Monthly Archives: February 2014

BCTF to take strike vote

The following is a press release, sent to DPAC.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                               February 25, 2014

 

Facing unreasonable government, teachers call strike vote
After a full year of bargaining and more than 40 sessions at the table, BC teachers have called for a strike vote to push back against major concession demands, an unfair salary offer, and a deliberately confrontational attempt to reverse the recent BC Supreme Court decision on class size, composition, and staffing levels, said BCTF President Jim Iker.

“Teachers care deeply about our schools, our students, and our communities. We don’t take a strike vote lightly,” said Iker. “However, this government seems incapable or unwilling to let the BC Public School Employers’ Association negotiate fairly with teachers. Christy Clark, her government, and BCPSEA are insisting on rollbacks, freezing wages, and ignoring the Supreme Court of British Columbia.”

Iker said he was incredibly disappointed and frustrated as teachers have worked hard this round to create a sense of calm and purpose at the bargaining table. While the last round was dominated by government acting in bad faith, this time teachers were hopeful that new players and a new framework agreement would help both parties reach a fair and reasonable deal.

Since January 27, when the BC Supreme Court released its ruling that found the Christy Clark government had acted in bad faith, BCPSEA has tabled unreasonable proposals:

·         New language that would yet again strip all provisions on class size, class composition, and staffing levels for teacher-librarians, counsellors, special education, and other specialist teachers.

·         A salary offer that starts with a 0.5% increase on the date of ratification. The increase is not retroactive. Because the previous contract expired last June, this means zero for all of 2013–14 school year to date. The proposal is followed by another zero for 2014–15 school year and then various ones and point fives over the next four years. The last four years of the 10-year term, an idea teachers rejected in June by a province-wide vote of 96%, features an ill-defined indexing scheme that even BCPSEA’s negotiators could not explain.

“The move to once again strip class size, composition, and staffing levels from teachers just days after the BC Supreme Court’s ruling showed total disrespect for the law, for teachers, and for students,” said Iker. “This government, through BCPSEA, is trying to pretend Justice Griffin’s ruling never happened. Their proposal to eliminate class size, class composition, and staffing levels would ‘supersede and replace all previous articles that addressed class size, composition, and staffing levels.’ For 12 years teachers have worked to defend our rights, our working conditions, and our students’ learning conditions, and once again we find ourselves facing a government focused only on confrontation.”

On the salary front, BCPSEA’s offer means BC teachers are being asked to take up to two more years of zeros after no salary increases in 2011–12 and 2012–13.

“Despite most other public sector workers receiving increases in the range of 3.5 to 4% over two years as part of the co-operative gains mandate, the government has directed BCPSEA to pursue a totally different agenda with teachers,” said Iker. “Trying to force wage freezes on teachers for another two years is not reasonable or fair, given what the government negotiated with other workers in the public sector. Teachers are asking for an increase that addresses the rising cost of living and a market adjustment that reflects how far we are behind other teachers in Canada. We believe that’s fair and reasonable.

“BC teachers cannot sit back and let Christy Clark and her government talk about labour peace in public, while trying once again to provoke teachers behind closed doors. We will do everything we can to secure a fair deal for teachers and better support for our students.”

Strike vote information

On the call for a strike vote, Jim Iker said: “For teachers, our only recourse in response to the unfair, unreasonable, and deliberately confrontational proposals at this point is to apply pressure through a strike vote. Such a vote, however, does not mean imminent school closures.  We will consider all job action options and timing very carefully. Our goal is to reach a negotiated deal at the bargaining table without having to resort to job action.”

Once a strike vote is taken, a union has 90 days to activate it with some sort of job action.

The BCTF strike vote will take place on March 4, 5, and 6, 2014.  Results will be announced on the evening of March 6.

Job action, if needed, will occur in stages, but any initial action will not:

·         include immediate school closures or disruption for students.

·         stop teachers from participating in extracurricular activities.

