November 30, 2016
- Discussions begin on the implementation of our restored language
- BC government’s surplus balloons to $2.24 billion
- BCFED convention congratulates BCTF on court win
- Solidarity with our colleagues in Nova Scotia
- Public heath conference for BC teachers—December 11–12, 2016
- Online lesson plans on mental health now available from the CTF
- Opportunities for Members—AGM Ombudspersons needed
Discussions begin on the implementation of our restored language
The first meeting with government and the BCPSEA in the wake of our landmark victory at the Supreme Court of Canada occurred yesterday, Wednesday, November 30, 2016. The tone of the meeting was productive, and discussions focused on timely restoration of our collective agreement language. BCTF representatives pressed on the government side that implementation cannot be a long drawn out process. They presented their expectations that teachers and students should start seeing improvements in January with a staged implementation of the restored language. The next meeting is slated to take place this Friday, December 2, and further discussions will be scheduled in upcoming days.
BC government’s surplus balloons to $2.24 billion
This week, the BC government announced that its budget surplus has now reached $2.24 billion. That's up $500 million from just three months ago. With the government sitting on such a significant amount of money, there is no excuse for them to delay implementing the working and learning conditions language that we just won back. Federation representatives met with the employer yesterday to set out a proposed timeline for implementation.
In an interview on Kamloops' CHNL radio today, Glen Hansman said, “the talks need to resolve themselves quickly. We are coming up on January 28, the 15th anniversary of the original unconstitutional legislation. Teachers and students have waited long enough. There is no reason to drag this out. The province has the money, they just need the political will to work with us in a constructive and swift way.”
You can also read a story in Wednesday's Globe and Mail where Glen talks about being one of the teachers laid off in 2002 and how government can now move forward with restoration in a timely way.
BCFED convention congratulates BCTF on court win
Hundreds of delegates to the BC Federation of Labour convention rose to their feet in a standing ovation amid thunderous applause for the BCTF's success in our long legal battle to defend collective bargaining rights. The November 10 ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada was hailed as a landmark decision of importance to all working people across Canada.
The BCFED's 57th convention took place at the Vancouver Convention Centre throughout this week. The BCTF was represented by more than 80 delegates elected in locals throughout the province. Former BCTF President Irene Lanzinger was acclaimed for a second term as President of the BCFED, as was Secretary-Treasurer Aaron Eckman. Thank you to Irene and Aaron for all of their amazing work on behalf of, and for working people in BC. Congrats also go to out to Burnaby teacher and CASJ chair Shanee Prasad, who was elected Worker of Colour Rep to the BCFED Executive Council.
The BCFED's campaign leading up to the May 9 provincial election was launched at the convention. To see the TV ad and sign onto the pledge to work for change in the next election, please visit: www.TogetherForBC.ca.
Solidarity with our colleagues in Nova Scotia
Our teaching colleagues in the Nova Scotia Teachers' Union are set to begin job action on December 5 as part of their efforts to secure better working and learning conditions for their members and students. Please take the time to look at their new campaign, and send messages of solidarity and support.
Public heath conference for BC teachers—December 11–12, 2016
Registration is open for the Public Health Association of BC's conference, “Strengthening Healthy Development: Education and Public Health in Partnership.” The conference, being put on in partnership with the BCTF, takes place December 11-12, 2016 at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel in Richmond. It will serve as a forum for deliberative dialogue and respectful exchange of ideas related to the intersections of public health and education, in order to build meaningful collaboration, mutual understanding, and support between the public health and education communities in achieving well-being for all.
Online lesson plans on mental health now available from the CTF
As part of their social justice program, Imagineaction, the Canadian Teachers' Federation has made a series of lesson plans available to help teachers address mental health issues in the classroom. If you're already registered with Imagineaction, simply sign in, click on Teacher resources in the bottom left column, and then select Mental Health Stigma: Challenging it Together! You can choose between the elementary or secondary lesson plans (or both!) as well as select the discussion questions. Should you decide to initiate a project tied to mental health, send in a project application and you may be eligible for a $300 subsidy. If you're not yet registered as an Imagineaction teacher, visit www.imagine-action.ca and follow the instructions. It's simple and free. Join the 2,200+ teachers already registered with Imagineaction!
Opportunities for Members—AGM Ombudspersons needed
The BCTF is accepting applications from members interested in being ombudsperson at the 2017 Annual General meeting. There are four positions available. Learn more about the role and apply online. The deadline for applications is January 23, 2017.