Decisions of the Fall Representative Assembly November 7–8, 2008

Decisions of the Fall Representative Assembly

November 7–8, 2008


Ad hoc RA Committee to Examine the Executive Committee Hiring Process

That the ad-hoc committee to examine the Executive Committee hiring process consist of five members of the Representative Assembly.

RA Ombudspersons

That the Representative Assembly annually elect at the Spring RA, up to three members who will be members of the Representative Assembly the following year to serve as ombudsperson(s) for meetings of the RA and AGM.

Grants to Locals

1. That a grant be established to assist locals prepared to take political and demonstrative actions to assert their right to free collective bargaining on matters of significant concern to the local and its members. The grant would cover costs related to a local campaign to obtain improvements for members to an amount of $25,000.

2. Additional costs for the campaign would be shared equally between the locals and the Federation.

3. Consent for the grant is by the Executive Committee upon application by a local that meets the following criteria:

a. the local has already initiated work on the issue and it has a profile in the district

b. the issue has provincial application

c. the application has been approved by a general meeting of the local

d. there is evidence of broad member support in the local for the issue.

4. Grants issued under this proposal would be a cost to the Collective Bargaining Defence Fund as per procedure 10.L.10 (i).

5. Grants approved under this proposal may be increased by a favourable vote of the Representative Assembly.

Agreement on Internal Trade

1. That the BCTF express its opposition to the labour mobility provisions of the Agreement on Internal Trade entered into by the premier and the commensurate lowering of qualifications for professional certification of teachers in British Columbia.

2. That the BCTF call for a full legislative debate and decision on any trade agreements contemplated by the provincial government.

3. That the BCTF call upon the College of Teachers to vigorously oppose the labour mobility provisions of the Agreement on Internal Trade and any further lowering of qualifications for professional certification for BC teachers.

4. That the BCTF call upon the deans of education to defend current qualification for professional teacher certification in BC.


Professional Autonomy


That the following motion be referred to the Executive Committee for consideration with report back to the Winter RA:

That an edition of the BC Teacher magazine be devoted to professional autonomy highlighting how locals are fighting to preserve it.

Definition of a Classroom

That the BCTF lobby the Ministry of Education to change its capital funding definition of a “classroom” to include rooms used for programs that support student learning, such as ESL rooms, Learning Assistance rooms, computer rooms, art rooms, music rooms, etc.

Social Justice 12

That the BCTF support the student campaign in Abbotsford to convince their school board to offer the full Social Justice 12 course to all students who elect to take the course.

Collective Bargaining

That the BCTF begin preparation for the next round of collective bargaining and that these preparations include a review of the bargaining process, and recommendations for actions that will give locals greater scope for local bargaining.


Foundation Skills Assessment

1. That, again, the minister of education be urged to:

a. bring an immediate end to the practice of ranking BC schools.

b. eliminate the compulsory administration of Foundations Skills Assessment tests to all Grades 4 and 7 students, by changing to a process of random sampling with neither schools nor students identified.

c. consult with the teaching profession to develop appropriate and educationally sound means of assessing BC’s education system.

2. That locals lobby MLAs, trustees, DPAC and PAC representatives, labour councils, and other union and community groups to help persuade the minister of education to make these changes.

3. That locals meet with superintendents and chairpersons of boards of education to discuss the educational and professional concerns of teachers related to the existing Foundation Skills Assessment program and to advocate for the foregoing changes.


Langley Special Education Inquiry

That the $8,000 final contribution to the Langley Special Education Inquiry be a charge against the Contingency Fund.

Langley Special Education Inquiry

That the amount charged against the Contingency Fund for the Langley Special Education Inquiry be up to $53,100.

Cuban Teachers’ Union

That the BCTF grant $20,000 to the teachers’ union in Cuban to assist in the reconstruction of more than 2,000 schools damaged or destroyed by hurricanes Gustav and Ike and that the grant be a charge to the Contingency Fund.

BC Citizens for Public Power

That $10,000 be donated to support the work of BC Citizens for Public Power and that this be a charge against the Contingency Fund.

Oxfam Canada’s China Earthquake

That the contribution of $10,000 to Oxfam Canada’s China Earthquake Response Fund 2008 be a charge against Contingency Fund.

Humanitarian Coalition for Aid to Burma

That the contribution of $10,000 to the Humanitarian Coalition for aid to Burma be a charge against the Contingency Fund.

GVTA Prep Time Action Plan

That costs related to the GVTA prep time action plan be a charge against the Collective Bargaining Defence Fund.

Farm Workers

That the $2,000 donation to the trust fund established for families of the farm workers killed on the mushroom farm earlier this fall be a charge to the Contingency Fund.

Mileage Costs

That the Finance Committee develop and implement a process for separating out mileage costs paid to members on BCTF business for the school year 2009–10 and report to the 2010 Fall RA.


Middle School Campaign

That the Federation continue to support the Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association middle school campaign as per the January Winter 2008 Representative Assembly resolution until January 1, 2009, and at that time a further $25,000 be made available, followed by matching funding for their campaign.

