Memo – May 22
MEMO TO: Staff Reps
COPIES TO: STA Executive Committee
FROM: Denise Moffatt, President
Date: May 22, 2012
LRB Hearing set to continue tomorrow
On Friday, the LRB hearing with respect to our ability to have members withdraw from extracurricular activities commenced.
In the morning we heard opening arguments from the parties. The employer’s lawyer described the system as “in chaos” as a result of the bill 22 action plan. She argued that “the concerted withdrawal of such services satisfies the definition of a strike.” She said that if a teacher has agreed to a volunteer position after hours, “it’s part of their work.” She relied on the fact that teachers were often indemnified and covered by WCB while coaching and running clubs to support her case. She requested that the Board direct the BCTF and its locals to retract their advice to members regarding the withdrawal of voluntary and extracurricular activities.
The BCTF lawyer argued that the first test of whether or not our action constitutes a strike is to evaluate whether we are withdrawing from work. He said that all teacher collective agreements make it clear that extracurricular activities are not work and are voluntary on the part of teachers. For example, the Surrey language states that “extracurricular activities are defined as those activities which extend beyond the normal school day or beyond provincial /district curricula and programs.” It goes on to say that “all participation by Surrey Teachers’ Association members in these activities is voluntary.” The Surrey agreement also clarifies that extracurricular will not form part of qualifications for job postings or be considered as part of a teacher evaluation.
In the afternoon, Denise Moffatt, testified on behalf of the BCTF about the right contained in the collective agreement describe the nature and timing of extracurricular activities. She also testified that the Surrey Teachers’ Association was using the “work now, grieve later” principle to manage disputes between the parties. She also relied on documents from 2001 and 2002 demonstrating that the Association has taken the position for more than a decade that SBT and parent teacher interviews outside the school day are voluntary.
The hearing was adjourned today due to an illness and will proceed tomorrow at 9:30am. The employer will then present its witnesses.
Learning Improvement Fund
Revised LIF forms were sent out on Thursday, May 17th. We have attached them here in case you missed that email. Hopefully with the few tweaks you will find these easier to use. You will also note that category K has been added in. Unfortunately, this was a type error on the BCTF forms and therefore didn’t make it onto ours. Our apologies.
If secondary schools are having a real challenge calculating a minimum staffing FTE, this simplified formula may assist you:
Total number of students + number of high-incidence student + 2x the number of low-incidence students + 8x the number of tech/lab classes divided by 28 = number of classroom teachers needed. That number must be increased by 12.5 % for prep time.
The STA Executive has passed a motion to advise members that Summer Pro-d may be impacted by the imposition of a contract or a possible BCTF action plan next school year. Further, with the likely passage of Bill 36, the school calendar and collective agreement provisions related to school day, week and year may be impacted. This could also affect the non-instructional days and our professional development days. We cannot make members any assurances around their protection with respect to this time. Further, the BCTF action plan for the fall has yet to be determined and if the plan includes a withdrawal of voluntary service, “work beyond the school year” and “summer pro-d” may be captured preventing members from volunteering to attend.
Surrey Teacher’s Bowling and a Burger social: Thursday, June 21st, 3:30 to 6:00 at Xcalibur Lanes. Enjoy two hours of 10 pin bowling and your choice of a beef, chicken or veggie burger. Bring your family. Space is limited to this FREE event! RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org by June 15th. (see attached poster)
TOC Appreciation Night Thursday, June 14th
Please encourage TOCs to attend this last TOC event of the year. (See attached poster)
White Rock Social Justice Film Society
The White Rock Social Justice Film Society presents THE END OF POVERTY on Friday May 25th at 7:00pm. Location: First United Church, 15385, Semiahmoo Avenue at Buena Vista.
The film explores the true causes of poverty today and asks if it has emerged since colonial times as a consequence of exploitation by wealthy nations. Website: www.whiterocksocialjusticefilmfestival.ca
A thank you to all teachers who attended and made this year’s Annual Surrey Teachers Association Convention a great success. This year we had the highest level of pre-registration ever. To continue to make our Convention better, please complete the linked survey https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2012sta
Surveys completed by May 30th will be entered into a draw for a FinePix XP20 Digital Camera.
If you are interested in being on the committee to make next year’s Convention an even greater success, please forward your name to Lorna Sheh to be put forward at the committee elections on June 13th, 2012.
Don’t forget to mark your calendars for next year’s Convention on May 3rd, 2013.
Principals requesting individual LIF consultations
If your principal requests an individual LIF consultation meeting with you, ask your staff rep to attend the meeting with you. Our advice regarding requests remains the same, teachers should only make requests for teaching and other professional staff using the template information gathered as the minimum standard for those requests. Teachers may of course speak about the challenges and complexities of the class that support these requests.
If your principal only asks you about SEA time, that is not consistent with the regulation which clearly states that teacher staffing may be one of the uses of the funds.
Class organization outside the school day
We are receiving reports that many principals are requiring teachers to attend after school or lunch time meetings to organize classes. In our view, at most schools class organization has always been done on the admin day or at the beginning of the year. Further our collective agreement supports that teachers are not required to attend meetings outside of the school day other than those set out in the collective agreement. (Article D.20) If your staff has been requested to attend additional after school meetings or to attend lunch time meetings to organize classes, please send the details to the STA office as we will be pursuing a grievance.