Prince Rupert District Teachers’ Union
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  • Category 5+

    Posted on June 20th, 2007 editor No comments

    The BCTF and BCPSEA have agreed to the following with regard to Category 5+ issues.

    Category 5+ under local rules
    Teachers who began courses of study toward a category 5+ under local rules will have until June 30, 2011 to complete those studies in order to qualify under local rules. However, they will first apply to TQS to see if they qualify for the provincial certificate. Failing that, they would then apply to the district for a local certificate. That way, they will likely qualify for the provincial and not have to worry again should they change districts. 

    Teachers who qualify for Category 5+ under local rules will have a certificate issued that defines it as a “district 5+” as opposed to a “provincial 5+.” Districts will be asked to submit all the names and BCCT numbers of teachers who so qualify so that the certificates will be issued without teachers having to make a submission to TQS.

    Effective September 1, 2007, the provincial rules shall apply for teachers beginning a course of studies toward a Category 5+.

    Retroactive pay
    Teachers have until June 30, 2008 to apply for retroactive pay to April 1, 2006 for Category 5+ if they qualified for the provincial one and were not already in receipt of a local one. Retired teachers must also apply for their retroactive pay in this regard. Retroactivity does not apply to local category 5+s, only the new provincial category.

    Two-year teacher programs
    There is a group of teachers who took four-year degrees and then two-year teacher programs who have to date been denied Category 5+ status simply on the basis of the organization of their studies as opposed to the courses taken which in most cases qualify them for 5+ status. We have requested that TQS make any changes necessary to ensure that equity is maintained. If the courses of study equate to the qualifications for Category 5+ regardless of how they were organized in these circumstances, we believe they should receive the category status.  BCPSEA has taken no position in this regard other than to say that they are satisfied with TQS making the decisions. We will update you about this matter after the TQS board meeting on June 22, 2007.

  • Purchasing service if layed-off

    Posted on June 15th, 2007 editor No comments

    As this is lay-off/recall time in many school districts, I just thought I would remind Presidents that members who have been laid off can purchase the time they are on a recall list.  You may want to share the following info with any of your members who find themselves in this quandary plus file a copy of it in Section 8 of your Benefits Binders:

    Purchasing Layoff Periods
    You can purchase periods of layoff as a general leave of absence if you were placed on a recall list and didn’t return to work, or if you returned to work for the same or different employer and worked less than your previous assignment. You must apply to purchase this service before your recall rights expire.

    Calculating the Cost
    The cost of a leave of absence is based on your current full-time equivalent salary, multiplied by the length of the leave period, multiplied by:
    • the current employee contribution rate (9.16% as of July 1, 2007) – this applies to maternity, parental and adoption, and compassionate care leaves, or
    • the current employee and employer contribution rates (21.45% as of July 1, 2007) – this applies to general leaves

  • The School District Budget for 2007/2008

    Posted on June 15th, 2007 editor No comments

    Les Pritchard attended the first Advisory Budget Meeting on behalf of the Union.  The essential message is that the District believes they need to lay off 3 FTE Teachers and 4 FTE Childcare workers but they need a third senior Board office staff member.

    Right now there is one administrator for every 8.2 teachers in our District.  This would make that ratio worse yet.

    The justification is that they expect 50 fewer students, but the Board staff are too busy. 

  • Write to Peter Northcott

    Posted on June 13th, 2007 editor No comments

    Peter Northcott asked me to pass along his email address pjnorthcott@shaw.ca so that if anyone is visiting Kamloops they can let him know.

  • School Closure Third Reading delayed

    Posted on June 13th, 2007 editor No comments

    At the Board meeting last night the School Board passed a motion to delay the third reading of the by-laws which may have closed two schools this Summer to March 11, 2008.  This would allow them to look at the whole District and form a committee to look at the “vision” for the District.

    This means staffing will be going forward as of Thursday afternoon, so please watch for postings.  If you need information, please call the office at 627-1700.

  • BCCT Report

    Posted on June 12th, 2007 admin No comments

    Dear Colleagues,

    I am forwarding you my report to Zone 12 for the last meeting of the BC College of Teachers. Of particular note is the College response to the Surrey issue related to their adult educators (found in the Qualifications Committee section of the report).

