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Teacher Newsmagazine Volume 16, Number 3, January/February 2004

President’s message

At press time, we are still working hard to resolve the College of Teachers dispute and ensure that members’ rights are protected. Education Minister Christy Clark has announced her intention to restore democratic governance to the college council, but we have yet to see any legislative change and or to receive a positive answer to one of our many requests for a meeting.

Nonetheless, we can all take heart from the success of our campaign so far. The feeling of unity and professional pride has been, as the kids say, awesome! In addition, the willingness of teachers to take action and to speak out publicly, despite the many pressures to silence us, has been truly inspiring.

I’m very proud of the many members who wrote to their trustees, MLAs, and the minister herself. As well, teachers have contributed to letters-to-the-editor columns of newspapers all over the province, expressing our concerns while maintaining a professional manner.

And speaking of professionalism, please take the time to read page 4 of this issue, where you’ll meet a colleague of whom we can all be proud. He’s Langley teacher Mohammed Chelali, recently made a Knight of the Legion d’Honneur by the government of France for disarming a neo-Nazi assassin aiming to kill President Jacques Chirac.

For me, Mohammed epitomizes the ideals of professionalism, grace under pressure, and solidarity. I very much appreciated being invited along with the Chelali family and friends to share in a celebratory evening at the French consulate in Vancouver. I was touched that, in his moment of honour, Mohammed made sure to include his colleagues, his students, and his union.

Neil Worboys

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