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Teacher Newsmagazine Volume 16, Number 4, March 2004

AGM 2004Candidate statements for Executive Committee positions


Jan Eastman

We are a union whose members belong to the proud profession of teaching. How we represent ourselves is vital to our success. We can regain our role as the rightful voice of teachers, a credible authoritative voice, welcomed and believed. We can create member confidence and attract new members to activism.

This Federation too often seems remote to members. Instead, we can achieve our goals by representing teachers professionally, being politically and financially accountable to members, building relationships with like-minded unions and education partners, especially the Ministry, and developing intelligent strategic plans.

Most immediately, we must ensure that the College is a self-regulating professional body and that the current standards do not gain the status of bylaws.

Members want professional support that meets teachers’ diverse needs and helps us find joy in teaching. We must halt the insidious takeover of teaching by a narrow definition of education, and provide real support to teachers.

Growing demands on locals require commensurate support. The sensitive balance between resources and support must be met respectfully, with real leadership.

I bring more than 30 years of activism, local, provincial, national, international leadership experience. I believe in teachers and the job we do. I want members to say with pride, "That’s my Federation working for me."

International: Education International Executive Board, and chair of Status of Women Committee (3 yrs). National:Canadian Teachers’ Federation President (2); President Designate (1); Vice-president (1); Board of Directors (10); CTF Trust Fund (2); AGM delegate (10). CTF National issues Cttee (4), Education development (2); Economic services (1). Provincial: BCTF 2nd Vice President (2); Executive Committee (8.5). BCTF EC rep to: Prov. Barg. Ctte (1); TF on Barg Structures & related matters; BCTF/CUPE TF on roles & resp. of teachers & teacher assistants; Negotiating team with admin union. Prov committees: Teacher personnel (6); Prof relations advisors’ ctte (mediation); Political action TF; Speaking to teachers-verbal skills; Prog for Quality Teaching; Labour liaison ctte; Charter challenge plaintiff; International solidarity. BCTF Administrative Staff (4) (PD-3, Field Service-1) Local: Delta TA-currently 1st VP & Barg chair; President (3); VP (3). Executive: Kitimat (4) Langley (4). Local cttee: Political action, bulletin, advocacy, status of women, Sign-up/certification co-ordinator, bargaining, PD, community action, teacher evaluation, liaison CUPE 1091, Violence-free Schools, advocacy for Public Education, communications.. AGM delegate 25+ yrs. Teaching: Secondary Learning disabilities, Learning Assistance, English, Social Studies, English Second Language Grades 8-12, SFU faculty associate-PDP (2), Teaching assistant SFU. Education: B.A., Diploma of Education; M.A. (Educ.)

Jinny Sims

The commitment and strength shown by members in the College strategy must continue in our defence of public education and our social safety net. Solidarity and strength can defeat this government’s agenda. I will continue strong leadership, one that is based on membership involvement and co-ordinated strategic action.

We must fight for our bargaining rights, intrinsically linked to teaching and learning conditions. We are a union of professionals that will not be silenced. We will be advocates for our profession and our students.

This is fundamental to our work, our goals, and our beliefs.

We will continue to work with our allies to focus on the devastating impact of education underfunding. We are not alone. We are making a difference.

We will work with others to address the social issues that affect the children in our classrooms, and help rebuild healthy communities.

I will draw on my strong background in bargaining,

pro-d, social justice, and political campaigns to advocate for our members and students.

I look forward to the next year as we continue to build allies, work within the B.C. Federation of Labour, with parents, students, and others who care about a strong and stable public education system and a just society.

I ask for your continued support.

Provincial: BCTF 1st Vice-president (2 yr.), BCTF 2nd Vice-Ppresident (2), BCTF Executive member-at-large (1), CTF alternate (2), CTF delegate (3), CTF director (2), BCFed Education Committee (1), Ministry for Children & Families (3), Coalition for Public Education (3), Rehab Expansion (3), CUPE Liaison (2), Social Justice (3), PDAC (3), PSA/PSAC (3), Health & Safety (3), Income Security (3), Finance Cttee., Pensions, Summer conference workshop presenter/facilitator, Advisory council of local presidents, pension plan training, Bargaining training; AGM delegate (12), LR (5), Bargaining council rep (2). Local: Nanaimo President (3), 1st VP (2);, Bargaining ctte. & neg. team (7), Grievance ctte. (6); S/W member & chair (3), ProD ctte. (2), Program Against Racism (2), Staff rep (10), Staff committee chair (5), member (15), Malaspina College partnership ctte. (2), EAC advisory board (4), Co-ordinator for multicultural curriculum (3), Facilitator for conflict resolution, Teaching: 24 yrs., English, social studies, counsellor. Education: B.Ed, UVic & Manchester, UK.