    Richard Walker

    Zone 12 rep

    BC

    College of Teachers, June, 2007 meetingReport to Zone TwelveBy: Richard Walker The June meeting of the College Council were held between June 4 & 7th. Newly elected council members Jerelynn MacNeil and Norm Nichols were welcomed to the College. Outgoing Councilors included Reggi Balabanov, Kit Krieger, Bob Lindsay and Floyd Smith who were lauded for their contributions at the College on behalf of the educators of

    British Columbia. Although the newly elected members were attending the meeting, the government has so far failed to announce the replacements for the two departing appointees. The lack of these appointees for the June meeting meant that a special Council meeting had to be scheduled for July 31st in order to hold an election for the position of Chair and Vice Chair of the Council in accordance with timelines stipulated under the Teaching Profession Act. In the meantime, the departing councilors created openings in the Preliminary Investigation Sub-Committee (PISC) and elections for these positions were held at the June meeting. John Grain was elected as a full member and Louise Burgart and Tim Dunford were elected into alternate positions. These councilors will hold their positions only between August 1st and the October meeting of Council when new elections for a full slate on PISC will be held. The Discipline Committee reported that the long-standing backlog in investigations is gradually beginning to abate since the addition of another investigator a few months ago. A by-law was passed that gave the College the authority to compel the production of documents at the investigation stage of misconduct issues. They also passed motions related to improving the ‘Person Complaint’s Process’ as well as passing recommendations regarding College practices related to recruitment and retention of legal counsel.

    The Qualifications Committee passed motions that clarified existing bylaw wording regarding acceptable teaching experience as well as wording that would allow in-province applicants for certification the same options for a French Language only restricted certificate which are currently available to out of province applicants. Of significant interest to the adult educators in

    Surrey, the Committee recommended a variance in obtaining Letters of Permission (LOP) for ‘adult educators’. The new rule will allow the College Council, upon receipt of an application for a LOP from a School District, to waive the requirement for evidence of internal and external advertising of a position in Adult Education, where the proposed employee has worked for a Board for a specified period and have enrolled in the new two year UBC Secondary Education Diploma Program. This motion will allow adult educators in Surrey (and potentially elsewhere in BC) the ability to continue to work while obtaining their permanent teaching certification. This is a one time only arrangement as the special UBC program will end in two years. The Teacher Education Committee approved, on an interim basis, the ‘Attainment of Standards’ (ASR) reports from SFU, UBC and UNBC. A meeting between TEC members and the Deans is scheduled for June 18th to discuss some of the challenges that have arisen in the ASR approval process related to a Letter of Understanding signed some time ago between the College and the Deans of Education in BC. The Committee also passed a motion that will expand the scope of a survey the College carries out that polls opinions from recent education program graduates. The survey will now include applicants, members and partner groups.

    The Finance Committee made recommendations to use $150 K in unallocated surplus funds to hire further technology staff. These positions were needed to enhance the College’s ability to respond to new mandates arising from legislation as well as help to continue the work the College began last year in up-dating its records management and web redesign. There were further motions that clarified the policies regarding Council member’s expenses

    The Communications Committee’s work focused on a proposed advertising policy related to ‘tc’ magazine and the development of an internal process to expedite and coordinate communications initiatives within the College.

    The TILMA Committee (Trade, Investment, Labour Mobility Agreement between BC and Alberta) made recommendations that will help College representatives frame their discussions in relation to establishing common certification requirements between

    Alberta and BC. These recommendations were formulated after significant consultative opportunities offered to all partner groups. As the recommendations form the basis of what could be viewed as a ‘bargaining’ position at the TILMA talks, the specifics of the recommendations were passed in private session. The Standards Committee set before Council their recommendations for the new set of ‘Standards for Competency and Conduct’. Educators may recall that the first set of written College standards were formulated by the ‘interim council’. The initial standards were always considered a ‘living’ document and revisions were expected. The elected College began a review of the standards three years ago. Part of that review was a discussion forum where all partner groups gave input to the standards. The Standards Committee has been working with this input for a considerable time prior to placing the new draft before the Council.The new draft proposal sets a framework of eight standards, each with an explanatory paragraph. In addition the current proposal will see each standard accompanied by sets of ‘reflective’ questions: one set for practicing educators, one set for those in a supervisory capacity to help assess candidates in teacher education programs and one set for Council members in assessing and judging applicants and members when concerns are raised about fitness and/or competency. The draft of the standards and their descriptive paragraphs, accompanied by: a cover letter, an introduction outlining the purpose and meaning of the standards in practice, a set of definitions and an example set of questions for the first standard have been approved unanimously by Council for distribution to all partner groups. I am hoping that these will be distributed in the coming months and will be available to those interested in examining them. The Council also approved a time frame for further input into the draft before there is any final approval of the new Standards. I believe that the new standards will reflect the broad principles which all educators espouse. I would also like to give credit to Kit Kreiger who chaired the Standards Revision Committee. I think that his leadership was critical to the production of a document that could ultimately be endorsed by every council member. The new Standards could well become Councilor Kreiger’s lasting legacy to

