Monday Memo – March 27, 2017

MEMO TO: Staff Reps
COPIES TO: STA Executive Committee
FROM: Gioia Breda, President
Date: March 27, 2017


Implementing the Restored Language:
Following our successful vote to ratify the agreement on implementing our restored collective agreement language, work is underway to be ready for the spring staffing process. In early April, the Federation is convening a special meeting of all Local Presidents to get everyone up-to-date information and share strategies on ensuring the smoothest implementation possible. Locally, we are meeting with the District this week and spring staffing is our number one concern.

Chart Summarizing Main Features of Restored Language
Are you confused about what the restored language means? We have prepared a chart summarizing the main changes in the restored language (see attachment). Please share with your colleagues, and discuss as a staff what the implications would be for your school as we approach Spring staffing. If you have questions, please contact the STA office for clarification.

STA Convention: Friday, May 5th
The Convention Committee is planning to open the website next week for previewing, and then open the website for registration the following week. That means that if you have been thinking you might like to submit a workshop proposal, this is the week to do it! Workshops for teachers by teachers are the backbone of our successful Convention!

Calling all Teacher-Champions for Jinny Sims!
Tuesdays and Thursdays are teacher action nights for Jinny Sims’ campaign in the Surrey-Panorama riding, and all teachers are invited! We need to be warriors for Jinny! This is an extremely close riding that the Liberals have targeted due to Jinny Sims (who was BCTF President during the 2005 strike) being the candidate. Jinny was our champion in 2005, she needs us to be her champions now!

Teachers are well respected members of the community. Volunteers would get the chance to work alongside Jinny and discuss their education concerns with her. There are many different jobs available such as: canvassing, voter contact, data entry, sign crew, event organization and more. People would have their choice with what they feel comfortable in doing and would be asked to volunteer just an hour or two of their time. Training is provided and teacher action nights include pizza!

Our STA President, Gioia Breda, is volunteering twice per week and challenges teachers to try to find 1-2 hours per week they can come and help support the campaign of this strong public education candidate. For those that want to volunteer with our President, Gioia will be at Jinny’s office on April: 3rd, 6th, 12th, 13th, 20th, 24th, 27th and May 3rd, 4th, and 8th! Send Gioia a picture of yourself each time you volunteer to be entered into a draw for a gift card ( See the sample picture attached. *Pictures may be used in the Monday Memo or in our Facebook group.

Please confirm the dates you are coming in with Bhupinder Mattoo, our Local Election Contact, at (778) 846-4532 or

April Staff Rep Training: Save the Dates!
For our final round of staff rep training this year, we will be offering two options. Our plan is that on April 11, 12, 24, and 25, the workshop will be “Professional Boundary Issues”, and on April 13 and 26, the workshop will be “Creating a Gender-Inclusive School Culture”. These dates and workshops are subject to confirmation with the BCTF, but we expect to have registration ready to go next week. Mark your calendars, and if you have not yet attended training this year as an STA staff rep, now is the time to come, get some training, and connect and get support with other staff reps from across the district.

Working together to Vote for change on May 9th!
Over the last few weeks the STA, the BCTF, and the BC Federation of Labour have produced a series of shareable materials on social media highlighting why on May 9th we should vote for change. Below are some of the highlights of what was launched over spring break.

As teachers, we are particularly concerned with making education a vote-determining issue. To this effect, the STA has created a public FB page where we are posting a variety of shareable images and our video “15 seconds to talk about 15 years of cuts”. Please visit this new FB page, comment, like, and share widely as you see fit.

You will notice that the public can make comments just like on the BCTF FB page. In fact, we know we are having an impact as we can see that our images and videos are being shared quite widely, so much so that we even have had some well-known BC Liberal paid “digital influencers” engage on our site. With the understanding that not all comments are going to be positive, please remember that if you choose to engage with the public, as Surrey teachers we must be mindful of our public image both as teachers and as members of our association.
· Keep it positive and/or respectful.
· Share your experiences as a teacher in our underfunded education system (without criticizing Surrey school district nor identifying individual students/families etc.)
· Do be curious if someone is saying something you disagree with and remember this is a place to create dialogue with the public not division.

The BCTF launched their first video during the BCTF AGM last week –

Finally, you may have seen the BCFed’s “Christy Clark’s Game Over” videos.

BCTF Annual General Meeting
For four days during Spring Break, sixty-eight Surrey teachers attended the BCTF Annual General Meeting in Vancouver. The AGM is a chance for people from all over B.C. to get to know each other, learn about the challenges and successes in different parts of the province, debate issues, and elect our provincial Executive Committee. Surrey delegates made their presence felt by moving resolutions and speaking at the mics (including what may be a record number of first-time speakers). We also had one of our delegates, Annie Ohana, make a surprise run as a candidate for the Executive Committee. Although she was ultimately not elected, her campaign certainly livened up the proceedings! If you have never attended an AGM, please consider doing so, as it is a unique opportunity to participate in BCTF decision-making, and it’s a lot of fun, too!

Surrey Primary Teachers Association has two upcoming workshops:
To register, please go to:

On Thursday, April 6th from 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. – Liz Swenson is presenting “Canadian Artists” at White Rock Elementary in the Visual Arts Studio. Liz will concentrate on “Canadian Artists” such as The Group of Seven, Emily Carr, Ted Harrison and Joyce Wieland. These amazing artists will be introduced, along with their life stories and artistic style, focusing on the Elements of Art. A variety of mediums will be used.

On Thursday, April 20th from 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. – Niki Leech and Lora Sarchet presenting “Reggio-Inspired Math Through Inquiry” at Sullivan Elementary. Niki and Lora will talk about exploring math through inquiry in a Reggio-inspired classroom. A look at opening the big ideas with questions, materials and documentation.

A clarification to the February 10 Monday memo:
On February 10 we published a section entitled “Some challenges with implementation of the $50 million for contract restoration.” In it we meant to clarify the role of the district based LST positions that came from the MOA. Instead what we published may have inadvertently left members with the impression that the LST is undervalued or misunderstood by the STA. We have since met with some of the impacted members to sincerely apologize for our error. If you have any questions or concerns please contact Gioia.

Joke of The Week
Q: What do nosy peppers do?
A: They get jalapeno business. [Say it slowly….you’ll get it…]

This week’s joke was submitted by Laura Chan. 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. This Month’s winner is Eric So from Kennedy Trail Elementary. We will send out the gift card in the courier. *Thanks for the jokes! Please keep them coming!

Calendar of Events:
March 29 – Post-AGM meeting
April 4 – Executive Committee meeting
April 11 – 13 – Staff Rep training
April 14 – Good Friday
April 17 – Easter Monday
April 18 – Executive Committee meeting
April 19 – STARA meeting
April 25 – Executive and Committee Chairs Liaison meeting

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017. Filed in Category: Monday Memos

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