Monday Memo – January 16, 2012

MEMO TO: Staff Reps

COPIES TO: STA Executive Committee

FROM: Denise Moffatt, President

Date: January 16, 2012

Student Marks
To assist teachers and reps with term end marks in various scenarios, we have created a chart outlining the advice for mid-year. Please refer to the attached chart and contact our office if you have any questions.

Provincial Invigilation
No teachers are required to invigilate provincial exams. HR confirmed that teachers will not be required, barring an emergency, to invigilate any of the exams.

Provincial Marking
We are waiting to hear back on a finalized list of administrators who are qualified to mark provincial exams. We expect to receive this later today. We will update you about whether or not teachers will be required to assist with marking as soon as we receive this information.

Teachers Leaving the school or District
Any teachers who are transferring or leaving their school at the end of Term 1, should provide a copy of final marks for their to the school counsellor. The counsellor will retain the marks pending further direction from the BCTF.

See update (January 19th) at the end of this memo.

Teachers will not administer or prepare students for FSAs. Teachers should not meet with administrators to organize the administration of the test. As usual, teachers should not agree to mark the FSA. LST teachers will not provide support for students with special needs who are writing the test (scribing and reading) as the test is not curricular. Administrators can provide this support. LST teachers may provide administrators with a list of names of students who will be exempted from writing the test. Teachers can be directed to work with students who are exempted or other students who require extra support while their class is writing the FSA, but teachers should not be directed to do non-teaching work (e.g. cleaning a supply room). A package of info from the STA should arrive at schools shortly.

Attend Provincial Bargaining
Two teachers will be able to attend a session of provincial bargaining on Tuesday, January 24th along with First Vice President Jennifer Wadge. Release time will be provided. Submit your name to Lorna Sheh on first class by Tuesday, January 17th if you are interested.

Provincial Bargaining Update – Surrey Adult Educator presents
BCTF and BCPSEA met for their 67th bargaining session on January 12th, 2012.

BCTF began the day with a presentation from Lynda Toews, an adult education teacher from Surrey. Lynda is the chair of the BCTF Adult Educator’s Advisory Committee and past president of the Adult Educator’s PSA. Lynda’s presentation focused on the work of adult educators and the need for preparation time for all adult educators.

Lynda first stated that adult educators in BC teach the same curriculum and have the same credentials, and employers that all other K–12 teachers have although the funding is based on a different formula but from the same source. She then presented the unique challenges faced by adult educators. Lynda outlined how, adult educators in several districts have very different working conditions than other teachers such as no provisions for class size and composition which were eliminated by the government in 2002. For example, in Surrey, Burnaby, Delta, Coquitlam, and Maple Ridge adult educators are the only teachers in the BC public education system that do not receive paid preparation time. Lynda quoted an English and Social Studies 10–12 adult educator “…paid preparation time to complete some of these tasks would allow me to better serve my students and help them realize their goals and potential.” Lynda stated that preparation time equals better quality of instruction and that improving adult educators’ working conditions is a matter of equity. In conclusion, Lynda said that the only time she ever had prep time was during her practicum. Lynda added that, “it was demoralizing over time to go without that professional recognition and it gives us the impression that we and our students are not valued or respected as professionals.”

BCPSEA thanked Lynda but did not engage in a conversation on fairness and equity for adult educators. They also, once again, did not commit to table any language that would recognize that adult educators must be treated the same way as other teachers in the area of preparation time.

It is interesting to note that since Lynda is a teacher from Surrey, there were three representatives of Surrey’s district management in attendance. Since they were there, Jim Iker asked them if they thought it was fair that their adult educators do not get any preparation time. Jacquie Griffiths, BCPSEA spokesperson, took offense of the question and refused to answer it or to let the adult education Surrey management representative to speak to it.

Once again BCPSEA brought up the topic of guest speakers and observers. It is amazing that on day 67 of bargaining, the employer wants to waste time reopening discussions on protocol.

BCPSEA outlined their proposal on stripping local language on layoff and recall.

BCTF again challenged BCPSEA to put forth proposals across the table that would enable the parties to negotiate a fair deal for teachers across this province.

School-Based Science Fair
Teachers may bring their classes to see science fair projects at their school during the day. If teachers are required to assist with set up and organization of a school based science fair, they should do it during instructional time with coverage provided.

