Monday Memo – March 23, 2015

MEMO TO: Staff Rep
COPIES TO: STA Executive Committee
FROM: Jennifer Wadge, STA President
DATE: March 23, 2015
Staff Reps, please forward.

Welcome Back!
On behalf of everyone at the STA office, welcome back and best of luck for the final three months of the school year.

Pacific Blue Cross- Retroactive Claims and Other Services
Reminder that any retroactive claims for services or purchases between August 1 and December 31, 2014, must be received by PBC no later than April 30, 2015. Details, including retroactive claims forms, can be found on the PBC microsite for teachers at

Members should also know that their PBC pay direct drug cards can be used for direct billing to PBC for eyeglasses, contact lenses, eye exams, massage, physiotherapy, acupuncture, podiatry, and other services. Members will need to check with their service provider first to make sure they have signed on to PBC direct billing, and if so, PBC will be billed directly from the point of service by the service provider. Members will no longer need to submit claims for these services.

Another service from PBC is their Blue Advantage Program, which offers significant discounts on various services and merchandise to all PBC members. Members simply present their PBC card to the participating provider or merchant and mention the Blue Advantage Program. Members can receive discounts on eyeglasses, contact lenses, hearing aids, fitness and wellness services, medical equipment and supplies, nursing services, and many other services and supplies. For a full list of merchants and savings visit

Your members may also be interested to know that innoviCares has recently added a number of drugs and a number of drug companies to its coverage. BCTF members in locals that have signed on to the provincial standardized PBC EHB plan can apply for a free innoviCares card to use with their PBC pay direct drug card. The innoviCares card covers the cost of many brand name drugs that may not be fully covered by PBC. Members can find more information about innoviCares, and apply for a card, at

Attendance Management Program
Reminder that if you are asked to meet with your principal regarding your attendance, please let your staff rep know and contact the STA office for advice. Do not meet with your principal without a representative. Your principal may ask to have a casual chat with you. Please ask what this chat will be about before agreeing to meet. If they let you know that the chat will be about your absences or that they are just wanting to check in to see if you are okay, tell them you will need to speak with your staff rep first.

Layoff Information
The district has completed their planning for the anticipated 2015-16 school year layoffs. The projected FTE layoffs is 575. 632 teachers will receive layoff notices today. The layoff date is March 15, 2011. Teachers qualified in the following areas will be exempt from layoff:

• Aboriginal Helping & Transitions Facilitator
• B.A.S.E.S.
• Chef
• Counsellor-Elementary
• Deaf/Hard of Hearing
• French Immersion (K-12)
• Hairdressing
• Low Incidence- Elementary
• Severe Behaviour
• Speech & Language Pathologist
• School Psychologist
• Technology (Shop)
• Visually Impaired

Teachers who receive a layoff notice may attend a meeting with Human Resources staff to have an explanation of the recall process. The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 2, 2015 (3:45-5 pm) at Enver Creek Secondary in the Theatre.

If you have any questions or concerns about your layoff notice or about the recall process, please call the STA office to speak with a table officer at 604-594-5353.

Thank you to the 68 Surrey teachers and union officers who attended the BCTF AGM over the course of 4 days during our Spring Break. For the first time in years we had a FULL delegation and a third of which were new delegates! Together we listened to and participated in debate to help shape the work and direction of our union this year.

One of the big decisions made was to elect our BCTF Executive committee. Jim Iker of Burns Lake was re-elected as president, Glen Hansman of Vancouver Elementary was re-elected as 1st Vice President and Teri Mooring of Quesnel was re-elected as 2ndVice president. The Members at Large that were elected are as follows: Mike Ball (Nanaimo), Gail Chaddock-Costello (Langley), Clint Johnston (Chilliwack), James Sanyshyn (Burnaby), Paul Steer (Delta). They join current Members-at-Large, Carole Gordon (Kelowna), Karen Langenmaier (Comox), and Norm Sabourin (Boundary).

If you have never participated in an BCTF AGM and would like to, look for announcements in each December calling for people to put their names forward to be a delegate. The delegate election is always the January Special General Meeting.

