Executive must continue to reflect the diverse views of all members to better enable the Federation to meet the challenges that teachers face today. As an activist and Executive member for the last two years, I have been a voice for classroom teachers and a voice for a strong and united Federation.

I would be proud to continue representing you as a Member at Large on the BCTF Executive Committee.

EXPERIENCE: Provincial: BCTF Executive Member at Large (2 yrs.), Local Rep (9 yrs.), BCTF AGM delegate (14 yrs.), Judicial Council (3 yrs.), Staff Rep Trainer (2 yrs.), CTF AGM delegate (4 yrs.), Organizing Committee CTF AGM Vancouver (1 yr.), G.A. Fergusson Award Trustee (5 yrs.) Local: President (4 yrs.), 1st vice-President (3 yrs.), 2nd Vice-President (3 yrs.), Secretary (3 yrs.), Local Rep (9 yrs.), Bargaining Chair (3 yrs.), and member (6 yrs.), Health and Safety Committee, Working and Learning Conditions Committee. Teaching: 36 years in the profession, Grades 3 — 7. Education: BA, BPBD, PDP SFU



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