Monday Memo – November 5, 2012

MEMO TO:                     Staff Reps

COPIES TO:                   STA Executive Committee

FROM:                            Jennifer Wadge, President

Date:                               November 5, 2012

Provincial Extended Health Benefits Plan Update

The BCTF has had a series of meeting with BCPSEA regarding the implementation of the standardized benefits plan. Three areas of disagreement have been identified. To resolve these issues, the parties have engaged Mark Brown to act as mediator with the power to make binding rulings if mediation fails.

The areas in dispute are:


 Issue In Dispute

BCTF Position

BCPSEA Position

Selection or change of insurance provider/carrier

Agreement between BCTF and BCPSEA required

Consultation with BCTF required

Plan effective date

July 1, 2011

July 1, 2012

Dual coverage

Dual coverage is a feature of the standardized plan

Dual coverage only applies to locals/districts that currently have dual coverage


The mediation will take place on November 26. If the mediator is required to make rulings, the parties will receive them in mid-December.

Learning Improvement Fund (LIF) Consultations:
A reminder that principals and teachers are required to consult regarding the LIF again this fall. The same process that took place in the late spring should have occurred again this fall. Teachers should NOT agree to individual consultations with principals. The consultation should happen as a staff with the union staff rep as spokesperson, and the principal should be given the form created last spring. A reminder that we are only asking for additional teaching staff and not CUPE staff.

Why are we consulting again? 30% of the Surrey’s LIF funds were held back in order to accommodate transition in secondary schools. If there has been a change at your school, please revise your teaching needs form and submit it to your principal. See attached forms or download forms at or


District In-Service Without TTOCs

The district is offering in-service on November 7th and 8th without providing TTOC coverage.  Principals are being asked to find internal cover for teachers who would like to attend. This means that non-enrolling teachers will be asked to cover classes for enrolling teachers who choose to attend.   Students are being denied services if LST teachers, teacher- librarians, etc. are pulled to cover enrolling teachers.  The district should be providing TTOC coverage when they offer in-service workshops.  If you have been asked to cover a class for a teacher attending this workshop, please contact Sue Heuman at

Teachers Teaching-on-Call Shortage

Many schools have contacted us about TTOCs not being dispatched, and non-enrolling teachers being required by admin to cover classroom teacher absences.  Please find attached a form that the staff rep or designate should fill in to document these instances. Fax it to us regularly.  In addition, if this is an on-going issue at your school, you can bring it to staff committee where you may want to propose a rotating schedule of who will cover the class.  The schedule should include the administrative officers, and each non-enrolling teacher, in order to ensure that it is not always LST students who lose their services.  Finally, please send the details and dates to Sue Heuman at   if classroom teachers know they had a confirmed TTOC who then was not dispatched during their absence.

November’s Provincial Action Focus: Child Poverty
This month our focus in the Provincial Year of Action is on child poverty. Child poverty is a key part of the Better Schools For BC platform and builds upon the high level of current public concern around issues of inequality and support for vulnerable citizens, especially children. The main message this month is to call on all governments to launch a comprehensive and accountable child poverty reduction plan.

Actions teachers are encouraged to take include:

  • Teachers wear band-aid stickers printed with End Child Poverty (to be sent to schools through the courier).
  • Teachers sign on to End Child Poverty petition campaign and collect signatures in the community. See attached petition.
  • Signed petitions to be delivered to mayors and city councils on Friday, November 23
  • Teachers contact MLAs and/or declared candidates by email, phone, or tweet to push for a poverty reduction plan

We encourage teachers to send photographs/videos of teacher actions against child poverty to post on I’ action hub. Send to Dave Halme at

Occupy the Ministry

BCTF members are encouraged to participate in and “occupy” the Ministry opportunities for feedback on education and curriculum change. To that end there are two upcoming opportunities:

BCeSIS Feedback by November 16- The Ministry of Education is in the process of refining requirements for the Common Student Information System that will replace BCeSIS. In advance of the anticipated release of the Request for Proposals at the end of November, the Ministry is seeking feedback on requirements for the new system, from all educational partners (Teachers, parents, students, district staff, school staff, and general public). To view the draft requirements and provide feedback, please follow the link: The site will be open to collect feedback until November 16, 2012.

Graduation Requirements Review-  The ministry has posted its five Graduation Requirements Review consultation questions to their BC Education Plan Engagement website for direct feedback:

We encourage members to respond, and not to be overly confined by the questions.

