Monday Memo – February 28, 2011

MEMO TO: Staff Reps

COPIES TO: STA Executive Committee

FROM: Denise Moffatt, President

Date: February 28, 2011

Budget Brief
Every year the Surrey Board of Education seeks feedback from the various stakeholders on the upcoming operating budget. This year the board is once again predicting a $10 million dollar deficit. The Surrey Teachers’ Association believes that every effort must be made to secure sufficient funding for Surrey schools. As an overriding principle all budget decisions should be focused on areas that directly support students and teachers in the classroom. For more detail on our feedback, see the attached budget brief .

Wisconsin workers under attack (from pres-bctf)
The “Great Recession” in the United States is being used by right-wing politicians as an opportunity to attack labour rights. Public sector workers and teachers, with the support of many of their students, have mobilized a major protest. They are demonstrating to stop the Wisconsin governor and legislature from passing legislation that would take away collective bargaining rights, but would also require a vote every year on whether the unions should be certified.

While the recession was created by unregulated financial corporations, public sector workers and public services are being forced to pay for the deficits created by the government bailouts of these financial institutions. Resistance to these attacks on labour rights and public services is essential. Those who have taken the lead must have support to encourage others to stand up to these attacks as well. The BCTF and many Canadian Labour organizations have sent messages of support for these workers.

For more details on the situation, check out these websites:
• Wisconsin Education Association: www.weac.org/Home.aspx
• Diane Ravich on “Why America’s Teachers are Enraged.” www.cnn.com/2011/OPINION/02/20/ravitch.teachers.blamed/index.html?hpt=C1

New Premier
On Saturday, Christy Clark won the Liberal party’s leadership contest and become the Premier designate of British Columbia. While a new leader provides a new face to the liberal party, will it mean a better direction for public education or will past history be repeated? Only time will tell…

Extended day update
Earl Marriott Secondary and Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary teachers are continuing to advocate for a better solution for over-crowding in their schools. Staff and Union Reps will meet with the DPAC at Earl Marriott Secondary tonight. Meanwhile, the issue continues to garner support in the community.
http://www.bclocalnews.com/surrey_area/surreyleader/opinion/116860168.html
http://www.ctvbc.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20110217/bc_surrey_schools_110217/20110217?hub=BritishColumbiaHome

School Trustee Speaks Out Against Extended Day
Ijaz Chatha says extending school hours and portable classrooms are band-aid solutions to fixing the shortage of schools. “Ultimately, the solution to overcrowding in schools lies with the provincial government. The solution, of course, is to build more schools.”

At this time the STA is urging teachers not to volunteer to add to the number of classes being taught outside of the regular school bell schedule.

If you have any new information, questions, or concerns, please contact Denise Moffatt at 604-594-5353, or e-mail to grieve@surreyteachers.org

Class size and composition Provincial update see attached .


Monday, February 28th, 2011. Filed in Category: Monday Memos

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