Monday Memo – April 19, 2017

MEMO TO: Staff Reps
COPIES TO: STA Executive Committee
FROM: Gioia Breda, President
Date: April 19, 2017


GVTA members meeting with Andrew Weaver
Two members of the Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association met with Andrew Weaver, MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head and leader of the Green Party of BC. They reported their disconcerting experience meeting with Weaver in the document at the following link:
The response on Twitter from Andrew Weaver and other Green Party supporters to this report has been hostile.

Staff Rep Training: Still some spots open!
We still have some spots available for “Professional Boundary Issues” on April 24, and “Creating a Gender-Inclusive School Culture” on April 26. Both workshops are excellent, so if you have not registered, please do so following the instructions on the attached flyer. Also, please remember that even if a staff rep does not plan on attending one of your sessions, another teacher from that school can attend in their place. So staff reps who do not plan on attending should let their colleagues know of this opportunity, and let them know to contact to coordinate registration. Two final reminders: you must register in order to attend, and please refrain from wearing scented products at the STA.

All Candidates Meeting: April 25th at Sullivan Heights Secondary
The Sullivan Heights Grade 10 Leadership class is hosting a joint all-candidates event featuring the ridings of Surrey-Panorama and Surrey-Fleetwood. All candidates have been invited. Confirmed guests include former BCTF President Jinny Sims (Surrey-Panorama) and former Education Minister Peter Fassbender (Surrey-Fleetwood). Let’s make sure the voice of education is heard and Surrey Teachers are well-represented! The event (at 6248 – 144 Street) starts at 6:00 pm, with food, drinks, and entertainment from the Sullivan Heights Bhangra team! Bring your questions, bring your friends, and make education a priority in this election!

15 Minutes for Public Education: Become a Super-Hero!
It would be SUPER if teachers could take 15 minutes to get involved in a local riding before the May 9 provincial election. Take just #15minutesforBCed, (and whatever other causes you are passionate about!) We CAN make a difference by getting involved in this election. Check out STA First Vice President, Laura Barker, donning cape and spandex to show how easy it is to get involved! Please share this video, and more importantly, get involved in a local riding. Former BCTF President Jinny Sims would make an excellent Education Minister!

International Conference Pro-d Funding Draw
Deadline Monday, May 1st
Every year at the May STA AGM (May 17th), we draw names for four $2500 Professional Development Funding grants to attend an international conference. To be considered, completed application forms and accompanying documentation must be received by the STA office before 4:30 p.m. on the first school day of May (May 1st). If you are interested in applying, please carefully read the attached Guidelines and Procedures. Good luck!

Hey Secondary Teachers: Support First Time Voters with a Pizza Party!
The STA Executive committee passed the following motion on April 18:

THAT we spend up to $3000 from the Executive Committee budget to support teachers who are promoting a first time student voter party at their schools by providing pizza for those students.

If any teacher wishes to encourage 18-year-olds in your school to vote as first-time voters, and you would like to host an event to encourage them and celebrate afterward, please contact the STA with your plan and the date in advance so that we can support you with pizza for the students! Email to make the request and to ensure funds are still available. (First come first served until the maximum is reached.)

Labour Affairs Movie Night: April 20
Come and join the Labour Affairs committee in a pizza and film night for the showing of Burn – A Marlon Brando film. Refreshments & snacks will be provided for free to STA members. Date: Thursday, April 20th, Time: 3:30 – 6:30 pm (or earlier), Location: Queen Elizabeth Secondary in Portable Building: Room 407, adjacent to parking lot.
To register please go to
To watch the film trailer:

STA Convention Registration
Thank you to the 2500 teachers who registered for the STA Convention this week. An especially big thank you to those of you who persevered with registration despite some glitches in the website. Our webmaster has been working all week to maintain the website and fix errors. If you registered and received a confirmation email, please check it carefully and email if there are any errors. Also send an email if you registered but did not receive a confirmation email.
Many workshops have filled up but there’s lots of space in many interesting workshops and keynotes. Register soon! We will start cancelling low registration workshops on April 28th.

STA creates advertising to promote public education issues in key Surrey ridings.
Perhaps you noticed our STA ads on digital billboards while driving around Surrey during the pre-writ period. Or if you live in some of the key Surrey ridings, you may have received a ‘door hanger’ on your front door. We received this positive feedback from a local Surrey resident after receiving this item on his door: “Got the STA’s door hanger today: ‘Imagine a Government that truly believes in public education.’ I’m so happy that the BCTF won its 14 year court case!
See attached for a copy of the door hanger, and go to our STA website to see more of the actions and social media shareables you can use to promote public education before the May 9th election

STA Radio advertising for public education:
The STA has been able to record both Punjabi and English radio ads to help make education a vote-determining issue in the provincial election. The Punjabi ads have been playing on several Surrey stations, and the English ad started on Monday on Pulse, CKWX and AM730. Please find the radio ad attached and also on the Surrey Teachers Facebook page and the STA website.

April 28 Day of Mourning
We pause every April 28th to remember workers killed and those who still suffer from a work-related injury or illness, their lives and livelihoods forever compromised. Each Secondary school has received or will soon receive a box of materials to help your school commemorate the day. Staff reps or health and safety reps, please take some initiative to facilitate this with your principal. Please see attachment.

Long Term Leaves
The STA has received calls from members who have applied for a long term leave to teach in another district and had the leave denied. These applications were in before the deadline of March 31 and the members had fulfilled the requirement of at least 5 years of continuous service with Surrey. The reason for denying the leave is due to the projected shortage of teachers in Surrey for 2017-2018. The language in the collective agreement is that leaves of absence with or without pay will be considered by the district and may be approved at the discretion of the Board. Thus, the employer has significant latitude in deciding whether or not to grant such leaves. If you have had a leave denied, please contact the STA at

Calendar of Events:
Reminder to all teachers – All STA meetings are open to members who are interested in attending. If you are thinking of getting involved, why not come and check out what is going on in our committees?

April 20 – Finance Committee meeting
April 20 – Labour Affairs Film Night
April 20 – Aboriginal Ed. Committee meeting
April 20 – Health & Safety Committee meeting
April 24 to 26 – Staff Rep training
April 25 – Executive Committee meeting
April 27 – Aboriginal Education Committee meeting
April 28 to 29 – BCTF Zone meeting
April 28 – National Day of Mourning
May 1 – ProD Committee meeting
May 2 – Committee Chair meeting
May 2 – Executive & Committee Chair Liaison meeting
May 4 – Convention Committee meeting
May 5 – STA Convention
May 10 – Bargaining Committee meeting
May 15 – Anti-Poverty Committee meeting
May 16 – Executive Committee meeting
May 17 – STA Annual General meeting
June 5 – Bargaining Committee meeting

Sunday, April 23rd, 2017. Filed in Category: Monday Memos

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