Monthly Archives: June 2014

Teachers’ vote may not prompt immediate strike

…McQuarrie is expecting a successful vote, which she said gives union negotiators more leverage. Completely shutting down the workplace, however, she said would be the “last big thing” teachers could do.

Charles Ungerleider, a former B.C. deputy minister of education, said he, too, doesn’t expect an affirmative vote will prompt the union to issue immediate notice.

“The fact that you’re taking a strike vote doesn’t indicate that you’re necessarily going to a strike,” said Ungerleider, a bureaucrat under the New Democrats from 1998 to 2001 and now professor emeritus with the University of British Columbia….

Grade 7 Dance at the Hart Community Centre

Friday, June 13 at 7:00pm
Hart Community Centre
4900 West Austin Rd., Prince George, British Columbia V2K 5Y8

Grade 7 Dance at the Hart Community Centre

A time to celebrate, going from Hart Elementary Schools – Kelly Road Secondary. This is a grade 7 celebration for Heather Park, Hart Highlands, Glenview and Nukko Lake. Please invite or inform any Grade 7’s from these schools.

Tickets will be $20.00

For tickets please contact Tara 250-565-1894 or or Darcie Rae

The tickets will include the Dance, and snacks.

***Parents: There will need to be an adult picking the kids up from the dance**

Snacks, drinks and music.


This is a parent-organized event, not affiliated with the schools in any way.

CUPE reaches tentative settlement with BCPSEA

CUPE reaches tentative provincial agreement for K–12 education support workers

BURNABY – On Saturday, June 7, 2014 the K-12 Presidents’ Council and the BC Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) reached a tentative provincial framework agreement.
“We’re pleased to conclude a strong agreement that improves education for students and benefits our 27,000 members,” said K-12 Presidents’ Council Chair, Marcel Marsolais.
The tentative agreement fits within the provincial government’s current mandate. Additional details of the agreement will be released tomorrow morning, after the K–12 Presidents’ Council has reviewed it.
Once the agreement is ratified by K-12 Presidents’ Council members, it will form the basis of local agreements between K-12 local unions and their respective school boards.
“I want to thank the members of our bargaining committee,” said CUPE K-12 Sector Coordinator Rob Hewitt. “We bargained hard to arrive at a settlement that recognizes and respects the work our members do and improves the learning environment for students in B.C. schools.”
CUPE represents more than 27,000 education support workers in 59 locals and 53 school districts throughout B.C. including: education assistants, school secretaries, caretakers, First Nations support workers, IT workers, Strong Start facilitators, trades and maintenance workers, and bus drivers. CUPE members do many different jobs to provide safe, clean, well-run and supportive education for students of all ages.
The current contract would have expired on June 30, 2014. The K-12 Presidents’ council represents K-12 support staff unions, with CUPE being the largest. CUPE members will vote on the provincial agreement as part of their package after local bargaining with their respective school boards is concluded.


More information on settlement:

Superintendent Speaking Notes – June 9, 2014

District Parent Advisory Council

A. Question and Answers – Strike/Lockout

1. Is there a difference between Government and the Employer – are they not one and the same?

From the outside looking in – you may think – YES. However the Provincial Government, Board of Education and the British Columbia Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) operate as independent organizations – so NO they are not one and the same.

2. What advice would you provide to parents during this time of labour unrest?
Ensure students remain focused on their assignments and studies. Our teachers and support staff continue to provide a safe and productive learning environment for students.
For those students asking about the labour dispute – please direct them to the BCPSEA, BCTF, and SD57 websites In this way students can see the understanding/focus of each organization involved in the strike/lockout.

3. Will provincial exams be cancelled this year?

Our Minister of Education has directed that provincial exams will continue as scheduled.

4. Can you share any other helpful information?
Please understand the strike/lockout landscape can change each day. For instance, there will be another Labour Relations Board hearing later this week. The decisions made by the Labour Relations Board (LRB) may provide additional clarity in a number of areas. Please look for the news releases that will likely follow the LRB decisions. In addition please continue to visit the following websites for the most up-to-date information: your school website,,,

B. Principal and Vice Principal Moves

A number of moves will be announced later this week. Principal and Vice Principal moves provide for organizational growth and development, individual capacity building and learning improvement across our system.

