Monday Memo – November 21, 2011

MEMO TO: Staff Reps
COPIES TO: STA Executive Committee
FROM: Denise Moffatt, President
Date: November 21, 2011

Hello Staff Reps!
In the next few weeks there are 3 actions planned to draw attention to the teacher bargaining. Please make a strong effort to get your staff involved.

The first action is “Rally around our schools” for Thursday November 24th after school. Locals around the province will be hosting similar events in November. In the courier today, you should find information about how to organize it, pamphlets and placards to use. Teachers will go outside the school 15 minutes after class, and have a short rally. Teachers can hand out pamphlets to parents, and pose for a picture (bring your camera, and send us the picture as soon as possible) to show support for the bargaining teams. The rally takes about 30 minutes of time, maximum. Send the photo to Lorna Sheh on First Class.

The second action is “Mass marking in the Malls on Staff Meeting Monday” planned as a Surrey-wide event for Monday November 28th, 3:30 -5:30 pm, at 3 locations in Surrey: Guildford Mall, Semiahmoo Mall, and Surrey City Centre Library. Teachers will choose one of these locations, bring their marking, buy a coffee or other beverage, and sit down and get some marking done. We want to have photos and videos of the event if possible, so if there is a great photographer/ videographer on your staff, please encourage them to use their talents! We will send out a poster to help advertise the details to your staff. We may also do this again in January! We have checked with the locations, and they are expecting us and are happy to receive us. Separate email with details to follow.

The third action is mass teacher attendance at the Surrey School Board meeting December 8th (at DEC) It is the inaugural meeting of the new board, and we want teachers’ voices heard. We want to make sure the new school board knows that teachers are very concerned about the situation in Surrey. We are counting on them to be active advocates for public education; that surrey children deserve better than what they’ve got; that adequate capital funding is urgently needed; that “net zero” is not acceptable to teachers or students, because Surrey shouldn’t be required to make MORE cuts to services just to comply with BCPSEA’s flawed mandate. To help us get these messages across, we encourage teachers to make signs. Perhaps reps can organize sign making in their schools, and we will have a sign making bee at the STA (with dinner provided) that same evening before the board meeting. More details to follow on that action.

STA Reps! We need a large turnout at these events! Please take action to encourage everyone on your staff to take part. We need to draw more attention to our cause. All Surrey teachers need to put themselves out there. Attached please find a sign up list, where teachers can indicate which location/ event they will attend. This will help us plan for flyers/ signs, and help you get their commitment.

Report Cards
Please find attached a document summarizing all of our advice related to report cards.

Some teachers have requested a letter to send home to parents about reporting. A sample of this letter is attached. If your school would like to distribute this letter in sealed envelopes, please contact the STA indicating the number of letters and envelopes required.

General Meeting Reminder – agenda attached.
November 23, 2011 4:00 pm at Bombay Banquet Hall located at 7475 – 135 Street. (behind Costco)
* NOTE – Not the same location as last meeting.

16 Days of Action to End Violence Against Women
The 16 Days of Action starts November 25th and ends with the UN Day to End Violence Against Women on December 6th.
“Violence against women is perhaps the most shameful human rights violation and it is perhaps the most pervasive. It knows no boundaries of geography, Culture or wealth. As long as it continues, we cannot claim to be making real progress towards equality, development and peace.”
Former United Nations Secretary General – Kofi Annan

Teachers who are interested in learning more can visit the We Can Campaign website at
‘We Can’ seeks to promote and encourage:
• An environment in which violence against women is never acceptable
• A collective and visible stand against violence against women
• A popular movement to end all violence against women
• And a cooperative network between local, provincial and regional alliances working to end violence against women.

International Men’s Day
November 19th was International Men’s Day. This year’s theme was “Giving Boys The Best Possible Start In Life.” Objectives of International Men’s Day include a focus on men’s and boy’s health, improving gender relations, promoting gender equality, and highlighting positive male role models. It is an occasion for men to celebrate their achievements and contributions, in particular their contributions to community, family, marriage, and child care while highlighting the discrimination against them. The November IMD is a significant date as it interfaces the popular ‘Movember’ charity event and also with Universal Children’s Day on November 20th with which IMD forms a 48 hour celebration of men and children respectively, and of the special relationships they share. Visit for more information.

Food Bank

1) If your class organizes a (school or class) food bank drive as part of meeting the PLOs, in class organization by the students can continue.

2) School Wide Food Bank Drives and Assemblies – If teachers are asked to organize school wide food bank drives and related assemblies, they should be provided with release time.

3) Food bank donation boxes can be in teachers’ classrooms and teachers can donate to the food bank.

4) Teachers can communicate to their students about the opportunity to donate.

5) Teachers should not be responsible for counting cans or collecting any money that is donated. This should be coordinated by the office.

6) At some schools student council or a social justice club organizes the drive. Although there are teacher sponsors for these clubs, if the students are organizing the drive and teachers are not organizing the food and collecting money, then this is permitted under the job action.


1) If your school PAC normally does Christmas hampers, we have communicated with DPAC and let them know that we have no opposition to parents continuing with this activity.

2) Teachers may make donations to hampers.

3) If a class organizes the hampers as part of meeting the PLOs, in class organization by the students may continue.

4) Again teachers should not be responsible for organizing the hamper drive or related assemblies unless release time is provided.

5) If a teacher wants to put together a hamper on his/her own and it does not involve fundraising, then there is no limitation on this.

6) At some schools student council or a social justice club organizes the hampers. Although there are teacher sponsors for these clubs, if the students are organizing the, then this is permitted under the job action.

Trustee Elections
Municipal elections were held on Saturday November 19th. Thank you to the six STA endorsed trustee candidates for all your hard work in speaking out for quality public education in BC. One STA endorsed candidate, Charlene Dobie, was elected as a Surrey Trustee. Congratulations Charlene. We look forward to working with you.


Revised – (food bank & hampers)

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011. Filed in Category: Monday Memos Staff Representatives