Message from STA President, Jennifer Wadge- Thanks for your support!

I want to thank you for your endorsement of my campaign for Member at Large on the BCTF Executive Committee. Along with an endorsement from our STA General Meeting, I was also honoured with an endorsement from the VESTA General Meeting. Many teachers from around the province helped with my campaign, along with many teachers from Surrey. Unfortunately, I didn’t win this year, although it was very close (I only lost by 12 votes with nearly 700 votes being cast). I have already announced my plans to run again next year.

STARA Meeting
The STA will be holding a STARA meeting on April 15th at Eaglequest beginning at 4:00pm. All members are welcome to attend but only staff reps may vote. If you require childcare, please contact Cindy Tierney at

Reminder- Job Share Application Deadline
A reminder that the deadline to submit your application for job sharing is April 1, 2015 before 4:00 pm. The application should be submitted to the principal, with a copy to Human Resources If you have any questions about your application, please call the STA office at 604-594-5353.

Opportunity for Members: Career Education Work Group
Please be advised that the BCTF has posted for applications from members to serve as BCTF representatives on the Ministry of Education’s Career Education Work Group. The posting and CV form are available on the BCTF website under Opportunities for Members?Ministry Committee Postings:

The deadline to apply is March 31, 2015, at 5:00 p.m. The Ministry plans to have the first Career Education Work Group meeting on April 20?21, 2015.

STA Convention – May 1st
The STA Convention Committee is gearing up for another fabulous convention on May 1st. This year, the Elementary site will be at Kwantlen Park Secondary and KB Woodward Elementary. A big thank you to the staffs at both schools for welcoming your colleagues into your schools. The Secondary site will again be at SFU Surrey, and the Fine Arts and Science strands will be integrated into the Elementary and Secondary sites. Keynote speakers will be Seth Klein from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, and children’s entertainer Raffi.

The Convention Committee has also been working with the STA Aboriginal Education Committee to plan “Strengthening the Circle” at the Musqueam Cultural Centre, featuring keynote speaker Buffy Saint-Marie. The flyer is attached. Registration for the Musqueam day will open later this week.

STA Ad Hoc LGBTQ Committee Update
The District will be starting its initial training session for Admin on Safe and Caring Schools Regulation 9410.02 Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. More sessions, including those for counsellors will becoming throughout the year. Gioia will be liaising with District to further joint Disitrict/STA supports for teachers.

LGBT in B.C.: Out in Schools’ Brandon Yan addresses resource inequity in rural areas Via the BCTF, “The Vancouver-born, Langley-raised Brandon Yan took over as program coordinator from Jen Sung, who is continuing on as facilitator. Last week, the dynamic duo traveled to the Gold Trail school district to make presentations at Ashcroft, Lillooet, and Kumsheen Secondary Schools over two days.” Out in Schools is a great organization that schools can bring in to facilitate workshops to engage in dialogue about LGBTQ inclusion and homophobia.

Speaking Up and Out for Public Education
Via the BCTF: FPSE, The Federation of Post Secondary Educators, has made a powerful video (Open the Doors) that clearly shows how the burden of cost has been passed on the students over the past few decades. Since 2001, in particular, per-student operating grants have dropped 20 percent in BC, and the burden has been passed to students and their families in the form of increased user fees, record levels of debt, and shrinking program opportunities.

March/April Calendar

March 24 – STA Executive Committee Meeting
March 26 – Post AGM Delegation Meeting, STA Office
April 1 – Job Share Application Deadline
April 3 – Good Friday
April 6 – Easter Monday
April 7 – STA Executive Committee Meeting
April 8 – Transfer Workshop
April 15 – STARA Meeting, Eaglequest
April 21 – STA Executive Committee Meeting
April 21 – Staff Rep Training, STA Office
April 22 – Staff Rep Training, STA Office
April 23 – Staff Rep Training, STA Office
April 23 – TTOC Social, City Central Brewing
April 27 – Staff Rep Training, STA Office
April 28 – Staff Rep Training, STA Office
April 29 – Staff Rep Training, STA Office

Monday, March 30th, 2015. Filed in Category: Monday Memos

Go Back To -> Monday Memos