Memorial for Surrey Teacher
Sid Bentley, a well-known and respected retired teacher from Surrey, passed away last week. He will be remembered by his colleagues and students as a teacher of 25 years at William Beagle Secondary in Surrey, retiring in 1992. He left his mark in BC education circles with the development and teaching of his innovative course on world religions, and the publishing of his book “Religions of Our Neighbours”. There is a newspaper article about him here:  A celebration of his life will be held at Northwood United Church, 8855 – 156 Street in Surrey at 3:00 PM on Monday November 12th, 2012. Donations in lieu of flowers can be made in his memory to the BC Cancer Foundation.

 STA Supports CLIFF

Mark your calendars for November 15th. The Labour Affairs Committee of the STA will be hosting 3 films (2 shorts and one feature) as a part of the Canadian Labour International Film Festival (CLIFF).  We will be showing “Dude, You Need a Union” -2mins, “We Just Come to Work Here: The Music of Harry Stamper” -8mins and “We Are Wisconsin” 89mins. Use this embedded link to read up on those films or to obtain a complete CLIFF schedule and participate in other screenings.  Light refreshments will be served beforehand at 4:30 pm and the films will begin at 5:00 pm. The screening will be held at the STA office.  As seating is limited, we request that you RSVP to Cindy Tierney at

SD36’s Commitment to Respect and Understanding of LGBTQ concerns

At the June 21st school board meeting, a delegation of STA and CUPE members, as well as two Surrey students, presented to the board regarding a need for a stand-alone anti-homophobia policy to compliment the board’s generic anti-harassment policy.  From that meeting, a working group was struck to investigate this possibility. The group has met several times since July to flesh out recommendations to the board to regarding more specific regulation and or policies to facilitate a more systematic support for those in the SD36 community who identify as being LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgendered/Two-Spirited, Queer/Questioning). There has been talk within the working group to vet our recommendations through a variety of community stake holders before making final recommendations to the board. While at this time it’s unknown what this process would look like, please forward your name to us if you are interested, so that you can be considered/contacted when the time comes.

In the September 6th issue of “Connections: A message to staff from the Superintendent of Schools/CEO,” Mike McKay shared Surrey’s commitment to LGBTQ inclusivity by stating, “…as we start the school year, that the Board and senior staff strongly support the establishment and maintenance of a working and learning environment and culture where sexual orientation or gender identification does not cause anyone to be subjected to unkind or cruel remarks or actions, isolation or harassment/bullying in any form.” If you feel this statement is not being respected at your school, please contact Gioia Breda at  The BCTF has a variety of great resources to counteract homophobia and support LGBTQ inclusivity, from posters and lessons to tips on how to speak with unsupportive parents. These resources are great for those getting started or for others already engaged in this work.

This week’s interesting Youtube videos

 Motivation: The hidden truths behind what really motivates us at home and in the workplace–especially relevant regarding the issue of merit pay.                         

 The Blueberry story: Businessman tells the story of one of the lessons he learned about his false assumptions about public education, specifically here, that we should run schools like a business. Once a harsh critic, he’s become a champion of public education.

 Unions Factoid:

Nearly 30% of Canadian workers belong to unions, including, nurses, teachers, journalists and professional athletes, as well as the more traditionally unionized occupations like retail store clerks, manufacturing workers, miners, electricians and other construction trades workers. (To read more go to )

November Calendar

  • Nov. 5 – Surrey School Board Retirement Dinner
  • Nov. 6 – STA Bargaining Committee Meeting
  • Nov. 9 – Pro-D Day
  • Nov. 11 – Remembrance Day
  • Nov. 12 – No School
  • Nov. 13 – STA Executive Meeting
  • Nov. 21 – STA Reconvened Annual General Meeting
  • Nov. 26-30 – BC Federation of Labour Convention
  • Nov. 27 – STA Executive and Committee Chairs Liaison Meeting

Joke of the Week

A new student came to the class. After asking his name the teacher said, ‘What does your father do?’
Student: Whatever Mom says.

This week’s joke was sent in by Karen Moon, TTOC and STA TTOC Rep.  If you have a (clean, but not necessarily teacher related) joke, please send it to   .  If your joke is selected, your name will be entered into a draw for a gift card.  The draw will take place in December.

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012. Filed in Category: Monday Memos Staff Representatives