Monday Memo – November 7, 2016

MEMO TO: Staff Reps
COPIES TO: STA Executive Committee
FROM: Gioia Breda, STA President
Date: November 7, 2016

Please be patient: our staffing is ‘under construction’ at the STA
As many of you know, we have had some staffing changes over the past year with the STA office’s wonderful clerical staff. While some of our staff have been absent or on leave, others are stepping into new positions. We ask for your patience as new people learn new roles. You may find, for example, that the STA website is not updated as frequently as usual, or that formatting of the Monday Memo is a bit off. You may also find that Pro-d Funding applications and inquiries are taking longer to process than usual. Please feel free to keep us informed of any such issues you notice, and we will all do our best to correct them. We thank you for your understanding.

Supreme Court of Canada hearing November 10, 2016
As BCTF President Glen Hansman writes, “On November 10, 2016, counsel for the BC Teachers’ Federation will be appearing before the Supreme Court of Canada to present our case on collective bargaining rights.” (Please see his full attached letter to members). The results of this court case will reach far beyond a resolution for BC teachers with respect to the language stripped from our collective agreements in 2002. The results of this court case will be significant for all union activists across Canada.

Please see the attached document to read through our stripped language and to familiarize yourselves with the provisions that were removed after having been collectively bargained. Each of those provisions represents countless hours of negotiating, including provisions that we did not pursue in order to secure the ones that were eventually stripped. This weekend, at the BCTF Representative Assembly, I heard NDP leader John Horgan speak and unequivocally state, “You just don’t ever rip up collective agreements!” We couldn’t agree more and hope the Supreme Court of Canada rules in our favour. We wish our BCTF legal team the best as they present our case.

Foundation Skills Assessments (FSAs)– Pilot Test of ‘new’ FSA
Reminder to Elementary teachers: The BC Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) position is NOT to participate in any pilot testing of a new/ revised FSA test (i.e. the government’s new elementary Provincial Student Assessment Program pilot). Please communicate this information to the PD reps in your schools, and in particular to all Grade 4 and 7 teachers.

More information will be coming about this year’s STA/ BCTF anti-FSA campaign. In order to best communicate with parents of Grade 4 and 7 students about reasons that teachers oppose the test, please send us the following information as soon as you have it: the dates when the FSA test will be held at your school; the number of Grades 4 and 7 students at your school; a rough estimate of languages spoken at home for the Grades 4 and 7 students (e.g. Punjabi 40%. English 30%, Mandarin 30%). Please send this info to Dana at

Reconvened Annual General Meeting/Special General Meeting – November 23, 2016
The meeting will be held at Bombay Banquet Hall on Wednesday November 23 at 4pm. Agenda items include adopting the Auditor’s report, electing delegates to the BCFed Convention, and adopting the STA’s Resolutions to the BCTF AGM. A package was sent to schools in the courier and is attached for your reference. If you require childcare to attend, please email by Nov 16 to reserve.

IEP Meetings outside of school day
We have been contacted by a number of Integration Support Teachers and Classroom Teachers who have been asked to schedule or attend IEP meetings before school, at lunch, or after school. We have grieved this practice and are now in the process of collecting information. If you are an Integration Support Teacher who has been asked to schedule meetings outside of instructional time or if you are a Classroom Teacher and have been asked to attend such meetings, please, contact Joanna Cerazy, Grievance Officer at 604-594-5353 or .

TTOC Days/Contract Months Incremental Increases
If you have received a contract and have TTOC hours, you should be completing a form for payroll so that these two can be merged for an incremental increase. TTOC days are calculated so that 17 days equals 1 month. At 10 months an increase will be processed, however members have a responsibility to request payroll merge the days and months.

The next incremental increase will be January 1, 2017. Contract teachers should have their form (see attachment) into Payroll no later than November 15, 2016 in order to have their increase on January 1, 2017. If you have any questions, please contact Sue Heuman at the STA.

Variances – November 17, 2016
Those secondary teachers who are applying for a variance for the 2017-2018 school year, the deadline is fast approaching. Applications are due at the STA office no later than 4:00 pm November 17 to be considered by the STA Executive Committee. Any questions please contact Sue Heuman at the STA office.

BCTF Survey on 10 – 12 Draft Curriculum:
In order to collect feedback on the graduation years curriculum the BC Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) has designed the following survey tool:

The focus of this survey is to gather feedback from group discussions specific to the graduation years for the BCTF to review and analyze. It is expected that locals and provincial specialist associations will organize their own feedback processes to gather information for submission.The survey will ask you to upload three Word or PDF documents containing feedback, one for each of the following discussion questions:

  • 1. What are the positive aspects of the revised BC graduation program curriculum (Grades 10?12), and what are you looking forward to in education change?
  • 2. What are the concerns?
  • 3. What supports are needed from government, your school district, and your union?
  • The closing date to submit feedback is December 9, 2016. Teachers may want to consider filling out this survey on November 4th.

    Seeds of Social Justice
    Forum: Jobs, Justice and the Climate — Monday Nov 21st, 7:00 pm
    This forum, hosted by Unifor, is aimed at dispelling the myth that we have to sacrifice the environment to create jobs, and shows how real climate justice is only possible by uniting the struggle for First Nations justice and reconciliation and the struggle for a just transition to good green jobs for workers in the fossil fuel industry. Speakers include Marc Lee, Chief Economist of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Held at Unifor’s Western Regional Office: 326 12th Street, New Westminster. Entry by donation. Read more at the following:
    IRON AND EARTH ( is an exciting initiative led by workers in the Alberta oil industry to accelerate the transition to good green jobs by creating government funded training opportunities and pushing for green energy projects.
    CCPA’s Climate Justice Project has led the way in developing the economic arguments for a rapid transition to a green economy that is run on 100% renewables.

    Status of Women Wellness event
    Relax, unwind, stretch & meditate with colleagues! Learn more about healthy living, stress reduction and support services available to teachers. November 17, 2016 at Eaglequest from 3:45 pm to 6:00 pm. Refreshments will be provided. Register at See attached poster.

    Joke of the week
    Q. What is the King of the school supplies?
    A. The Ruler!

    This week’s joke was submitted by Shelley Stark. If you would like to participate in joke of the week, please submit a short, clean, (but non 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!

    Calendar of Events:
    November 8 – STA Executive Committee Meeting
    November 10 – Non-Instructional Day
    November 11 – Remembrance Day
    November 15 – Executive and Committee Chair Liaison – STA office
    November 17-19 – BCTF Federation Leadership Institute (FLI)
    November 22 – STA Executive Committee Meeting
    November 23 – Reconvened Annual General Meeting & Special General Meeting – Bombay Banquet Hall
    November 28-December 2 – BC Federation of Labour Convention

    Sunday, November 27th, 2016. Filed in Category: Monday Memos

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