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+.
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.