Monday Memo – September 22, 2014

No Extension to the School Year
Following the ratification vote, Minister Fassbender made clear that government has no intention of lengthening the school year or extending school hours in order to make up the time missed by the strike. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/b-c-teachers-strike-no-extension-to-school-year-to-make-up-for-lost-time-1.2771797

STA Special General Meeting/STARA Meeting
The STA will be holding a Special General Meeting on Wednesday, September 24th at the Bombay Banquet Hall. The purpose of the meeting will be to elect a new Local Representative. A STARA meeting will follow. All members are welcome to attend both meetings but only staff reps can vote at the STARA meeting. If you need child care for this meeting please contact Cindy (cindy@surreyteachers.org) as soon as possible; However, normally we need at least 1 week notice to ensure child care so we cannot guarantee that it will be available for this meeting.

Election of Local Representative/Congratulations to Denise Moffatt
Denise Moffatt, former STA president and Local Representative, has accepted a position at the BC Federation of Labour. As a result, we will need to elect an new Local Representative to our Executive Committee. The LR attends all three BCTF Representative Assembly meetings, along with the STA Executive Committee Meetings. The LR is the liaison between the BCTF and the STA. The STA has 6 LRs on our Executive Committee. If you would like to run for this position, please submit your name and a short statement to lorna@surreyteachers.org before 4pm Tuesday, September 23rd. On behalf of Surrey teachers, we would like to congratulate Denise Moffatt on her new position and wish her the best of luck.

Struck Work
We are still awaiting further advice from the BCTF regarding struck work. If you are asked to do work that you believe is struck work, please contact an STA table officer for advice.

Strike pay cheques
Strike Pay cheques still in the STA office will be couriered to members at their school sites in the Thursday courier run. If you have any errors in strike pay, please email strikepay@surreyteachers.org by Friday 26 at the very latest to have the correction input into the BCTF. The BCTF will be closing the strike pay system on September 30th and will not process any corrections, etc. after that date.

Grocery Card Lottery – Round 3
Thanks to the donation from the BC Nurses Union, we are able to continue to offer grocery store gift cards to STA members who self-identify as being in significant financial need. We will continue to distribute these cards by lottery. If you have already submitted your name previously, you are automatically entered in the next draw. If you have not yet submitted your name, please do so by Friday Sept 26 before noon. Email Cindy at cindy@surreyteachers.org

Food Bank
The STA food bank will continue to be open this week, Monday to Thursday from 3:30 to 5:30 pm. The food bank is open to STA and CUPE members. Thanks to our dedicated volunteers who will continue to run the food bank, despite returning to their classrooms.

Professional Development
There will be an important memo coming to Pro-d Chairs in the next day or two regarding Pro-D Chair training and deadlines for sending receipts to the STA office. New teachers may be interested in a Start UP! Your Class workshop. Information about an upcoming workshop (this Saturday) can be found here: http://startupyourclass.ning.com/

Another story of strike support: SFU
SFU is waving their late fees for all students in graduate studies. One of our teachers has been in contact with staff at SFU about showing support to teachers by waving late tuition fees for teachers in graduate programs. Today she received an answer that SFU is waving fees for ALL, because separating teachers from other students was too much work… So, they are waving them all until Nov. 1st. You should confirm this by contacting SFU if it applies to you.

Speaking up about Public Education:
BC students still have the worst student-teacher ratio and are funded about $1000.00 below the national average. Our contracts may be in place but that doesn’t have to be the only means of improving class size and composition. “Each fall, the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services holds province-wide public consultations on the next provincial budget.” You have until Friday, OCT. 17th 2014 to fill out the online survey or even attend/participate in a community public hearing. Please take a few minutes to fill it out and share the link with your social media connections. http://leg.bc.ca/cmt/finance/budget-consultations.asp

STA Scholarships and Bursaries:
Thank you to all those members whose children put forth applications to the STA Scholarship and Bursary awards. Normally, awards would be given at the first general meeting in October. Due to the length of our job action, the work of the scholarship Committee has been delayed and may not be completed by that first General Meeting in October. As soon as decisions have been made, applicants will be contacted by the STA. Stay tuned for an update confirming when these awards will be presented and a thank you to all applicants for your patience.

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Regulation:
• The STA will be starting an ad-hoc Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Committee. Stay tuned for more information coming in future Monday Memos.

• We have heard from teachers in need of more of the BCTF rainbow (This is a safe place for LGBTQ People) stickers. If you or your staff are in need, please email Gioia (2-vp@surreyteachers.org) with your name, number of stickers needed and school courier number.


Friday, November 14th, 2014. Filed in Category: Monday Memos

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