Monday Memo – May 29, 2017

MEMO TO: Staff Reps
COPIES TO: STA Executive Committee
FROM: Gioia Breda, President
Date: May 29, 2017

NDP/Green Minority Government: (attachment)
The BC NDP and BC Greens have announced a plan to form a minority government. Christy Clark remains Premier until she loses a confidence vote or tells the Lieutenant Governor she can’t form a government. BC needs the incoming government, regardless of who is in power, to move quickly to speed up the implementation of teachers’ restored language. Read more at

Restoration update:
The STA has been meeting with the District regarding restoration or our language. As members are aware, despite our continued advocacy, concerns remain with how the district is going about implementation. We have written letters to Schools Trustees and have looked to get our message out into the media, most recently around the cuts to LST.

As per the Memorandum of Agreement re: #LOU17, last week all 4 parties (BCTF, BCPSEA, STA, SD36) met to try to
resolve the STA’s concerns that parts of our language are not being restored. The meeting was disappointing as the employer did not send any people with decision-making authority to the table, nor did we get the sense that there would be a substantial change
in their position at that time. The next step in the process, is to grieve. Below, you will find a list of grievances. We will continue to update the membership as we learn more.

Restoration-related Grievances:
1. Qualifications Review: The STA grieved the fact that the employer has engaged in a discriminatory practice of refusing to review qualifications for teachers who are interested in becoming qualified Integration Support Teachers. While the Employer has extended the January 31 deadline for other positions requiring special training or specific experience, this option is not available to teachers wishing to have their qualifications evaluated for IST.

2. Failure to Provide Work Space: The STA grieved the Employer for not providing appropriate work space to Elementary Core Music Teachers.

3. Failure to Fully Restore the Collective Agreement Language: The STA grieved the employer for failure to apply the Restored Language (LOU 17). The Employer has violated the Collective Agreement and the Memorandum of Agreement by:
a. Including categories of professionals such as SLPs and School Psychologists in the Special Education Resource Room Teacher ( SERT) category.
b. Not applying the superior collective agreement language for Teacher Librarians, Counsellors and Learning Assistance Teachers.
c. Not applying class size limits for Resource and Tutorial Rooms.
d. Not applying class size limits to Special Education Classes.
e. Organizing secondary school classes using the Flexibility Factor before the beginning of the school year.
f. Organizing classes without applying the class size and composition language.
g. Not applying class limits to Français Langue.

4. Failure to Post Known Positions: The STA grieved the Employer for not postings known positions in Round 1.

Increased percentage for positions:
Itinerant teachers who have a 1.0 continuing assignment and are assigned to the district pool, i.e. working 1.0 at two or more schools can apply for school based positions in Round 2. However, if the position that is being applied to is .8 the district will not owe the teacher the 0.2 and will treat the 0.2 as a personal leave.

For Example: Itinerant teacher has a 1.0 continuing assignment within the district pool. 0.4 at School A. and 0.6 at School B. School B. posts a 0.8 position in Round 2. The teacher applies for the 0.8, is awarded the position and now has the 0.8 continuing assignment at School B. If the teacher wants to continue to work at a 1.0, teacher needs to look at Round 3 postings for a 0.2 position, which will likely be a term assignment. Please contact the STA at (604) 594-5353 if you need further clarification.

STA Special General Meeting: 4:00 pm on June 14th at Eaglequest Golf Centre
We will be holding a Special General Meeting to conduct elections for our two new Executive Committee positions at a Special General Meeting to be held before the STARA meeting on June 14th:

Professional Development Officer:
This is a full-time released position, with a term of one year.
Responsibilities will include professional development, the STA Convention, job shares, representing members in investigations, and other tasks assigned by the President or Executive Committee.

Member at Large:
This position will have the same rights and responsibilities as the other Member at Large positions, but it is designated for a member who self-identifies as an Aboriginal person. Candidates will confirm that they meet this criterion at the time of nomination.
Candidates for Professional Development Officer will be able to make a speech of up to 2 minutes at the meeting.
Candidates for Member at Large will be able to make a speech of up to 1 minute at the meeting.
If you would like more information about these positions, please contact our President, Gioia Breda, at

If you will require child care for this meeting, please contact as soon as possible.

**Candidates interested in running for either of these positions must submit their candidate statements to by 4:00 pm on Tuesday, May 30, 2017 in order to have it included in the package to be sent out to schools.

