Monday Memo – January 10, 2017

MEMO TO: Staff Reps
COPIES TO: STA Executive Committee
FROM: Gioia Breda, President
Date: January 10, 2017


Restored language updates:
I’m sure you’ve heard the good news that we have an interim agreement with the province . Please see the attached letter from BCTF President Glen Hansman with more details of the Memorandum of Agreement. Here are two points to highlight:
This is an interim agreement, not the final agreement. Fifty million dollars is not nearly enough to address the needs that have been unmet during 15 years of underfunding since the BC Liberals stripped the collective agreement in 2002. The BCTF continues to negotiate with the provincial government and BCPSEA for a full implementation of the restored language, and is aiming to complete that so that the necessary funding will be included in the provincial budget next month.
As of today, we know that Surrey’s portion of the $50 million provided under this agreement will be around $6 million and will provide us with around 120 positions both enrolling and non-enrolling. However, under the MOA the allocation of that money to specific teaching positions will based on recommendations from a joint STA/SD36 committee.

This week the STA is meeting with the District to go over the restored language together, and also to identify what jobs should be posted, so that we can have more teachers into schools as soon as possible. Please stay tuned for further announcements about the issue of hiring to contract positions. We will share any future progress or updates at the January 18th Special General Meeting at the Bombay Banquet Hall.

Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA)
We have started sending out the FSA packages to schools, at this time schools in the South Surrey/White Rock area, Cloverdale/Clayton area, Guildford/Fleetwood area, and Newton area schools should have received their packages already. Schools in the City Centre area will receive their packages in the courier on Thursday, January 12th.

If you require more packages, please e-mail Donna Stewart at and she will have them sent out to you.
Finally, please review the attached letters outlining the process of our anti-FSA campaign this year – one for elementary and one for secondary.

Opportunity for members: Dinner learning series for teachers on Trauma-affected children and youth
As we welcome refugees from Syria and other countries into our classrooms, we may need to learn more about how trauma affects learning. You are invited to register for a learning series on this issue organized by your STA Anti-Poverty Committee. Featuring DiverCity presenter Corina Carroll, the series will explore issues around pre- and post-migration trauma together as colleagues. January 17, Feb 17 and April 5th. Catered dinner included. Please see attached flyer and register through the Eventbrite link ASAP.

BCTF Provincial Social Justice Conference. Equal is not enough. Equity and Inclusion for All.
February 10-11, 2017 at The Radisson Hotel in Richmond. Keynote speakers: Carmen Aguirre and Vanessa Richards. The STA Executive will be appointing 2 STA members to attend. Please email by 4:30 pm, Thursday, February 16th if you are interested. See attached flyer for more information.

February 17th Pro-D Day – Focus day – Save the Date!
Our next non-instructional day will be Friday, February 17th. For some teachers who participated in a summer PD event, this will be an in-lieu day, but for most, it will be a teacher-directed Professional Development Day. The STA/SD36 Focus Day Committee is planning a pro-d event similar to last February’s Focus Day event. The theme is “The Nature of Learning and Identity” and will feature workshops for both secondary and elementary teachers, and a keynote address from Dr. Catherine MacGregor, who was so well received at our 2016 Focus Day. Registration will open January 27th.

STA Convention May 5th, 2017
‘Tis only 4 months ‘til we will be basking in early May sunshine and attending our signature PD event of the year. The organizing committee is in the ‘submission of proposals’ part of our planning process. We heartily encourage all Surrey teachers to consider offering a workshop in their area of expertise or inspiration, leading an excursion of some kind, or facilitating a sharing session as a part of our Convention. You will receive the adulation of your colleagues plus a nice gift for doing so. Go to to propose your workshop!

Surrey Delegates to the 2017 BCTF Annual General Meeting
The BCTF Annual General Meeting will take place from March 18-21, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Vancouver. Each year, over 750 delegates from around the province attend the BCTF AGM. It is a great opportunity to see how the BCTF operates, to hear new perspectives on important issues, meet colleagues from other parts of the province, and to have a voice in decisions made by the union. Surrey is able to send up to 62 delegates. Since, under our policies and procedures, 10 members of the Resolutions Committee will automatically be delegates, we will need to elect 52 delegates, plus alternates. Delegates will be elected at the January 18th Special General Meeting at the Bombay Banquet Hall. Elected delegates and alternates are expected to attend all STA training sessions leading up to the AGM:

February 10 – Rookie AGM Delegates training (8:30 am to 2:45 pm at STA)
February 22 – AGM Delegates training (4:00 pm to 6:00 pm at Eaglequest)
March 1 – AGM Delegates training (8:30 am to 2:45 pm at Eaglequest)
March 8 – AGM Delegates training (8:30 am to 2:45 pm – Eaglequest)

If you are interested in becoming a delegate, please submit your name and a brief statement to Your chances of being elected a delegate are much better if you have a written statement! It is also possible to nominate yourself from the floor at the Jan 18th meeting. Hotel accommodation and expenses are covered by the BCTF. Childcare arrangements are also available. If you have any questions about the AGM or the process of becoming a delegate, please contact Matt Westphal at

Status of Women Committee – Request for volunteers to plan the Grade Seven Girls Leadership Conference
The STA Status of Women Committee is in need of members who would like to plan the 2017 Grade Seven Girls Leadership Conference. The planning committee is needed to choose the sessions for the girls at the conference and to ensure that all grade seven classes receive the invitation. This is a short-term commitment and the conference will be held in May 2017. The conference has been very successful and there are usually over 400 girls attending. We would like to invite interested members to a special meeting to begin planning on January 12th at the STA office. Please RSVP to Donna Stewart at For further information, please e-mail the Status of Women Committee Chairs, Helen Kelsey and Phyllis Minsky.

Call for Nominations: BCTF Honorary Life Membership
The BCTF Annual General Meeting can confer Honorary Life Membership upon “active and retired members who have given outstanding service to education at a provincial level”. The purpose of the award is to recognize people who have given long and outstanding service to the BCTF and education in general. If you know of someone who you think would qualify for this prestigious award, please forward a written nomination, with a brief description of the individual’s contributions to the Federation and education, to Matt Westphal, 2nd Vice-President, at Please submit nominations to Matt no later than January 18, 2017. Nominations will be considered by the STA Awards Committee, and submitted to the Executive Committee for approval, and forwarding to the BCTF.

Documentaries on DVD
Did you know the STA International Solidarity Committee has a collection of DVD docs for use by all Surrey teachers? Browse the list at, and send Julia MacRae an email with your requests. She will pop them in the courier for you to use over a couple of weeks, and then you can send them back to her the same way. Some films are good to show to your classes and some may be just for your own amusement or personal development.

Joke of the week
Q: Why do trees hate tests?
A: Because they get stumped on all the questions.

This week’s joke was submitted by Dean Nakashima. If you would like to participate in joke of the week, please submit a short, clean, (but not necessarily education-related) joke to Gioia Breda at . If your joke is drawn for publication, your name will then be entered into a draw for a gift card at the end of the month! Congratulations to December’s winner Lee Ferrier! *We NEED more jokes! Please keep them coming!

Calendar of Events:
January 11, 12, 17, 18, 19 – Staff Rep training sessions at the STA office
January 17 – Dinner series on Trauma affected children and youth – sponsored and organized by STA Anti-Poverty committee – register through eventbrite link in above attachment.
January 24 – Executive Committee meeting
January 27-28 – BCTF Representative Assembly
February 3 – New Teachers’ Conference

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017. Filed in Category: Monday Memos

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