C. District Achievement Contract
The District Achievement Contract is a public statement of commitment by the Board of Education to work towards success for each student in the district. School District No. 57 remains committed to “Learning that enriches the life of each student.” To this end, actions are required to support the learning of all students and adult learners.
Please visit our website: to see a draft of the District Achievement Contract. Please consider reading the document and providing feedback to the Board of Education as provided for in the website link.
D. Thank You!
Thank you to DPAC and school PAC volunteers! Your support and advice, and donation of time and expertise are appreciated! We look forward to working with you again next year.

BC Government: Information for Parents

With the possibility that the British Columbia Teachers Federation (BCTF) will start a full walk out on June 16, 2014, parents are concerned about whether their children will be able to write final exams, receive final report cards, and transition to the next grade or on to post-secondary.

The Ministry of Education and the British Columbia Public School Employers Association (BCPSEA) want to assure parents that every effort is being made to ensure the strike does not disadvantage students, nor delay their transition to the next grade or on to post-secondary.

A full walkout may impact the last nine days of school before summer break begins on June 27, 2014. Here is some information to give parents greater certainty about what to expect and the potential impact on their children:

What this means for students in Kindergarten through Grade 9:

  • Schools will be closed.
  • Parents with children who need supervision should make child care arrangements.
  • Parents will receive final report cards, but in some cases the reports may be more abbreviated than normal.

What this means for students in Grades 10, 11 and 12:

  • There are fifteen provincial exam courses scheduled between June 16 to 26, 2014 (see further details below).

  • It is expected that secondary schools will only be open for the purpose of administering exams.

  • Picket lines may be present; students in rural areas may not have normal school bus service.

  • Every effort will be made for provincial exams to be marked and final course marks conveyed to students and parents in a timely way.

  • BCPSEA has applied to the Labour Relations Board to have all services required for the completion of report cards deemed essential including:

    • preparing, invigilating and marking of school based and provincial exams; and

    • compilation, entry, and submission of final grades.

Another Strike – Friday, June 13th

Note – June 13th appears to be a primary report card writing day for a number of schools in SD57:


The BCTF has released next week’s rotating strike schedule, with Friday, June 13th being the strike day for the Prince George school district:

Tuesday, June 10

61—Greater Victoria

Wednesday, June 11

06—Rocky Mountain

10—Arrow Lakes




40—New Westminster


44—North Vancouver

45—West Vancouver

46—Sunshine Coast

48—Sea to Sky

50—Haida Gwaii

52—Prince Rupert

54—Bulkley Valley

58—Nicola Similkameen


64—Gulf Islands

67—Okanagan Skaha



79—Cowichan Valley


Thursday, June 12

05—Southeast Kootenay

20—Kootenay Columbia

23—Central Okanagan




42—Maple Ridge

59—Peace River South



72—Campbell River

74—Gold Trail


82—Coast Mountains

83—North Okanagan-Shuswap

84—Vancouver Island West


91—Nechako Lakes

Friday, June 13

08—Kootenay Lake







47—Powell River

49—Central Coast


53—South Okanagan Similkameen

57—Prince George

60—Peace River North



73—Kamloops Thompson

81—Fort Nelson

85—Vancouver Island North

A few recent articles on labour dispute

To say a dysfunctional relationship between two parents doesn’t affect the children would be an outrageous lie. The relationship between the BCTF and the province is very much the same and the effects are mostly felt by the students.

Like all school kids and their parents, the school support workers are innocent victims of the strike/lockout.

It’s another reason for the government to order a cooling-off period. Let’s get through the rest of the school year with no further disruptions, and then the BCTF and government should be forced to bargain in the summer with the help of a mediator.

Graduation and exams for British Columbia’s half-a-million public school students are in jeopardy as the teachers’ union threatens to launch a full-blown strike.

The BC Teachers’ Federation is asking the province’s more than 40,000 teachers to vote on escalating job action next Monday and Tuesday, with the potential for a full strike starting as early as June 16.

…All of which leaves intact the government’s strategy for dealing with the dispute, which would appear to rest on six considerations.

The first is that the teachers pay an economic price for any strike action, hence the 10-per-cent wage penalty.

The second is to avoid outright cancellation of graduation, exams, marking and report cards.

The third is to avoid, if at all possible, having to call back the legislature and impose yet another contract on teachers before the end of the school year.

The fourth is to leave the 12-year battle over Liberal-induced contract-stripping to the courts, where the latest iteration of the case is to be heard before the B.C. Court of Appeal this fall.