    British Columbia’s educational community. The Committee of the Whole brought forward several motions for discussion at the public meeting. One motion that carried was a change to the internal election process for positions within the College Council. A further motion to give ‘voice but no vote’ to elected/appointed council members prior to their taking office was referred back to staff for suggested wording.

    The next meeting of the Council will be July 31st for the purpose of electing a Chair and Vice Chair for the coming year. I have let it be known that I will let my name stand. The next regularly scheduled full meeting of the new Council will be at the beginning of October.

  • 2007 PRDTU AGM

    Posted on June 5th, 2007 admin No comments

    Prince Rupert District Teachers’ UnionGENERAL MEETINGSaturday May 26th, 2007CHSS

    1. Call to Order at 12:30 with guests and members present.

    2 MINUTES of March general Meeting will be adopted in September 2007.

    3. Nielsen/MurphyAdoption of the agenda as circulated Carried

    4. SPECIAL PRESENTATIONLes Pritchard, on behalf of the PRDTU, presented retired teacher and activist PETER NORTHCOTT with Honorary Life Membership in the PRDTU.

    5. OLD BUSINESS

    i BCTF/CEP Negotiations: Marty read a report from the BCTF Executive Committee and answered questions.

    Scott/Larson“That the PRDTU support the BCTF Executive Committee/Bargaining Team in establishing staff salary and pension compensation packages similar to those of BCTF members. “ Carried

    ii Posting/FillingKathy Murphy and Gabriel Bureau reported to the membership on discussions with District 52 management re: school closure and spring staffing

    Brookes/Jong-Bowles“That the PRDTU continue with problem-solving discussions, if a local trustee participates.” Carried

    Manning/Konzmo“That the PRDTU president send a letter to the trustees of District 52 outlining our concerns with respect to posting/filling; and that the above motion be copied” Carried

    6. NEW BUSINESS

    i) Marty outlined the ‘options’ available as circulated in an Email from Bill Ford.

    Bernhardt (W)/ Bellis

    “that option #3 (hard bump) be the PRDTU position for possible school closures in Spring 2007 Carried(no dissent)

    Murphy/ Cavin (M)“that the PRDTU seek to have the ‘surplus letters’ rescinded and that postings occur AFTER possible school closures, before a hard bump begins” Carried

    Bureau/Strand“that ghe PRDTU president communicate the above motion re: school closures and staffing to trustees of District #52” Defeated7. REPORTS

    The treasure’s report was received from Jamie Scott. Scott/Bureau”that we adopt the 2007-2008 budget” (attached) Carried

    Scott/Pritchardthat Larry Hope be the auditor for the PRDTU finances for 2007-07 Carried

    Scott/Murphy“that there be no change to the PRDTU membership fee for 2007-2008 Carried

    8. NOTICE OF MOTION (see attached)

    Jamie Scott gave notice that he will move or cause to have moved a motion changing the amounts for the PRDTU bursary for members’ children. This would be circulated to all members in fall 2007 and voted on at our next General Meeting

    SOCIAL JUSTICE (see attached)

    The report was received as circulated. The final meeting and social will be held on Thursday June 14th , 7:30 at Joanne Chrona’s home 1542 2nd Avenue West.

    COLLECTIVE BARGAINING (see attached)

    Gabriel Bureau thanked members of the Collective Bargaining Committee.

    PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT (see attached)

    Colleen Pudsey reported that the Culture in the Classroom conference was the big effort this year. The unused funds will go into a term deposit to seed the next Regional Conference.

    TEACHER ON CALL no report

    SOCIAL CONVENOR no report

    BULLITEN no report

    FIRST NATIONS no report

    Les Pritchard thanked PRESIDENT Marty Bowles on behalf of the membership.

