Monday Memo – December 16, 2013

MEMO TO: Staff Reps

COPIES TO: STA Executive Committee

FROM: Jennifer Wadge, President

Date: December 16, 2013
Happy Winter Break!
Best wishes for a safe and happy holiday on behalf of all of us at the STA office.

STARA Meeting – December 18th
The December STARA meeting is being held at Eaglequest, 7778- 152nd Street. There will be a turkey draw, as well as snacks and refreshments as a “thank you” to staff reps for all your hard work, so far this year.

Childcare for STARA Meeting
If you require childcare in order to attend this meeting, please let Laura Barker know ASAP.

Variances Reminder
A reminder to all secondary teachers requesting variances that the deadline is Wednesday, December 18th by 3:00 pm.

Provincial Bargaining Observations
If you are interested in attending an upcoming session of provincial bargaining at the BCTF in January or February (release time and mileage included), please submit your name to the STA by Friday January 10th, 2014 when we’ll draw for 6 members to attend a session.

Bargaining Update
A very important new bargaining update is available on the BCTF Member Portal.

FSA Campaign in January
Materials to be distributed to parents regarding teachers’ opposition to the Foundations Skills Assessment will begin arriving at schools at the end of this week and the first week when you arrive back in January. Staff reps please look for the large envelope of information to arrive at your schools for distribution. Instructions are included regarding appropriate distribution of the materials to all Grade 4 and 7 students in the envelopes provided. At the secondary level, each teacher will receive one copy of the material in the case of students (or teachers) having siblings (or children) in Grades 4 or 7 and give them one to take home as well. If you would like more copies or need the materials translated in another language, send your request of the number needed and the language (including Punjabi, Korean, Chinese, Persian, Japanese, Hindi, Polish, Tagalog, Russian, Vietnamese) to Lorna Sheh this week at Please note that the envelopes must be sealed if you are sending them home with students.

Freedom of Expression
In conjunction with the new protocol, BCTF and BCPSEA agreed that locals and the BCTF are free to provide buttons, t-shirts, and signs with union/political messages to members, and that members are free to wear and display them in their classrooms and on school grounds without interference or direction from administrative officers. However, teachers should be advised that they should not discuss political or union messaging with students during class.

STA/SD36 Inquiry Project
The deadline for applications for Inquiry project proposals and Inquiry facilitator applications has been extended to Friday, December 20th. Please fax to the STA at 604-504-5176. Applications are attached.

STA Public Education Meme Contest

The STA’s Public Education Meme Contest is on! Send your entry to Gioia at

Multiple entries are welcome! Entries will be shared via Surrey Teachers’ Face Book page and in subsequent Monday Memos and winners will be announced after the winter break. Members are encouraged to copy memes and share them on Facebook, Twitter and other social media!

*Link to the Meme Contest guidelines, image ideas, meme examples and online meme-generating websites.

Do you know? Union fact #42 –Employers Benefit from Unions
“At the firm and industry level, while unions do raise wages, employers benefit from significant offsets. Most significantly, unionized firms tend to be more productive….Good workplace relations can also be a major positive: the important work of Freeman and Medoff (1984) emphasizes the importance to management of a collective union voice which facilitates joint labour/management discussions of workplace problems…. [This] is much more difficult to achieve in non-union environments since workers have no formal voice and no real power behind any voice. Unionized workplaces also tend to have far lower worker turnover, giving an employer the benefit of experienced workers…”

December/January Calendar
December 18 – STARA Meeting- Eaglequest
December 20 – Last Day of School Before Winter Break
January 7 – STA Executive Committee Meeting
January 21 – Staff Rep Training – STA Office
January 21 – STA Executive Committee Meeting
January 22 – Staff Rep Training – STA Office
January 22 – Special General Meeting – Bombay Banquet Hall
January 23 – Staff Rep Training – STA Office
January 28 – Staff Rep Training – STA Office
January 29 – Staff Rep Training – STA Office
January 30 – Staff Rep Training – STA Office
January 31 – BCTF Representative Assembly

Joke of the Week
What does an island and the letter T have in common?

They are both in the middle of waTer. 🙂

This week’s joke was sent in by Mirek Marounek, Hillcrest Elementary. If you have a (clean, but not necessarily teacher related) joke to share, please send it to If your joke is selected, your name will be entered into a draw for a gift card. This month’s draw will take place on December 17th.

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013. Filed in Category: Monday Memos

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