·         affect report cards or communication with parents.

Any escalation of job action will depend on progress at the negotiating table.
For more information, contact Rich Overgaard, BCTF media relations officer, at 604-871-1881 (office) or 604-340-1959(cell).

 

Further update on BCTF court decision

The BCTF has launched a new website to keep members, parents, and the public informed regarding the ruling of Supreme Court Justice Griffin as its impact continues to unfold:

http://www.bctf.ca/bargainingAndContracts.aspx?id=31832

We would specifically draw to the attention of every parent and guardian of children in the BC education system to selected quotations made by Justice Griffin in her judgement.  They have been placed in a powerpoint to provide direct access to her findings, buried within the 160 page ruling:

http://www.bctf.ca/uploadedFiles/Public/BargainingContracts/2014CourtDecisionQuotes.pps

 

From the Globe and Mail:

In announcing the government’s appeal of the Supreme Court ruling in favour of the B.C. Teachers’ Federation (BCTF), Education Minister Peter Fassbender said it would cost taxpayers “upwards of $1-billion” to restore classrooms to the contract language that existed in 2002.

However, with 60 school districts, each with different needs, budget issues and contract language, the cost of such a restoration is a complex calculation. The BCTF says the province has lost close to 1,400 specialist positions.

PGDTA information, from February 3, 2014 meeting

Re:  PGDTA address to DPAC.

Here is a link to a BCTF microsite:  http://afairdeal.ca/

It gives information to parents regarding funding.  I think it would be a valuable read for parents.

This next article is an analysis re:  Court Ruling.

 

 

As well,   

 

The Times Colonist articles are good too.

 

 

Here is further information regarding the Supreme Court Case.

 

Court loss to BCTF could cost taxpayers plenty – The Province – Michael Smyth

 

Court ruling a ‘big win’ for teachers, students – Langley Times – Monique Tamminga

 

With Bill 28 is the government serving the people or are the people serving the government? – The Rossland
Telegraph – Andre Carrel

 

Families first?  BC Government conned parents and kids during teacher dispute. – The Province – Les Leyne

 

Alberni educators weigh impact of class-size court ruling

 

Premier Christy Clark should not appeal BC Supreme Court, BCGTF ruling-Vikram Bajwa – Ticker Report – Shane Hupp

 

BC taking time to weigh court ruling on teachers’ rights – Globe and Mail – Justine Hunter

 

BC Teachers looking for Signs BC Government abiding by Court Ruling – Huffington Post – Dirk Meissner

 

How much has government spent fighting teachers’ union  – CBC

 

BC Teachers Federation calls on government to respect Supreme Court ruling – Langley Times

 

BC Teachers’ Court Win is Condemnation of Liberal Government – Huffington Post – Susan Lambert (NOTE:  Susan Lambert was in the court room every day through the entire court case)
Uphold court decision, restore contracts now, Victoria teachers say – Times Colonist – Lindsay Kines

 

Superintendent Speaking Notes – February 3, 2014

District Parent Advisory Committee

SUPERINTENDENT’S SPEAKING NOTES

2014.02.03

 

  1. Secondary Second Semester
    1. Please review your child’s course schedule
    2. Please ensure you are discussing class curriculum and progress
    3. Please contact your child’s teacher with any questions or concerns – be involved early in the semester

 

  1. The “Big Three”:
    1. Superintendent’s Report on Achievement
    2. District Achievement Contract
    3. SD57 Budget Process

–       There is a linkage between each of these 3 documents.

–       You should see each document reflected in the others.

 

  1. Crime Watch Canada – Tips for Parents About the Internet
    1. “Know what your kids are doing online!  Negotiate what sites and social networking are acceptable
    2. Teach you kids all about the internet and its anonymity – people can lie about anything
    3. Tell children to discuss with you situations where they want to give out their personal information so you can make a decision together.  Remind them that anything they write or post is now potentially public domain forever.
    4. Discuss sex and the net and sexual predation.  Tell them that someone who deserves their trust will never ask for sexually explicit photos or talk about sex in uncomfortable detail nor will they tell them to hide things from their parents.
    5. Tell them that they must always talk to you about meeting someone in person that they met online.  Tell them that you or another trusted adult must accompany them to the meeting.”

