Monthly Archives: October 2011

Professional Development Day – Friday, October 21, 2011

The October 21st professional development is going to be a day away from school from students.

The district calendar shows Non-Instructional Days as follows:
Tuesday, September 6 – Ministry-mandated day (school planning day)
Friday, October 21 – Professional development day (provincial day)
Friday, January 27 – Professional development day (semester turn-around, schools collaboration day)
Friday, February 17 – Professional development day
Friday, March 9 – Professional development day (district day)
Friday, April 27 – Professional development day

While the first non-instructional day was cancelled, the one on October 21st will be going ahead.

Coalition of Rural Educational Sustainability

Passing on an email from CORES:
We are taking this opportunity to advise you of a CORES (Coalition of Rural Educational Sustainability) initiative. CORES has a Facebook page, Cores ForRural Schools, and is inviting all school trustee candidates to become friends and join in our conversations. The upcoming elections for School Trustees are heating up, with 15 candidates when the list was last checked. This month long forum provides candidates the opportunity to engage in open, transparent communication of the issues. CORES is an organization committed to exploring innovative solutions for the dilemma of sustaining our remaining rural schools, but the opportunity exists to explore all issues surrounding education in District 57 and the province. This electronic forum gives rural community members the opportunity to learn more about the candidates from within their own communities. District 57 is geographically large and many community members will not be able to attend other candidate forums held within Prince George. All interested individuals are invited to become friends and share their questions, ideas and opinions.

Email received by Executive

14 October 2011

Attention: District Parent Advisory Council No. 57 Executive

Re: The nomination of Donald Stephen Sabo for School District Trustee

DPAC Executive;

Please be advised that I have just submitted my nomination papers and have now become a nominated candidate in the School District 57 Trustee election.

Effective immediately, I am requesting a leave of absence as the Chairperson and member of the District Parent Council No. 57. Because my role has changed to being a candidate in the School District Trustee Election, I declare that I am in a conflict of interest, or perceived bias, situation and I must remove myself from the perception of conflict of interest.

I understand that the District Parent Advisory Council is co-hosting an all trustee candidates forum with the Prince George District Teachers Association. I intend to participate in this all candidates forum as a candidate and not as a DPAC representative. In submitting my request for a leave of absence, effective immediately; I am removing myself from any perceived bias by being associated with the DPAC organization.


Don Sabo
School District Trustee nominated Candidate

Report on BCPSEA Representative Council – Monday, October 3


From the first page:

As you know, BCPSEA held a Representative Council on Monday, October 3 in Vancouver. The purpose of the meeting was to provide an update on the state of negotiations with the BC Teachers’ Federation (BCTF), hear about the effects of the BCTF Phase 1 strike in districts, and discuss how best to move negotiations forward. Trustees expressed their deep concern about the teacher strike, its negative effect on students, parents and administrative staff, and its potential to carry on indefinitely in its current form. In fact, several local teachers’ union presidents have recently been quoted in various media that the Phase 1 teacher strike “could go on forever.”

This was a very valuable meeting for trustees and for your BCPSEA Board. It is important to hear from each other and share our experiences. We heard that the BCTF strike is having different effects in different districts. We also understand the importance of the local relationship between boards and their local teachers’ unions and how that relationship is being challenged through the BCTF strike action.

After a positive and productive discussion, trustees provided overwhelming support to the BCPSEA Board of Directors to make the necessary decisions regarding the nature and timing of employer response, with the intent of placing counter pressure on the BCTF to get serious at the bargaining table. We also recognize that the support was not unanimous and will reflect on all that we heard. The Board will make thoughtful choices in the coming days and are gratified with the support expressed by trustees for the Board and the bargaining team. We will continue to be diligent in our communications with you as events evolve and will ensure that we provide understanding of any decisions made and the underlying rationale.
It was interesting to note the media and BCTF preoccupation, both before and after our Representative Council, with the notion of a lockout. It’s probably not surprising, though, given that the “controversial” tends to attract the most attention. Although lockout as one of the tools available to an employer under the Labour Relations Code was referenced in our technical discussion paper distributed to boards in preparation for the Representative Council, specific options, including lockout, were not a subject of discussion at the meeting.

We will continue our efforts to properly focus the discussion on the real matters at issue. The BCTF has said the strike is designed to have minimal effect on students, and that the strike is relieving teachers of administrative burdens so they can focus on teaching. That position is disingenuous. Many of the withdrawn duties are fundamental to the teacher–parent–student relationship, including teacher meetings with parents, administering and supervising tests, and assessment and report cards. Strikes, by their very nature, are intended to be disruptive; this strike is disruptive.

BCSPEA paper on job action options

The BC Public School Teacher’s Association has created a report titled “Bargaining, Options, and
Moving Forward”. From the report:

Executive Summary
Bargaining in the K-12 public education sector is never a stand alone exercise. Collective
bargaining in our sector has yielded mixed results in terms of the bargaining process.
There has been a variety of circumstances that have influenced bargaining outcomes.
This round of bargaining is particularly unique in that it has occurred and is affected by
several converging events:

Agreement expires (June 30); initial meetings (March); bargaining process issue, the
provincial–local split of issues; BC Supreme Court ruling (April 13) and a
government–BCTF consultation/reconciliation timeline (referred to as the Bill 28
matter); themes and objectives (May 24) to the first set of proposals (May 31); early
talk of a strike (April-May); 90% strike vote (June 24-28); essential service
designation for Phase 1 of the BCTF multi-phase strike plan (July 26, August 5);
strike notice (August 31) Labour Relations Board; the provincial–local split of issues
and the three decisions of Arbitrator Jackson (August 28, September 2, September
17); BCTF withdraws from the Bill 28 discussions (September 13).

Regardless of the bargaining environment and the converging events identified above,
the goal must always remain a negotiated collective agreement. The purpose of this
paper is to identify processes that, when actioned, can create the necessary reason for
movement on the parties’ respective bargaining agendas.,%20Options,%20and%20Moving%20Forward%20October%203%20Representative%20Council.pdf