School Board Meeting Presentation
On Thursday, January 12th, STA President Denise Moffatt made a presentation to the Surrey School Board on Surrey teachers’ four expectations for the trustees’ new term.~ Following the presentation, the trustees did not ask any questions.~ Mike McKay asked for a copy of the presentation and Laurae McNally, board chair, echoed this request.~ A copy of Denise’s speech is attached.

Wear Black on the 27th
January 28th will mark ten years since the Bills 27 and 28 were carried by the Liberal government. The BCTF is holding event at the Delta Hotel in Richmond during the Rep Assembly meetings to highlight the 10th anniversary of this devastating legislation. On Friday, January 27th, we are asking teachers to wear black to signal the mourning of our loss of class size and composition guarantees in our collective agreements.

Focus Day, February 10th
In light of the job action, we are not participating in District sponsored events, including the keynote speakers organized by the District for February 10th. The STA Pro-D Committee encourages teacher to inquire in their own practice (self-directed) or collaborate as a school group. The District Helping Teachers and LSAs are also planning a variety of workshops. Information will be sent out and posted on the STA website ( when it becomes available.

Letters supporting teachers and public education
There have been many excellent letters by teachers published in local and provincial newspapers. We encourage all teachers to consider sharing their experiences in order to help inform the public. A copy of a recent letter to the Vancouver Sun is attached, along with an informative blog posted by a Vancouver Island local president.

Child Poverty
A new report by the Canadian Pediatric Society reaffirms what teachers are saying about the importance of investing in anti-poverty measures, especially for young children. See the attached news item, as well as a BCTF press release calling on the government to create a poverty reduction plan.

Snowy Days
Please review the snow plan that your school has in place. The link below has the information you need. Please run off the check list to advise the Principal of concerns.

Update – January 19, 2012

Staff Reps:

We have just received the following revised advice from the BCTF. This advice differs from the advice that was provided to you on Monday. We know that this change advice may create some confusion and many of you had just held union meetings. We are sorry for the inconvenience as this new advice resulted from discussions between BCTF and BCPSEA that occurred after our Monday memo. The changed advice is noted below in bold. We have updated the mid year marks chart to reflect the changes. Please ensure that all of your Grade 12 teachers and counsellors are aware of the advice below.

Final marks

This is to confirm our advice regarding our Labour Relations Board (LRB) approved Phase 1 job action that “members will not provide any student assessment data to AOs or the school office, except Grade 12 marks required for graduation, post secondary applications and scholarship purposes.”

For grade 12 students:

We previously advised that teachers would only provide semester1 marks for grade 12 students who were graduating in January or who were applying for post-secondary or scholarships. The revised advice is that

Teachers may provide to the office all final semester 1 marks for students currently in Grade 12. This would include marks for Grade 12 students taking courses such as Math 11, English 11, Phys Ed 11, Drama 11, or any other Grade 10–12 courses.

Note: There is no requirement for teachers to provide the marks through BCeSIS or in any other prescribed or “normal” manner. Teachers may provide the marks to the office in a manner that they determine.

For all other students:

Teachers should retain final marks for students in other grades in case there is a back-to-work agreement to provide those marks to the office at some time in the future.

There is no requirement for teachers to provide school marks for Grade 10–12 provincially examinable subjects at this time, other than for Grade 12 students. For example, teachers will not be providing the office with Math 10 or English 10 marks or Science 10 marks or Social Studies 11 marks for Grade 10 or 11 students at this time.

For transferring students:

Teachers should be prepared to provide final marks, by phone or e-mail, directly to the counsellor in the new school for students who transfer schools at the end of semester 1.

For transferring teachers:

Teachers leaving a school should provide their final marks to the counsellor or staff rep.

Semester 2 start up

Following discussions with BCPSEA regarding the start-up procedures for semester 2, we have agreed to a process, for semestered schools only, similar to the process for September. This advice changes the 5 day period initially reported to an 8 day period.

BCTF members will participate in the normal manner in the class/program composition and formation from January 30, 2012 to and including February 8, 2012 in all semestered schools. It is understood that this may include communications and meetings of teachers with the principal for the sole purpose of organizing the class/program composition and formation.

This period will include notification by BCTF members to counsellors of the names of students who have not completed or who have failed semester 1 courses. BCTF and BCPSEA agree that they will discuss extending this period if semester 2 class/program composition and formation is not completed by February 8, 2012.

Note: There are no provisions for class/program or formation meetings in non-semestered schools.

Monday, January 23rd, 2012. Filed in Category: Monday Memos Staff Reps & Committees