Tuesday, November 15, 2008, 6:30 p.m.
1. Call to Order 6:50
2. Adoption of the Agenda: Moved E. Braid/Chrona, as amended CARRIED
Adoption of Minutes of September 23, 2008: Moved E. Braid/Fox-Povey CARRIED
3. Presentation from BCTF Executive Committee: Jill McCaffery
Moved Larson/Sawka: That we move into committee of the whole, and that we rise and report at the end of Jill’s remarks. CARRIED
Rising out of committee, it was reported that FSAs were discussed.
Letters for Teachers with More than 3 Designated Students
A motion was passed at the most recent executive meeting to develop and distribute a letter to teachers to aid them in communicating with parents regarding students with special needs (Please find the attached.) Teachers in some schools have been directed not to use the letter during meetings, and I am currently discussing this issue with the board office. The letters may be used outside of these meetings, and some teachers are choosing to simply mail them out. For a copy of the letter or information regarding this topic, talk to your staff rep. or phone Joanna.
The new leave forms that the Board Office is requiring employees to use were designed to be as general as possible. They are to cover all employees in the district, not just teachers. Therefore, there are items that may or may not be applicable to us, and many of our leaves are not present on the form. The “details” section is specifically there to deal with leaves not listed. If you are taking a leave that is in our contract, but not listed on the form you would tick the “other” box, and then fill out the clause number. Each site has also been provided with a quick reference to the leaves available to us and the corresponding clause numbers in the contract. The “details” section is not to share the details of your illness or other matters you deem private. Requests for further information must follow the clauses below:
G1.10 Teachers may be required to provide an acceptable medical certificate in relation to any absence due to illness. Any teacher required to provide such a certificate will be notified in advance, and such notification shall not be given unreasonably G1.11 Notwithstanding paragraph G1.10, a medical certificate may be required for an illness extending beyond three days.
Supervisors signatures are as required. They are not required for sick leave. A regular sick day requires nothing more than your name, and a check beside the G1 box.
There has been a small number of teachers who have had pension service reported incorrectly by their board to the Teachers' Pension Plan (TPP), for periods when they worked less-than-half-time prior to 1993. As well, members may have other periods of service reported incorrectly.
All members are advised by both the BCTF and the TPP that they should check the accuracy of the service recorded and reported to them annually on their Member's Benefit Statements. Neither the local, nor the BCTF, have personal pension information for members, and while members receive this advice, they do not always act on it.
As service is usually not adjusted after retirement, the most important time for members to ensure the accuracy of their service is when they retire. If a member believes that their service is inaccurate, they should check what was reported by the employer.
It would be helpful if you could pass this message on to any teachers who are retiring this year.
Any teachers with questions regarding this message can contact me at the numbers below.
Director, Income Security Division
British Columbia Teachers' Federation
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
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).
Zone 12 rep
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
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
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.