    LABOUR LIASON Mae Jong-Bowles reported that a Celebration dance will be held at the Fish Hall October 20th to celebrate 50 years of the CLC (Canadian Labour Congress) See attached poster)

    9.ELECTIONS Joanna Larson was elected as PRESIDENT

    Vice President (position not filled at this time)

    Trish Banighen was elected as SECRETARY

    Jamie Scott was elected as TREASURER

    Joanne Chrona was elected as BULLITEN editor

    Nikki Wright was elected as EFAP (Employee and Family Assistance) representative

    Gabriel Bureau was elected as COLLECTIVE BARGAINNG chairperson

    Marty Bowles was elected as the PRDTU Local representativeJoanna Larson was elected as the PRDTU Alternate L.R.

    First Nations (position not filled at this time)

    Professional Development (position not filled at this time)

    Lois Elliot and Kathy Murphy were elected as SOCIAL JUSTICE co-chairpersons

    Lois Eliiot was elected as our MEDICAL PLAN (extended health travel rider)Representative

    Mae Jong-Bowles was elected as our LABOUR LIASON representative

    Tamara Thomson was elected as the PRDTU Health/Safety Rep (WCB)

    Social Convener (position not filled at this time)

    David Konzmo was elected as our SUMMER CONFERENCE REP.

    The Executive Committee of the PRDTU will consider unfilled positions at their next meeting (on Tuesday June 12th at 3:45)

    Bowles/Pritchard“ If school closures occur this summer, the PRDTU President be directed to return to work at the PRDTU office from that date onward. Compensation would be by days in lieu” Carried

    Bureau/PudseyIf school closures occur this summer That the PRDTU authorize hiring of a member to be in the office if the President is away at Summer Conference “ Compensation would be by days in lieu or payment. Carried

    ANNOUNCEMENTS

    Marty reminded members that PRDTU bursaries for members are available.

    Nielsen/Crowley

    Adjournment” at 2:30

  • BCTF/CEP Settlement

    Posted on June 4th, 2007 editor No comments

    Term of agreement
    3 years (January 1, 2007 – December 31, 2009)

    Salary Schedule
    Recast at December 31, 2006 to reflect roll over of telephone and Internet allowances (taxable benefits) into salary
    January 1, 2007 – 2.0% Increase
    January 1, 2008 – 2.0% Increase
    January 1, 2009 – 2.0% Increase

    Signing bonus of $3500.

    Retirement Gratuity and Retirement Benefits
    Employees on staff prior to January 31, 2007 and current retirees as of January 31, 2007 are red-circled for existing retirement gratuity and retirement benefits.

    Employees hired after January 31, 2007 upon retirement from the Federation shall receive a retirement gratuity equal to 1.5% of annual salary for each year of service with the Federation.

    Employees hired after January 31, 2007 may access the retirement health benefits available under Article 22 by paying 100% of the premiums.

    Employees hired after January 31, 2007 will be eligible for the Great West Life Group Insurance Plan on a shared basis: 50 % employer paid, 50% employee paid.

    New Article: Early Retirement Incentive Plan: Continuing and term employees on staff prior to January 31, 2007, with 4 or more years service with the Federation, who retire from the Federation with less than 10 years of service shall receive an ERIP payment equal to 3.0% per year of service with the Federation, and may access the benefits available under Article 22 by paying 100% of the premiums.

    Right to Union Representation
    New clause added; “If an employee requests union representation at a meeting with the Federation such a request will not be denied.” Existing discipline related meetings language amended to include “Such, notice will be provided to the Union and the employee in writing with the particulars prior to any meeting being held.”

    Leave for Union Business
    Added union leave days for attendance at CEP Provincial Council (equivalent to BCTF RA).

    “For predictable events, the union shall provide the employer with five (5) days notice.”

    Improvements for Term Appointments
    Subject to prior approval one (1) return trip and the cost of overnight lodging to be paid for the purposes of interviews, returning to a position, visiting schools or other work sites associated with return to district.

    Payment of the costs of cancellation, transfer, or installation fees for services and utilities involved in the relocation.

    When a term employee retires from the teaching profession when their term ends, payment of moving and transportation costs to that term retiree’s original location, or to another location with the cost not to exceed a move back to the original location.

    New clause: “All appointees shall receive written information pertaining to employment benefits, moving expenses, and other applicable information attached to their appointment letter”.

    Holidays and Vacations
    To be scheduled by mutual agreement.

    New Clause added; “Where the Federation withdraws agreement to an employee’s vacation, the Federation shall compensate the employee for reasonable expenses incurred by the employee that are related to the cancellation.”

    The rest of the changes to the collective agreement are very minor.