Please RSVP ASAP for the STA’s Excellent Retirement Dinner & Dance
The STA Retirement Dinner will be held at the Guildford Sheraton Hotel on June 9th, 2017. Retiring members will be treated to a fabulous buffet dinner, as well as a dance with a live band, and a special gift to thank you for your years as a member of the STA. If you are retiring by the end of this school year, please contact Donna Stewart as soon as possible at to get your invitation for you and one guest. RSVPs are required.

Starling Minds Mental Fitness Challenge – sign up before June 5th
Join Dr. Andrew Miki on a 5 Day Mental Fitness Challenge to learn practical techniques for managing sadness and negativity. Andrew is a practicing registered psychologist and the creator of Starling Minds. This challenge is part of your Starling membership, so there is no additional charge.

This 5 Day Mental Fitness Challenge consists of:
· An initial assessment to be completed before June 5th.
· Focused instruction around managing sadness and negativity.
· Simple tools to help you identify negative thoughts and patterns.
· Practical tools to help you manage sadness.
· Unique 2.5 minute mental fitness exercises to improve your mood
· A final assessment to measure your progress to be completed after June 9th.
The challenge officially starts on June 5th. Space is limited so sign up now to reserve your spot.
PS – The Starling program is an integral part of the 5 Day Mental Fitness Challenge. If you have not already registered for the Starling program, you can do so here.

Health and Wellness – Save the Date:
June 15th is the date for our next Wellness Event. Come to Beecher Place to enjoy the beautiful beach setting, discussion on Healthy and Balanced Living, Yoga, and a video on Health and Happiness. Everyone is welcome to come to the event. A catered dinner will be served. An Eventbrite will be set up next week for registration!

Guildford Park Secondary hosts the Second Annual Surrey Pride Prom THIS THURSDAY, June 1st from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm!!!
Important Information:
Please see last week’s Monday Memo for more detailed information!

Please submit copies of your ticket stubs to GPSS no later than MAY 31st.
There will be relevant door prizes for students and a packet of info, posters, resources and ideas for each school’s GSA. We look forward to seeing everyone on June 1st.
To Follow us @surreyprideprom2017 on instagram #surreyprideprom2017

SAVE THE DATE for an Aboriginal Day Celebration!
The STA’s Aboriginal Education Committee is proud to present its 2nd Annual Aboriginal Day Celebration

Date:  Thursday June 22nd, 2017
Time:  3:30 pm to 7:30 pm
Place:  REC, Room 304
Traditional meal
Chief Harley Chappell, speaking on Semiahmoo First Nation history.

Come join us for the upcoming Surrey Primary Teachers’ Association Workshop:
Thursday, June 8th, 2017 from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm
Presenter/Facilitator: Jennifer Harder
Come and make a string art project that is doable with primary students. This is a make and take session. All materials will be supplied. Try some ADST challenges, and brainstorm with colleagues for ADST activities that are appropriate for our K – 3 students. Register at

BCTF Research Opportunity
The BCTF and Teachers of Inclusive Education are conducting research into the experiences of teachers who are new to teaching special education or learning support.
They are especially looking for Surrey teachers at this time. Please see the attached information if you would like to volunteer for a short interview.

New Teachers Conference and Union Induction Ceremony for TTOCs on
Thursday, June 22nd
Where: At the STA Office (#201 – 9030 King George Boulevard)
When:  8:30 am – 2:45 pm
More information including an Eventbrite link and LOA information to come next week.

Joke of The Week
Q: How is an English teacher like a judge?
A: They both give out sentences

This week’s joke was submitted by Paul Manhas. 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. *Thanks for the jokes! Please keep them coming!

Reminder to all teachers – All STA meetings are open to members who are interested in attending. If you are thinking of getting involved, why not come and check out what is going on in our committees?

May 30 – Executive Committee meeting
May 31 – International Solidarity Committee meeting
June 5 – Bargaining Committee meeting
June 6 – Executive Committee meeting (including Committee Chairs)
June 9 – STA Retirement Dinner & Dance
June 13 – Executive Committee meeting
June 14 – Special General meeting/STARA meeting
June 15 – Wellness event
June 19 – International Solidarity Committee meeting
June 22 – New Teachers Conference and Union Induction Ceremony for TTOCs
June 22 – Aboriginal Day Celebration
June 27 – Executive Committee meeting

Thursday, June 8th, 2017. Filed in Category: Monday Memos

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