Minutes from November 15 General meeting

Tuesday, November 15, 2008, 6:30 p.m.
Fish Hall


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.

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Friday, June 6th, 2008

Aboard the Adventure Tours catamaran (pictured on the front of the most recent phone book)

Boat will depart the dock at 7:00 pm returning at 10:00 pm

Appetizers and No Host Bar

Tickets $15.00 each No cost for recent Retirees

Tickets coming to your school soon!

IEP Letter

  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. 

Leave Forms

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. 

Pension information

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.
Arnie Lambert
Director, Income Security Division
British Columbia Teachers' Federation

Message from BCTF Table Officers

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

BCCT Report

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


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.