Prince Rupert District Teachers’ Union
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  • Alternative Media

    Posted on May 31st, 2007 editor No comments

    The BCTF is one of the Unions that supports The Tyee on-line newspaper.  They are an alternative news source.  If you are interested in what they might offer, then to to the following web site and take a look:

  • Category 5+ information

    Posted on May 30th, 2007 editor No comments
    • >From:  Jinny Sims, Irene Lanzinger, Susan Lambert
      > Date:  May 18, 2007
      > Re:  Category 5+

      TQS is now ready to accept applications for Category 5+.   They are in the process of revising their policies to accommodate the agreement between the BCTF and BCPSEA on criteria for Category 5+.

      The application form is on the TQS website.  Here are a few additional pieces of information:
      The additional pay for 5+ will be retroactive to April 1, 2006 for teachers who met the criteria before that date.

    • TQS will indicate on the document they issue, the date at which the teacher met the criteria.
    • Boards will then need to pay teachers retroactively.
    • Locals will have to ensure that boards are paying the retroactive pay to members who qualified prior to April 1, 2006.
    • For teachers who meet the qualifications after April 2006 the regular TQS timelines will apply.

      We now use the term 5+ rather that 5+15 or 5+30 because of the confusion between units and credits. The requirement is 30 semester credits as it states in the criteria. Universities use a variety of systems. TQS is, of course, very familiar with those systems and their equivalency to semester credits.

      The criteria for 5+ allow for 6 semester credits to be courses that are not at the senior level. The purpose is to allow teachers to take courses that are pre-requisites for senior level courses in a program. Please advise your members that the best course of action in determining whether or not courses will count in terms of the criteria is to seek pre-approval by TQS. TQS strongly encourages teachers to seek pre-approval to avoid situations where teachers take courses that are later not approved.

  • Message from BCTF Table Officers

    Posted on May 10th, 2007 editor No comments

    The BCTF’s FSA campaign has been truly “member-driven” in
    the current situation. Clearly the campaign has been
    effective. Our initial strategy, of having teachers
    communicate with parents about the negative consequences
    of these high-stakes provincial tests, worked to raise the
    awareness of parents and the public about the harmful
    effects of these tests.

    When the Ministry responded with measures to constrain our
    actions, we were able to find alternative means of
    delivering our message (the two-page Georgia Strait
    centrefold comes to mind!) and not be sidetracked into a
    fight on another issue. In the end the Deputy Minister has
    had to put relentless pressure on superintendents,
    principals and even parents who have all come to realize
    that these tests are undermining the quality of public
    education. And in so doing have found themselves isolated,
    struggling to implement an agenda that is becoming
    increasingly discredited. We were unable to adopt and
    implement our planned strategy but we found other actions
    that have proved to be equally effective.

    Our campaign was effective because there was a clear goal
    that was overwhelmingly endorsed by members. We were able
    to respond to the situation as it changed with effective
    analysis and alternative strategies. We were able to
    convince public opinion as we continue to enjoy the
    respect and credibility we achieved during our own strike
    action, and because locals worked independently but in
    tandem to achieve our collective goals.

    The FSAs are the lynchpin of the
    Accountability/Achievement agenda of the ministry. That is
    why there was such a vigorous defence mounted and such
    strenuous attempts to coerce administrators and parents to
    participate. The FSAs, which result not only in the
    ranking of schools but clearly, with the move to align
    classroom assessment with FSA results, in the erosion of
    the professional responsibility of teachers to design
    instruction for the individual students they teach and in
    the undermining of public education itself.

    Through our FSA campaign we are acting at the best
    standard of professional practice as advocates for public
    education. Our actions have been effective. We have
    succeeded in building an awareness of the hollow promise
    of test-driven accountability, the negative consequences
    of the achievement-at-any-price agenda and of the role of
    teachers as defenders of public education.

    We are grateful to all of you who have worked so hard and
    so effectively. Thank you for your wisdom and your courage
    in carrying out this campaign. The list serve has been an
    effective tool, helping us share concerns, strategies and
    successes. We are grateful for your strength and regret we
    were unable to help as much as we would normally do.
    Please refer to the report on the meeting that we had with
    the Ministry yesterday for updates on issues related to
    Bills 20, 21 and 22, the PQT grant request and the adult
    educators situation.

    Jinny Sims
    Irene Lanzinger
    Susan Lambert