Irene Lanzinger

At the heart of our work as teachers is the knowledge that public education is the foundation of a democratic society. One of the greatest threats to public education is the failure of governments to provide the funding necessary to meet the needs of students. We must continue our vigorous political action campaign to pressure the government on the issue of funding.

We strengthen public education through our work in professional development, collective bargaining and social justice. Through professional development we improve teaching practice and learn how to better meet the needs of students. Teacher collective bargaining has helped meet the economic and professional needs of teachers and gain resources to improve teaching and learning conditions. Social justice activism helps to build a compassionate and just society.

We have had some success in the municipal elections, in the College of Teachers strategy and in the legal challenge to the stripping of our collective agreement. That success has been based on listening to each other, communicating clearly and having faith in the strength of our members.

I would be proud to continue to work with members in our struggle for a strong and stable public education system.

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


Susan Lambert

The past year was tumultuous for teachers in B.C. The attacks on our profession and the deliberate attempt to undermine our credibility gave us the opportunity to assert our professional autonomy and collective voice. We debated issues of central concern to our profession and we have emerged the stronger for it.

Our integrity has seen us through. And so has our strategy.

I believe the strengths of our College strategy are its transparency, the degree of membership involvement, the nature of the lever we exerted, and our resolve. We have been careful throughout to share all the information including the risks involved.

We held school visits, local and provincial meetings at each critical stage. Members directed the plan from the start. The decision to withhold our College fees was strategic, powerful, and practical. We understood the seriousness of the assault on our profession and we stood our ground.

We need to replicate these strengths in whatever we do as a union. I will always work for open processes that inform and involve members in meaningful decision-making. I am proud to be a teacher and a member of the BCTF and I will do my best to defend our profession and strengthen our collective voice.

Provincial: BCTF Executive member-at-large (1 yr.); AGM delegate (20 yrs), 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 yr), LR (4 yrs), Leave of Absence Committee (2 yrs), Grade 7 Girls’ Conference (1 yr), BTA Scholarship Committee (2 yr), Job Action Committee (1 yr). Teaching: 23 years–intermediate teacher, teacher-librarian, learning assistance, gifted education, special needs resource. Education: Honors English BA (SFU), PDP (SFU), Teacher-Librarian Diploma (UBC).

Kathleen Thomson

In the government’s drive to turn education into a saleable commodity, it is teachers who have forfeited the most. Our collective losses are formidable: eradicated jobs; dismantled contractual and bargaining rights; and curtailed professional freedom instituted by a College dedicated to increased teacher surveillance and discipline.

Our federation—itself the target of government malice—has multiple responsibilities in its fight to restore funding and stability to public education. It must continue devising successful political strategies and pro-active alliances with parents and citizens. Teachers’ increased efforts to elect a government ruled by compassion rather than corporate ideals are critical and must be supported.

Political aims, though, must be counter-balanced by greater attention to teachers’ immediate professional needs. Indifference to the union’s purpose is real for many members. To counter this alienation, the BCTF must provide tangible improvements to teachers’ working conditions by bargaining strategically, increasing support to large locals, and strengthening influence over the new Education Minister and partner groups whose aims are antithetical to ours.

On my office wall a sign reads: "Never, never give up." If elected, I will dedicate my intelligence and foresight to serve teachers, and will never give up until B.C. teachers’ rights are again honoured.

Provincial: BCTF Executive member-at-large (4 yrs.), CTF delegate (4), Staff pension plan advisory committee (2), Negotiations training, bargaining conference (2), Summer conference delegate and workshop presenter (7), Chair Metro West zone council (1), AGM delegate (10). Local: President (7), Vice-president (1), Grievance panel (2), Staff Rep (5), Negotiations, job action, advocacy committees, etc. Community: Co-chair, Municipal planning/environment committees, SFU senate (2). Teaching: Secondary English, German, French (11), SFU TA (2). Education: BA, PDP (SFU). PhD courses and comprehensives.


Milan Boljuncic

"To foster and promote the cause of education, to raise the status of the teaching profession, and to promote the welfare of teachers in BC." – the original objectives of the BCTF have not changed significantly since the first AGM in Vancouver 87 years ago. What are also consistent are the oppressive governments who preach the virtue of education but deceive the public and teachers with "fiscal responsibility." Can we really equate children with products of a market economy?

Today’s teachers continue to take pride in educating children, both in the classroom and through extra-curricular activities. I believe that in order for the BCTF to remain relevant to activists and non-activists, we must continue to find ways for every Professional in our Union to have a voice. Our Federation needs to examine the values of both experienced as well as our beginning teachers.

We need to continue to advocate for a fully funded public education system as well as success for every child. I believe we need to continue to build and strengthen our ties with parents, labour, communities, and most importantly, our own teachers.

As a Member-at-Large I look forward to bringing new perspectives to our provincial body that strengthen the multiple interests of our membership.


School Staff Representative (4), School Staff Chair (3), School Planning Council Representative, NVTA Executive–Member-at-Large (2), Local Representative (1), Alternate Local Representative (2) Delegate, BCTF Annual General Meeting (5), Vancouver and District Labour Council Representative, Local Bargaining Committee, District Counseling Review Committee, District Graduation Review Committee, School Health and Safety Representative, District Professional Development Committee, Joint District Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Committee. Education: Diploma of Liberal Arts (University of Zagreb, Croatia); B.A. (SFU); B.Ed. (UBC); M Sc. (University of Oregon).

Linda Burkholder

These are critical times for teachers and for teaching as a profession. We have been under attack to an extent that we have never been before.

It is essential that we stand together. It is important that we deal with all the changes made to the College of Teachers, not just the issue of representation. As we begin a new round of bargaining, we must be committed to the restoration of full, free collective bargaining rights. Time to teach has never been so important. Teachers are buried under a workload that is crushing. At a time when class sizes are rising and support for classroom programs has been drastically cut, administrators and the Ministry have added tons of bureaucratic garbage to teachers’ workloads. Professional autonomy is also being attacked. More and more, teachers are being told how they must teach.

Finally, the future of the BCTF-What kind of organization will it be? What services will it provide? These are crucial battles that need to be fought, problems that need to be solved and questions that need to be answered. If elected Member-at-Large, I pledge my time and energy to fighting the battles, seeking solutions, and finding answers.

Provincial: Many years as a delegate to the BCTF AGM and BCTF Summer Conferences. Many years as a Staff Rep. Local: President, Local 59, Peace River South (5 yrs); Vice-President, PRSTA (5 yrs); PRSTA Bargaining Team (12 yrs); PRSTA Bargaining Chair and Chief Negotiator (7 yrs). Teaching: 32 years in British Columbia (grades K—7, and 10—12). Education: B.Sc. Ed., University of Texas @ Austin, 1971, U. of Calgary and UBC, Courses in School Librarianship, U. of Lethbridge, currently working on Masters in Educational Leadership.

John Chisamore

As an incumbent member of the BCTF Executive Committee and a long time teacher activist from the East Kootenays, I am putting my name forward for re-election as a Member-at-Large.

The past three years of Liberal government have been difficult for teachers. We have worked hard to maintain a high standard of education in this province. The BCTF has initiated strategies to counteract the attack on our professionalism and our working conditions. Our strategies included direct membership involvement both at the provincial and local levels. We have recently seen our strategies bear fruit in important wins, both in the courts, and in the recent announced change in the government’s position regarding the B.C. College of Teachers.

Over the next year we must continue to build coalitions with others who support a quality public education system in BC. We must use our resources wisely in order to affect the changes we want politically and at the bargaining table.

Together, we can make a difference! Membership involvement keeps us committed and focused on our long term goals.

At the 2004 AGM I seek your continued support to be a member of an Executive Committee that is receptive to membership concerns, and proactive in defending our important role in public education.

Provincial: BCTF EC Member-at-Large (3 yrs); CTF AGM delegate (3 yrs); CTF Director & Finance Committee (1 yr); LR (14 yrs); AGM delegate (20 yrs); Bargaining Council/Bargaining Committee (1 round); Income Security Committee (6 yrs); ACLP (4 yrs); Zone: East Kootenay President (4 yrs); East Kootenay Vice President (3 yrs); East Kootenay Sec-Treas (3 yrs); Kootenay Zone Chairperson (1 yr). Local: President (12 yrs: 1981—82, 1983—85, 1995-2004); Bargaining Committee (19 yrs); Negotiating Team (3 rounds); Grievance Committee (16 yrs); Information Technology Steering Committee (6 yrs); Teaching: Physics/Science/Computer Science/Math (23 yrs BC); Science/Math (2 yrs ON); Education: B.Sc., B.Ed.

Ieke Giese

This has been a challenging years for ALL teachers in B.C. Our classes are bigger, support for our students is being dismantled, and schools continue to be closed.

Despite this, we need to celebrate. Our voices are strong and united, and some positive changes were made to the College. Because of teacher action, some of the stripped parts of our collective agreements have been returned. However, the fight is not yet over.

Now is the time for all members to become even more active in our Federation. With a new Minister of Education, we need to ensure that our united voice regarding the underfunding of public education is heard. We must determine and control our own professional development as the true professionals that we are. We must maintain our professional autonomy. We must remain active in our role as a social justice union. We deal with social justice issues from the classroom to the international level. We must recommit, as devastating changes to our social safety net are enacted. Everyone will be affected by these changes.

I look forward to having the opportunity to work with BCTF members on these critical issues as we stand together and change the world.

Local: delegate to the BCTF (15 years), President of the North Vancouver Substitute Teachers’ Association (3 years), chief staff rep (16 years), Bargaining Chair (1 year), member of Bargaining Committee (9 years), Status of Women Chair (5 years), Member-at-Large (3 years), Secretary (1 year) BCTF: table officer of the Provincial Association of Substitute Teachers (2 years), Social Justice Advisory Committee (3 years), co-chair (1 year), chair (1 year), local association representative to the BCTF RA (2 years), Staff Union Rep Trainer (4 years), Parent Presentations facilitator (4 years); Teaching: teacher-on-call (3 years), Kindergarten to Grade 7 (13 years) presently teacher-librarian (3 years)

Jim Iker

Our strength and passion comes from the work we do each day in the classroom, in the Local and in the Federation.

Continued membership involvement, and support for all locals is critical to a stronger BCTF.

We need to support members’ needs in the classroom and defend our professional autonomy.

I believe in strong leadership that promotes democratic processes, seeks and listens to member input, and provides pro-active strategies and plans that help us achieve our goals and take back our profession.

Through our actions and unity we have achieved some real successes such as the "quashing" of the Rice stripping, our stand for a Democratic College, the Charter for Public Education and increased public support.

Together we can build on our successes and work toward restoring full and free collective bargaining. Through bargaining we need to improve learning and teaching conditions, and achieve a fair and reasonable salary increase.

We must advocate for full funding for a strong and stable public education system, the rebuilding of our social safety net, and the election of a socially responsible government.

I ask for your continued support to work on your behalf as Member At Large.

I look forward to talking with you at the AGM about all the issues.

Provincial: Provincial Executive Member at Large (2 yrs); CTF AGM Delegate (1); Bargaining Mobilization Committee Chair (1); Provincial Bargaining Team member—1st 2 rounds of Provincial Bargaining GR/LR (12); AGM delegate (16); Local Presidents’ Advisory Committee (2) Chair (1); BCTF Interim Bargaining Structures Committee; Legislative Advisory Committee/team; Staff Rep Training; Summer Conference Participant (22). Local: President (12); Bargaining Chair (2); Chief Negotiator, Local Bargaining (all 3 rounds); Bargaining Committee; WLC Chair (2); Staff rep; District Health And Safety Committee Rep (4); EAP District Committee (10). Teaching: 21 years (full and Part time) K/2/3/ 4/6/7, Learning Assistance, Counselling, Special Ed. Education: BA—McMaster, B.Ed— Dalhousie, Various Counselling Courses—UVic.

Al Klassen

This is a critical time for teachers in the public education system. After numerous setbacks, teachers have finally been able to demonstrate their resolve, and use that resolve to make their concerns about public education and their role as professionals known.

The BCTF will need effective leadership from every member of the Executive Committee in order to move forward with the issues that are causing so many challenges for our classroom teachers. The Federation must build stronger and more productive relationships with its members and with other stakeholders in the public education system. Teachers are knowledgeable and dedicated professionals whose input must be heard by those who effectively control and shape public education in this province.

The Executive Committee needs a variety of perspectives and voices of reason. I offer my experience as the president of a mid size local, a classroom teacher and a person who takes a thoughtful, reflective and collaborative approach to problem solving.

Teachers have a number of important issues to be addressed in the coming year. I am hopeful that my voice will be heard as part of the Executive Committee who will address these issues on behalf of all teachers in this province.

Provincial: ACLP (3 yrs.), BCTF AGM delegate (5 yrs.). Local: President (3yrs.), Vice-President (2 yrs.), Local Bargaining Chair (2 yrs.), Health & Safety Rep (2 yrs.), Member-at-Large (2 yrs.), Staff Rep (2 yrs.). Teaching: 11 years Secondary Technology Education. Education: B. Ed UBC, trades–BCIT (PVI). Other: 17 years Journeyman Ironworker/ Welder, General Foreman, Company Superintendent.