The fifth is not to be drawn into pointless talk about fixing a supposedly “broken” bargaining system. The current system has produced multiple settlements with other public-sector unions, including numerous agreements with school support workers represented by locals of the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

Plus, as master mediator Vince Ready said when he was asked to make recommendations on the bargaining system during an earlier showdown between government and teachers: “Unless both sides are committed to collective bargaining, the process will be fruitless no matter what system is adopted or legislated.”

The sixth fundamental for the Liberals is that the settlement with teachers not break the pattern of other settlements in the public sector, thereby risking a round of “me too” demands from other unions.

The latter is of particular concern because the nurses union has yet to settle in the current round. In one key respect, nurses have more bargaining leverage than teachers, there being a significant shortage of nurses and none of teachers, excepting some specialized categories like maths and sciences.

I’ve argued that the Liberals could and should offer a catch-up increase to teachers, recognizing that they are coming off two years of zeros while other public sector workers are coming off two years of increases in the 1.5 per cent to 2 per cent range.

But all signs suggest the Liberals are more likely to offer greater financial resources to address public concerns about class size and composition. Since the resources would go into the classroom rather than into higher wages and benefits, the government could go that route without having to match the increases dollar-for-dollar in other public sector talks.

As in the past, the government could bolster funding for the K-12 system by diverting the savings from the strike. Thus if teachers vote next week to step up their job action, they would also be contributing to the pool of money available to fund an eventual settlement of the dispute.

Agenda – June 9th DPAC meeting

Meeting to be held June 9th, at 7pm, at the Van Bien Training and Development Centre.

Link to webconference:

Agenda – DPAC General Meeting
Monday, June 9, 2014, 7:00 p.m. Van Bien Training and Development Centre

1. Call to order
2. Appointment or election of Secretary
3. Adoption of agenda and Adoption of May 2014 Minutes
4. PAC Networking
To increase the effectiveness of this section of the agenda, we suggest that people report on ideas that may be of interest to other PACs, or concerns that other PACs could help with.
7:30pm – Partner groups enter
5. Partner Group Presentations (5 minutes each).
a) DSAC Report (Graeme Mackenzie, Shelby Miller)
b) CUPE Report (Karen Wong)
c) Prince George District Teachers Association Report (Tina Cousins, Richard Giroday)
d) Prince George Principal and Vice Principals Association Report (Faith Mackay, Lori Dennill)
e) Professional Employees Association (Nicole Haines)
f) Superintendent Report (Brian Pepper)
g) Trustee Report (Betty Bekkering)
(5 – 10 minute snack break, opportunity for further partner group discussions)
6. Elections – Secretary, Director
7. Officer and Committee Reports
a) Executive Board Report (Sarah Holland)
b) Treasurer’s Report (Gillian Burnett)
c) BCCPAC Report (Darlene Campbell)
8. PAC and Parent Assistance
a) Grant requests
b) Fall Conference report – scheduled for October 18, 2014, Civic Centre
9. Advising School District
a) Education Services Committee Report (Steve, Dennis)
b) Education Programs and Planning Committee Report (Darlene, Chris)
c) Policy and Governance (Sarah, Chris)
d) Ad hoc Technology Committee (Steve)
e) Suggestions for School Board Report

10. Other Business
11. Agenda items for next meeting
12. Adjournment – Next meeting is scheduled for Monday, September _____, at 7:00 pm Van Bien Training and Development Centre.

Details of BCTF and BCPSEA proposals

The collective bargaining proposals can be found here:

For example, the June 3rd class size proposal from the BCTF is here:

In 2014 the class size maximums would be 20 for Kindergarten, 22 for grades 1-3, and 28 for grades 4-12. By 2016, the maximum for kindergarten would be 18, 20 for grades 1-3, 26 for grades 4-7, and 27 for grades 8-12. For split classes, the class size maximum would two less than the maximum for the lowest grade.

For reference, the current class size maximums for kindergarten are 22 students, for grades 1 to 3 it is 24 students, and for grades 4 to 12 it is 30 students.

In 2002, kindergarten class sizes were capped at 20 students, while Grades 1 to 3 were capped at 22. In 2002, class sizes for Grades 4 to 12 were negotiated by each school district, so there was no consistency across the province. The 2002 class size limits were restored by the BC Supreme Court in January, but that decision is currently being appealed.

The BCPSEA has a document from March, giving details as to their differences with class size and composition proposals: