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

Support from across Canada

We fully support the principle that the governing council of the College of Teachers be composed of a majority of teachers elected by members of the teaching profession.

Alberta Teachers’ Association
The creation of the BCTF Democratic College Fund is creative, courageous, and unfortunately not without peril for your members. The degree of support shown by teachers and the general public illustrates the correctness of the position of B.C. teachers.

On behalf of the ATA, I lend our voice of support to the B.C. Teachers’ Federation and all B.C. teachers as you work to achieve fair representation on your College of Teachers.

Best of luck to you as you work to correct a government action that is clearly headed in the wrong direction.

President Frank Bruseker

Canadian Teachers’ Federation
We congratulate the members of the B.C. Teachers’ Federation for the principled stand that they have taken regarding the government’s changes to the composition of the B.C. College of Teachers. You have all demonstrated incredible leadership on this issue, which will provide an important platform for all teachers in Canada. The teachers’ vote of support reaching almost 90% speaks volumes about their commitment to a democratically structured college.

Again, BCTF has led the way in standing strong for its principles. The 240,000 members of the Canadian Teachers’ Federation both congratulate you and thank you for your efforts.

President Terry Price

Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario
We trust that all B.C. teachers will face this attack from the government standing tall together and will be steadfast in all actions that attack the democratic rights of teachers.

We teachers in Ontario recognize that it is not easy to fight a giant, but together we can make a giant difference.

President Lila Paddock, Refrew Country Teachers’ Local, ETFO

Manitoba Teachers’ Society
The Federation is to be commended for making the decision to establish the BCTF Democratic College fund. The fact that your members are prepared to support that decision demonstrates solidarity and their determination to defend their rights as professionals. It takes great courage to take such action.

The teachers of Manitoba wish you success in your struggle to challenge Bill 51.

President Brian Ardern

Montreal Teachers Association
Our representative assembly on November 25, 2003, passed the following motion: That the Montreal Teachers Association express its support for the solidarity with the teachers of the B.C. Teachers’ Federation in your struggle over the College of Teachers, as well as our pride and admiration for the excellent work the BCTF is doing to fight this very meaningful battle.

As teacher unionists, we all stand together. We know how important it is to be reminded of that when facing serious challenges and ramifications, such as you are dealing with in not paying dues to the College of Teachers. We have never forgotten the assistance and support we got in 1983 from teachers across Canada, and we want to stand with you as you face the upcoming December 1 deadline.

Please convey this message of support to union locals of the BCTF and please feel free to take up upon our offer of more practical support.

President Ruth Rosenfield

Nova Scotia Teachers Union
We commend your representative assembly for taking the decision, in overwhelming fashion, to establish a BCTF Democratic College Fund. The fact that teachers in B.C. are prepared to follow this path, despite the obvious risks, speaks volumes for their determination to defend their rights as professionals.

On behalf of over 10,000 members within NSTU, I offer you and your membership the unqualified support of the NSTU. We recognize the justice of your cause, identify with the objectives of your undertaking, and encourage you to stay the course until you realize total victory through your ongoing campaign.

President Brian Forbes

Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association
You and your members are to be congratulated on the decisive and daring step you have taken in refusing to pay your college of teacher fees while that institution remains a creature of the government.

As you are well aware, Ontario’s teachers have been fighting an all-out battle with the Ontario College of Teachers since 2001, when that arm of the government (not a self-regulating professional body) imposed the Professional Learning Program (PLP) on all teachers in the province’s publicly funded elementary and secondary schools. The PLP threatens teachers with de-certification if they do not complete an endlessly repeating five-year cycle of 14 courses. In other words, perpetual probation. Now, with the election of a new government, we expect to see an end to this oppressive regime and the transformation of the college into a true self-regulatory body.

What has worked here in Ontario is what is already working for you in B.C., and that is the solidarity of your members, the majority of whom are backing your fee refusal strategy.

You have our best wishes and the assurance that we will provide any assistance that you and your colleagues request from us.

President Donna Marie Kennedy

Ontario Teachers’ Federation<
The OTF represents 144,000 full-time, part-time, and occasional teachers in the publicly funded public, Catholic, and francophone schools in Ontario.

We fully support the principle that the governing council of the College of Teachers be composed of a majority of teachers elected by members of the teaching profession. The experience in Ontario has shown that this element is critical if the college is to have any credibility with teachers. We would therefore like to extend our support to your Federation for continuing to uphold this principle.

We also congratulate your members who have decided to take the very bold step of rescinding their agreement to have their college fees deducted by employers. While we understand that a decision of this magnitude is not easy for the individual teacher to take, we are sure your members know how important it is to show solidarity. We applaud BCTF and its members for taking this decision and hope that your actions will send a clear message to your government about the serious problems created by its meddling in the affairs of the profession.

President Yvan Roy

Prince Edward Island Teachers’ Federation
PEI teachers stand in solidarity with all BCTF members as you pursue your strategy of dealing with an unreasonable government that refuses to make education a priority for its citizens. Our membership wishes you every success in your efforts to challenge Bill 51. We realize that your situation and its outcome may have serious implications for all Canadian teachers.

Good luck with your efforts!

Maurice Poirier, on behalf of the PEITF Executive

Quebec Provincial Association of Teachers
As the representatives of teachers working for Anglophone school boards, QPAT expects to face its own challenges from a government intending to impose a College of Teachers in Quebec. Your successful defense of the interests of teachers will surely resonate across the country including the province of Quebec.

Our teachers remember your support during our struggles with the Quebec government in 1982–83. Consequently, QPAT is proud to be able to offer support to the members of BCTF. As we all know only in solidarity can teacher unions be victorious in their struggles against government obstinacy.

I am confident that the B.C. teachers will succeed.

President Ardèle Warr

Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation
I believe you are engaged in a struggle that will have reverberations throughout the country. As teachers, we have observed that actions undertaken in one province are often imitated by officials in other provinces, therefore, it is critical that we stand together in opposition to ideas that are wrong-minded and not conducive to the teaching and learning process, nor in the best interests of education overall.

Please understand that we, as Saskatchewan teachers, support our colleagues in B.C., and I hope you will have an opportunity to communicate this to your members as well.

President Murray Wall



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