Fran Robinson

My fundamental principle is based on the belief that teachers are the BCTF. Teachers are responsible for making sure the Federation speaks and acts in ways determined through our democratic processes.

Teachers struggle to meet the needs of students and families who are suffering as a result of government social policy changes. The social responsibility teachers share enables us to speak out for public education and to advocate for change that makes a difference.

As we enter a bargaining year, teachers are concerned. Having been both a local Bargaining Chair and President, I know first-hand what responsible collective bargaining is. We may not control this process, but we remain united. Our professional and economic concerns must be addressed so we can better focus on the needs of our students.

In spite of many adversities, we have successes to show for our collective commitments and decisions. The recent court ruling in our challenge of the Rice Arbitration, our determination in the face of the government-appointed College of Teachers and success of the Joint Trusteeship Pension Plan demonstrate the collective strength of teachers. Support me, working for you, to put in force the resolutions and goals of the teachers of British Columbia.

Provincial: BCTF Local representative (3 yrs). BCTF Pension Committee and TPP Advisory Committee (5 yrs): chair (1 yr). Local: Comox District Teachers’ Association Executive (8 yrs): President (2 yrs), Past President (1 yr), Bargaining chair (2 yrs). CDTA staff rep (3 yrs); Teaching: 25 yrs at all levels. Education: Hon BA in physical and health education, MAEd with counselling major.

Kelly Shields

The Pattulo, the Port Mann and the Alex Fraser are three different bridges which lead to Surrey. Like these bridges, my experience serving on the BCTF Executive Committee has shown me that there are different ways to get to the same place.

Working as a Staff Union Representative Trainer I have heard a variety of views from around the province. With the experience of coming from a large local, yet having the privilege of sharing with small locals, I have developed a deep respect for our diversity.

One of the most important bridges that we are building is our outreach to the community, through Parent Presentations. We need to continue paving the way to solidarity and the provincial election by talking to parents, our families, friends and neighbours; building bridges to union and non-union alike.

The College has presented a number of roadblocks. The Executive has been united in providing leadership and negotiating each pothole along the way.

I am committed to casting my vote at the Executive based on principles and reflective of the network of roads which our members travel.

I ask for your support in re-electing me as a member at large.

Provincial: Executive Committee Member at Large since November, 2003; Provincial Bargaining Team 2000-2002; Presidents’ Advisory Committee 1994-1995; Judicial Council 1995 present; Local Representative 1996 present; School Union Rep Trainer current; Parent Presentation Facilitator current; RA Agenda Planning Committee current; AGM delegate (20 yrs); BCFed Education Committee current. Local: Surrey President (3); Acting President (6 mo); 1st Vice President (1); 2nd VP (2); Grievance Officer (3—50%) (1—100%); Advocate for teachers at arbitration hearings; Grievance Committee (14); STARA Chair and co-chair (2); Staff Rep (9); WLC Committee (1); Political Action/Public Relations Committee (3). Teaching: 22 years teaching in Surrey, Primary Grades 1 and 2, Learning Assistance, Resource Room, Segregated Special Class, District Integration Support Teacher (current). Education: B. Ed in Special Education UBC,1981, Early Childhood Education Diploma Capilano College, 1975.

Val Windsor

As a union of professionals, the BCTF purposes are clear: to promote the cause of public education, to raise the status of the teaching profession, and to promote the welfare of teachers. We are continuing the fight to save public education, thus raising the status of the profession by advocating for our students. There is another critically important purpose we must serve.

We must find a way to respond to the needs of the classroom teacher–one who may never be an activist but is no less important.

The BCTF will need to make a number of difficult decisions with that teacher in mind. We must support, through bargaining strategies and processes, our members’ bargaining priorities. We must represent the professional interests of our members. We must review recommendations of the Governance Review that last year’s AGM directed be brought forward this year. Most organizations review all facets of their operations on a regular basis; especially in times of decreasing membership leading to shrinking resources and increasing costs.

I believe the BCTF must continue to reach out to community and to government. The credible voice of teachers must be heard and I will continue to be an effective voice for teachers. I seek your support as a Member-at-Large.

Provincial: Local Rep (9), BCTF AGM delegate (13), Judicial Council (3), Staff Rep Trainer (2), CTF AGM delegate (4), Organizing Committee CTF AGM Vancouver (1), G.A. Fergusson Award Trustee (5). Local: President (3), 1st Vice-President (3), 2nd Vice-President (3), Secretary (3), LR (8), Bargaining Chair (3) and member (6), other committee membership: Health and Safety, Working and Learning. Teaching: 35 years in the profession, Grades 3—7. Education: BA, PBD, PDP SFU.

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