 

 

 

  1. Social and Emotional Learning

One of the district’s eight (Essential Eight) key areas for staff and student learning. Anchored in research and intended to develop ability for students to:

i.   Understand emotional needs.

ii.  Respect self and others.

iii. Develop cooperative relationships.

 

Social and emotional learning enhances academic achievement, helps students develop self-management and self-control, improves relationships, reduces conflict, improves classroom management, and helps young people’s health and success at school.

 

 

 

BC Student Voice – Northern BC Regional Conference

BC Student Voice
Northern BC Regional Conference
Wednesday, March 12, 2014

BC_Student_Voice_info_letter_final
Theme: What challenges do youth face in today’s society?

Agenda:
8:45 Arrival and registration
9:00 Introductions and welcome, outline plan for the day, goals and objectives
9:15 Ice Breaker
9:30 Session #1 – What challenges do youth face today?
10:15 Break
10:30 Session #2 – What resources are available to youth?
11:15 Session #3 – Game
11:45-12:30 Lunch (provided)
12:30 Session #4 – Team building activity
1:00 Guest speaker – Jesse Miller, Mediated Reality
2:30 Break
2:45-4:00 Inquiry Event – “Safer Schools” (open to students, educators, parents, etc.)

Parent Night at Van Bien Training & Development Centre

Parent Night at John McInnis – Supercal Room – Feb 10 – 6pm

Changed to Van Bien Training & Development Centre

getting_behavior_in_shape_at_home (2)

Positive Interventions and Effective Strategies for Parents

Presented by Dr. Laura A. Riffel (The Behavior Doctor)

Dr. Riffel and her husband raised three children together and also chose to live with an adult who had autism, bi-polar condition, intellectual disabilities, and obsessive compulsive disorder. She will share parenting tips and techniques that all parents can use based on her years as a parent and over 30 years in the classroom teaching general and special education to Pre-K through adult levels. Dr. Riffel also ran a state-wide clinic for extreme behavior support in the state of Georgia serving over 500 children per year with functional behavior assessment and behavior intervention planning. Much of her training was with parents and teachers working together as a team. This presentation will share her ten rules of behavior, and give parents tons of resources.

Participants will learn general interventions applicable to every student in the classroom. These are field tested and will work for eliminating minor disturbances. Audience members will receive mnemonic tools to help them remember targeted group interventions which will help those students who need booster shots for attaining success and finally Dr. Riffel will share functional based interventions for those students who need intensive supports.

Parent information session – Positive Behaviour Support

Parent Night at John McInnis – Supercal Room -Feb 10 – 6pm

Positive Interventions and Effective Strategies for Parents

Presented by Dr. Laura A. Riffel (The Behavior Doctor)

Dr. Riffel and her husband raised three children together and also chose to live with an adult who had autism, bi-polar condition, intellectual disabilities, and obsessive compulsive disorder. She will share parenting tips and techniques that all parents can use based on her years as a parent and over 30 years in the classroom teaching general and special education to Pre-K through adult levels. Dr. Riffel also ran a state-wide clinic for extreme behavior support in the state of Georgia serving over 500 children per year with functional behavior assessment and behavior intervention planning. Much of her training was with parents and teachers working together as a team. This presentation will share her ten rules of behavior, and give parents tons of resources.

Participants will learn general interventions applicable to every student in the classroom. These are field tested and will work for eliminating minor disturbances. Audience members will receive mnemonic tools to help them remember targeted group interventions which will help those students who need booster shots for attaining success and finally Dr. Riffel will share functional based interventions for those students who need intensive supports.