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February 16, 2017

  1. Update on implementation of our restored language
  2. New video tells the story of 1974 Surrey teachers’ strike
  3. Login to the MyBCTF portal to order your free BCTF membership card
  4. Today is Sexual and Reproductive Health Day—BCTF workshops available
  5. Upcoming events for Poverty Free BC week of action

Update on implementation of our restored language

Discussions between the BCTF and the employer and government continue. The Federation's goal remains full implementation of our restored collective agreement language in time for the spring staffing processes that will be starting soon. That will allow the 2017-18 school year to start with our restored class-size, class composition, and staffing ratios in place. While discussions have been slow, the parties continue to make progress.

As per a decision at the recent BCTF Representative Assembly, any final agreement on implementation will be subject to a ratification vote by Federation members.

As discussions continue, the government is planning for release of the 2017 provincial budget on February 21. Please continue to reach out to parents, MLAs, and your social media networks to keep the pressure up on government.

After 15 years of unconstitutional legislation and underfunding, next week's budget must finally deliver the necessary funds for smaller class sizes, better supports for children with special needs, and improved specialist staffing ratios in accordance with our restored collective agreement. The BC government needs to fully fund the costs associated with full implementation of our restored language and ensure school districts are not left to cover any downloaded costs. Read the BCTF's news release here.

New video tells the story of 1974 Surrey teachers’ strike

Surrey Teachers' StrikeOn February 15, 1974, hundreds of teachers from Surrey walked out of their classrooms to take their case for decreased class size to Victoria. In the course of one day, the Surrey teachers were able to achieve their goal in a deal that benefited not only their district, but the entire provincial public school system. The story of that day is told in a video produced with the Surrey Teachers' Association (STA) and supported by the BC Labour Heritage Centre and the BC Retired Teachers' Association. The video and a plaque to be placed at the STA office were unveiled on February 15, 2017, marking 43 years since this historic strike. 

Login to the MyBCTF portal to order your free BCTF membership card

Over the decades, the Federation has issued various cards or certificates to show solidarity and membership. By logging into the MyBCTF portal and filling out the BCTF Member Card request form, you can have one mailed to you. The card will serve as a quick reminder of your BCTF ID number that allows you access to the BCTF portal and various member services. The card may also be used at some retail outlets in your community where special offers are provided to teachers.

Today is Sexual and Reproductive Health Day—BCTF workshops available

Sexual and Reproductive Health Day, held annually in February, is a national event intended to raise awareness of sexual and reproductive health issues and reduce the spread of sexually transmitted infections. BCTF representatives attended an event today in support of this day and the organization Options for Sexual Health. Sexual health education is mandatory in the revised curriculum and the BCTF has two workshops that teachers can book as part of their professional development.

Sexual Health EducationSexual Health Education Part One: One Size Fits All? introduces educators to why and how to deliver inclusive and comprehensive sexual health education.

Sexual Health Education Part Two: Sex, Sex, Sex! addresses the what, as in the content, of teaching the sexual health curriculum in BC to students at all levels.

Upcoming events for Poverty Free BC week of action

Poverty Free BCThe BC Federation of Labour and other community groups are organizing several events to mark the Poverty Free BC week of action. On Saturday, February 25, 2017, the BCFED will be holding a free panel discussion on how BC can create good jobs and good wages in our province. The panel will include discussion around minimum wage, employment standards, contract flipping, apprenticeship programs, and green jobs.

There is also a large rally and march for a Poverty Free BC on Saturday, March 4, 2017, at 12:00 p.m. at the Vancouver Public Library. Details are on Facebook

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