Support for GVTA Professional Autonomy Action Plan

That the BCTF provide full, legal, political, and moral support to the GVTA Professional Autonomy Action Plan and that the GVTA be requested to update the Winter RA on this campaign.


Farm Workers

That the BCTF in solidarity with the BC Federation of Labour and the families of the workers killed or injured at Farmers’ Fresh Mushrooms Inc. on September 5, 2008 call on the province to hold a public inquiry on working conditions in the agricultural sector that would examine:

· the enforcement of health and safety standards in the agricultural sector.

· training requirements for agricultural workers.

· Language barriers that make agricultural worksites dangerous.

· The precarious nature of employment in the agricultural industry for workers on temporary foreign permits.

· Employment standards for agricultural workers.

· The recent deaths in the agricultural sector.

· Efforts to discourage the unionization of the agricultural workers.


The following were elected to Judicial Council:

Gary Egglestone (Nanaimo) (2 year), and Carol McQuarrie (Boundary) (1 year term).

The following were elected to the Committee of Ombudspersons:

Avinash Gupta (Quesnel), and Ron Harcus (Kamloops Thompson).

The following were elected to the RA Ad hoc Committee on Executive Committee Hiring Procedures:

Truls Asdal (Fraser-Cascade), Gerald Kent (Vancouver Elementary), Barb Parrott (Vancouver Elementary), Val Windsor (Delta), and Ken Zydyk (Alberni).


Resolution 102—Policy 3.B.01.27

That Policy 3.B.01.27 be amended by replacing it with the following: Extended Health Benefit coverage for the professional services of clinical psychologists of at least $1,500 per calendar year.”

Resolution 103Policy 3.B.01


That the following motion be referred to the Executive Committee for consideration with report back to the Winter RA:

That Policy 3.B.01 be amended by adding the following item to the list: post-and-fill language based strictly on seniority.

Resolution 104Bargaining

That Policy B.01 be amended by adding: “That the BCTF bargain with the employer to have three days fully funded to release teachers to conduct teacher-initiated assessment.

Resolution 105In-service Training

That the BCTF and its locals lobby boards to provide free in-service training during instructional hours with release time and TOC coverage for teachers in the areas of ESL/LAC and/or Special Needs.

Resolution 106Use of Public School Buildings

That the BCTF oppose the use, sale, rental, or lease of closed public school buildings (or unused classrooms) to organizations that provide educational services that are in competition with public schools.

Resolution 132ESL

That ESL service be provided for students for whom English is an additional language in French Immersion at the time that they begin the English component.

Resolution 133Colour-vision-deficient Students

That the BCTF encourage the development of in-service training that offers strategies for working with colour-vision-deficient students. Such pre-service and in-service education should also sensitize teachers to the needs of colour-vision-deficient students.

Resolution 135Grade-Group Meetings Attendance

That schools in which the principal has arranged time during the school day for collaboration in the form of Grade-Group meetings be at the teacher’s discretion.

Resolution 136Grade-Group Meetings Agenda

That members who attend Grade-Group meetings insist that the choice of topics to be discussed be decided by consensus among the individual members attending.

Resolution 138Voluntary Participation in PLCs

That members not support secondary school Professional Learning Communities unless they ensure that participation is voluntary, that members choose the topics and how the work of their group is reported.

Resolution 139Education Leadership


That the following motion be referred to the Executive Committee for consideration and report back to the 2009 Fall RA:

That the BCTF research and develop a policy on school-based educational leadership for members.

Resolution 146Sun Awareness

That BCTF members encourage students to wear hats and use sunscreen whenever they are participating in outdoor activities generally, and in particular during outdoor school activities.

Resolution 153Solar Index and Air Quality Awareness

That BCTF members encourage boards of education to ensure that solar index warnings and air quality indexes be posted daily.

Resolution 154Mental Health


That the following motion be referred to the Executive Committee for consideration and report back to the Winter RA:

That the BCTF establish a working group composed of both Executive Committee and BCTF members to investigate and advise the membership on how to promote and improve their mental health.

Resolution 155Changes to School Act

That the BCTF develop recommendations for changes to the Independent Schools Act that assure the following:

1. that independent schools adhere to the BC curriculum

2. respect for the UN Charter on the Rights of Women and Children

3. that inspections are yearly, unscheduled, and conducted by educators who are not aligned with independent schools

4. that no government funds be provided to independent schools.

Resolution 156Bountiful

That the BC government withdraw funding for the religious schools in Bountiful.

Recommendation 12Policy 23.01

That Policy 23.01 be deleted.

Resolution 161School Visit Grants


That the following motion be referred to the Executive Committee and the Finance Committee for consideration with a report back to the Winter RA:

That the Executive Committee of the BCTF consult with locals to determine a new formula for grants to support school visits on emergent issues. The criteria for the new formula would be to ensure that: resources are distributed judiciously but fairly, visits can be done in a timely manner, local geographic realities are accounted for, local timetable structures are factored in, and all local released officers are involved in visits.



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