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Teacher Newsmagazine Volume 20, Number 2, October 2007

October zone meetings

The Executive Committee members of the BCTF fanned out across the province the weekend of October 12–14 to take part in one of the twice-yearly zone meetings—gatherings of local activists divided into nine zones. The meetings aim to provide an opportunity to do some serious strategic thinking about issues facing teachers and their organizations. The meetings are divided into plenary sessions where the campaign priorities of the Federation are discussed, and sessions that deal with discrete issues, e.g., social justice, professional issues, health and safety, Aboriginal education, TOCs, working and learning conditions, bargaining, and presidents' network.

BCTF First Vice President Susan Lambert believes these are very important meetings because they are the only substantive opportunity for people involved in these various issue areas to actually get together to brainstorm and network, formulate plans and do some strategic thinking during the school year. "They get to identify issues together, discuss and share problem solving, and plan for programs," says Lambert.

The zone meetings are not decision-making meetings but the in-depth discussions contribute to quality decisions in other deliberations.

This time around, local activists wrestled with both the increasing frustration of the government’s testing agenda and with what is clearly a worsening situation regarding classroom conditions—particularly class composition.

– Murray Dobbin

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