BCTF Annual General Meeting – Call for Resolutions

The British Columbia Teachers’ Federation is run for its members, by its members.

What’s an AGM Resolution?

What is a resolution? For many of us, our only experience with resolutions has been the good intentions we have on New Year’s Day!

However, a good resolution can have a big impact on union procedures or government policies. Many items in the BCTF Members’ Guide, from professional issues to health and safety standards, started off as someone’s idea of how to improve something. If you have recently spent some time ruminating about an issue, you might consider submitting a resolution to the Resolutions Committee of our local, the Surrey Teachers’ Association. The committee will check the wording, make suggestions and perhaps endorse it. Even if they don’t, you have a chance to take it forward. If our members like it, they will vote for it at the November 18th General Meeting. Then your resolution will go on to be debated at the BCTF Annual General Meeting next March. You could even get elected as a delegate (January 20th STA General Meeting) and spend a few days of your Spring Break at the AGM, speak at the microphone, and see it through!

Does it have to be about teaching? This is an oft-debated question. Some members complain that the BCTF is involved in social issues that don’t affect our classroom life; others answer that real life can’t be compartmentalized so easily. For example, we are linked with other teachers around the world, and their struggles cannot be ignored by us if we are to maintain our collective integrity. Government policies that affect the poor could affect our students and their ability to learn, and therefore could be our concern.

In any case, whether your idea is grand or simple, here’s how to get started. It’s not a bad idea to write out the rationale for your idea first. That is not the resolution itself, but the persuasive comments to support it, which must be presented separately. Then write exactly what you think should be a policy, and preface it with who needs to do this.

Here are some successful examples that are now policy in our BCTF Members Guide:

That locals recommend to their local trustees that they ban the sale of junk food and drinks from schools.

This resolution came from a Surrey teacher in 2004. Today you’ll hear even the Liberal government proposing the idea. Here are two similar ones, dating back to 1978 and 1979. I include these to show how things we now take for granted were once a novel idea:

Teachers are entitled to protection against loss of salary during the school year as a result of absence due to illness, accident or quarantine.

That teachers should not normally be required to furnish medical certificates to verify absences.

These policies, introduced at an AGM, later became bargaining issues for some B.C. locals. Sick pay is a benefit that continues to protect teachers. It’s clear to see that if you put in the effort to develop a successful resolution, your good idea can have a big impact.

Download submission form here: Call for Resolutions


Tuesday, October 6th, 2015. Filed in Category: Member Resources

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