Those activities include many that are described as extracurricular — coaching, leading school clubs and supervising camping trips. But the protest has also seen teachers refuse tasks such as filing reports, talking to principals, meeting parents, tutoring students and performing administrative duties, said Hugh Finlayson, chief executive officer of the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association.
The BCTF insists teachers have the right to quit all voluntary work, which it describes as anything that occurs outside of school bells. The employers say they’re not trying to force individual teachers to continue with work that is truly voluntary, but they insist the union has described extracurricular activities too broadly, in a way that encompasses work that is expected of teachers.
They say the purpose of their application is not to compel teachers to volunteer, but to stop the B.C. Teachers’ Federation from directing its members to withdraw a broad range of duties performed outside classroom hours.
Here is a description of the tasks in dispute (the B.C. Teachers’ Federation describes them as extracurricular; the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association says they are regular duties):
1. Completion of certain reports as requested by administrators, such as ESL reports, ELL reports, resource teacher reports, school based team submissions, interim reports, ‘I’ reports for failing students, district based student assessments, student articulation reports, IB essays, scholarship selection information, and awards nominations;
2. Completion of certain reports or provision of certain information requested by students and/or parents, such as scholarship or award references or recommendations and private school references;
3. Completion of administrative duties related to report cards, such as putting report cards into envelopes, photocopying report cards for placement into student files, and distributing report cards to students;
4. Attendance at and/or participation in certain meetings, including, but not limited to school based team meetings, safety meetings, student services meetings, and some staff meetings;
5. Attendance at parent-teacher interviews and meet the teacher activities;
6. Attendance at certain field trips and student performances, including some field trips and performances with curricular components and student marks attached;
7. Attendance at certain student activities that are scheduled over recess and/or lunch;
8. Participation in meetings with administrative officers;
9. Communication with administrative officers;
10. Participation in school district and school committees;
11. Performance of department head, teacher-in-charge, or head teacher duties;
12. Performance of after-hours training sessions that teachers are paid to conduct;
13. Collection of money from students or participation in fund-raising;
14. Attendance at or participation in certain student award and/or graduation ceremonies;
15. Attendance at or participation in certain student artistic, dramatic, or musical performances;
16. Participation in the coaching, instruction, or supervision of student teams, clubs, groups, or organizations;
17. Participation in student tutorials, homework clubs, and individual help sessions;
18. Participation in student transition activities, kindergarten orientation, Ready, Set,Learn, and other orientation activities; and
19. Participation in department, school, and district planning activities for the next school year.