Monday Memo – January 23, 2017

MEMO TO: Staff Reps
COPIES TO: STA Executive Committee
FROM: Gioia Breda, President
Date: January 23, 2017


Pensions and Retirement
It has come to our attention that some people who are in a position to retire this year believe they must retire before December 31, 2017 in order to avoid a financial penalty from losing the bridge benefit. Although as a local we do not administer the pension and cannot provide detailed advice about it, we want to clarify for members that this belief is incorrect. All pensionable service up to and including December 31, 2017 operates according to the current rules (including the bridge benefit), and the new rules only apply to pensionable service beyond that point. Before making retirement decisions, please contact the Teachers’ Pension Plan at or Victor Choy at the BCTF at, so that you can get detailed advice about the financial implications of different retirement dates.

Qualifications Deadline for Positions Requiring Special Training / Experience
As a result of our Supreme Court win, we are expecting that there will be a large number of postings for positions that require special training or specific experience, especially LST and IST teachers for next school year. In order to be shortlisted in Rounds 1 and 2, teachers need to be listed in the District Qualification Book. Teachers who are interested in changing their assignments to such positions need to apply to the Human Resources Department by January 31 to have their qualifications evaluated. The evaluation will be completed by March 31. (CA, Article E.28.1)

STA Job Share Information Meeting: Thursday, February 2, 2017
If you are interested in Job Sharing in the coming school year, you are invited to attend our Job Share Information meeting at Eaglequest Golf Centre at 7778 – 152 Street, Surrey on February 2, 2017, from 3:45 – 6:00 pm. Please see the attached flyer for further information.

STA New Teachers’ Conference & Induction Ceremony–February 3, 2017
Beginning teachers are invited to attend who are in their first or second year of contract teaching and who haven’t attended this event in the past. Event will be at the Surrey Teachers’ Association office from 8:30 am to 2:45 pm (Lunch provided). See attached notice.
NOTE: You must register in advance for the event. To register, go to this Eventbrite link:

Gearing up for the Provincial Election – May 9th, 2017.
Just over 100 days!

By now all of you should have received a one-page notice in your boxes with a snapshot map of the Surrey ridings on the back. We want you to know that you have an active committee here at the STA preparing to highlight education issues in the election. The PA/PR (Political Action and Public Relations) Committee has a budget that will be spent on such things as radio ads, bus ads, creative social media content, interviewing candidates on education issues and publishing their answers for teachers to read, organizing all-candidates meetings on education issues, sending letters to teacher-voters living in Surrey etc., all to draw the attention of the Surrey voters to our key education message: We are fed up with the underfunding of Surrey schools, and our students deserve a fully funded and excellent education system. Teachers should not be shy in letting voters know what we think.

We will need many volunteers to help us do the multitude of tasks it takes to carry out a campaign. Could you spare some time to call teachers who live in Surrey to encourage them to vote? Would you like to help stuff envelopes? Wave at cars on the brink of election day? Stir up your social network with information about education issues in this election? Please don’t hesitate to join us or volunteer some time. Contact the STA if you would like to get involved!

STA Convention
Dear colleagues, please consider offering a workshop at our wonderful Convention, which is fast approaching on May 5th. You have an opportunity to share your passion, your innovations, your ideas with your colleagues. We need workshops and sharing sessions for all subject specialties and age groups. You may work with a teacher-friend! You will receive a gift for your work! You can take release time to prepare your workshop! Go to to submit your proposal. Thank you in advance for making our Convention another success!

STA Delegates and Alternates to BCTF Annual General Meeting
At the January 18th Special General Meeting, we elected our delegates and alternates to the BCTF AGM, which will be taking place March 18 – 21, 2017. Please see attachment for the list of delegates who will be attending and speaking on behalf of all Surrey teachers.

BCTF New Teachers’ Conference Feb 24 – 25, 2017
Our rights, our movement, our strength / Nos droits, notre mouvement, notre force
Feb 24 – 25, 2017 at the Radisson Hotel 8181 Cambie Rd., Richmond B.C.

The STA Executive passed the following motion:
THAT we invite new Surrey teachers to request STA funding to attend the “BCTF New Teachers, New TTOCs and Student Teachers Conference” on February 24th-25th, 2017 up to a maximum combined expenditure of $8000, with funds to come from the BCTF New Teachers Conference budget line. Costs covered for teachers include TTOC costs, conference registration fee, and mileage; TTOCs are eligible to attend under article G.7 TTOCs conducting union business, with cost of substitute, registration fee and mileage covered. Attendees will be selected on a first come first served basis until the $8000 maximum is reached.

This is a great conference to attend, with many workshops to choose from and opportunities to meet our provincial union leadership and find out more about what is going on! Please email to put your name in, first come first served! Remember you may also use individual and consolidation PD funds for this event. Here is the link to the forms page on the STA website:

February 17, 2017 – Focus Day The Nature of Learning and Identity
Registration now open
Our wonderful Focus day in collaboration with the district is happening on February 17th, 8:30 am – 2:30 pm at North Surrey Secondary. If you did not attend Summer Pro D last year this is one option you have for your upcoming PD day. is where you go to view all the workshop offerings and to register. There are lots of interesting options of workshops this year and an amazing keynote speaker, Catherine McGregor speaking on “the intersectional nature of identity and learning.”

Status of Women Wellness event – Thursday, February 2, 2017
Come relax, unwind, stretch and dance with colleagues! Learn more about healthy living and stress reduction at our Wellness event! See attached poster for more information!

Joke of the week
Q:What do you call a fish with no eyes?
A: “FSH”

This week’s joke was submitted by Dan Olsen. 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 24 – Executive Committee meeting
January 27-28 – BCTF Representative Assembly
February 2 – STA Job Share Meeting
February 3 – New Teachers’ Conference
February 7 – Executive Committee meeting
February 13 – Family Day
February 15 – STARA meeting
February 17 – Focus Day

Saturday, January 28th, 2017. Filed in Category: Monday Memos

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