BCTF Online Museum

Social Justice Unionism

For more than half a century the BCTF has been a leader in social justice activism, responding to concerns and needs of members, offering support, resources and training, and engaging in local, provincial, national and international solidarity. It is likely that every single member has either been directly involved or has benefitted from this work. Imagine the ripple effect this has had in our locals, schools, and communities!

I don't believe in charity. I believe in solidarity. Charity is so vertical. It goes from the top to the bottom. Solidarity is horizontal. It respects the other person. I have a lot to learn from other people.

—Eduardo Galeano,
Upside Down: A Primer for the Looking Glass World.

BCTF Social Justice Timeline

1961 International Assistance Fund created based on $1 per member per year

1963 Five BC teachers joined the CTF delegation to Project Overseas. Until 2008 when BCTF left CTF, 314 BC teachers had been on Project Overseas. Imagine the ripple effect around the globe!

1970 Task Force on the Status of Women

1971 BCTF International Assistance Fund becomes William R. Long Memorial International Assistance Fund

1973 Status of Women Program began with committee and staff person

1975 Task Force on Racism
Program Against Racism began with staff person

1980 Task Force on Racism replaced by the BCTF's Anti-Racism Committee
Committee on the Rights of Children established, ended in 1999

1981 Environmental Educators PSA established

1982 W.R. Long Memorial International Solidarity Fund Committee established

1983 The W.R. Long Memorial International Assistance Fund becomes W.R. Long Memorial International Solidarity Fund

1983-88
Unemployed Teachers Action Centre operated at BCTF. The Teachers Tutoring Service (TTS) arose from UTAC and continues to this day.

1985 BC Teachers for Peace and Global Education (PAGE) PSA established
BCTF solidarity work begins in South Africa and Latin America

1989 Namibia solidarity work begins

1989-95
CIDA funded Global Education coordinator placed at BCTF

1994 The Ed May Social Responsibility Education Fund initiated, offering project grants to teachers

1996 BCTF negotiated a new provincial article on sexual harassment/harassment

1997 Cuba Project begins
Ad hoc committee formed on homophobia and heterosexism in public schools

1999 Status of Women Program and Program against Racism are disbanded and replaced with the Social Justice Advisory Committee (SJAC) with one FTE staff support
Social Justice Committee members and local contacts attend zone meetings
Educators Against Racism PSA formed, delisted in 2015

1999/00
Social Justice grants established

2002 Global Classroom Initiative grant from CIDA; provided again in 2005 and 2007

2004 Four action groups formed-Status of Women, Antiracism, LGBTQ, and Antipoverty with one FTE staff support

2005 Regional Social Justice Conference Fund established
BCTF participates in Make Poverty History campaign

2006 BCTF first Global Education Symposium
BCTF helps coordinate World Peace Forum

2007 Committee for Action on Social Justice replaces SJAC
Peace and Global Education Action Group added to Committee for Action on Social Justice (CASJ)
BCTF Social Justice Lens launched

2008 Peru Project begins
BCTF second Global Education Symposium
BCTF staff increased to 2 FTE in social justice

2010 Environmental Justice action group added to CASJ

2012 Bob Rosen Social Justice Award established

2015/16
BCTF undertakes an equity audit

2016 Gender identity and gender expression added to the BC Human Rights Code