Monday Memo – September 6, 2016

Welcome Back!
On behalf of everyone at the STA office, welcome back to another school year! After a flurry of funding announcements from the Ministry in the last few months, we must make sure the public doesn’t forget the previous 15 years of cuts and offloaded costs. This May, let’s make Public Education a vote-determining issue!
 
Election of STA Staff Representatives
The Collective Agreement requires that at the beginning of each school year, STA members in each workplace will elect a staff representative(s) and that the staff representative(s) will advise the Principal/Vice Principal of their election.  Each workplace must have a minimum of one staff representative.  Additional staff reps can be elected on the basis of one per every 15 teacher staff members or major portion thereof.  (E.g. if your school has 32 teachers on staff,  elect two staff reps.  If there are 53 teachers on staff,  elect 4 staff reps.)  Once you have been elected as staff rep(s), please fill out the attached school information form indicating all of the various STA positions, and send it to the STA office. Please endeavor to complete these elections before the first STARA meeting on September 21.
Please be advised that if no staff rep is elected at your workplace, the STA will be sending a letter to your administrator advising them that the STA table officers will be the staff reps at your school and will attend meetings with administration, as well as holding union meetings at the school.
 
Rookie Staff Rep Training
Each new (or almost new) staff rep is eligible to attend one  day of rookie staff rep training, which will be held on SEPTEMBER 19th and OCTOBER 3rd. Please see  attached flyer for more information, and registration links. Please register ASAP because space is limited.
 
Professional Development
Reminder: ALL FORMS AND RECEIPTS MUST BE SUBMITTED to the STA office BY SEPTEMBER 15th for PD funds from the 2015-2016 school year.
 
Pro-D Rep Training
Every school site must have a PD rep in order to access PD funds. Please watch for information in the next few days about how to sign up for PD rep training, but in the meantime, you can pencil in your preferred date! We are trying something new this year and providing separate training for
Rookie and Experienced PD reps.
Rookie PD rep training: September 22, 27th or 28th.
Advanced PD rep training: September 20th, 21st, 23rd or 29th  
Registration at http://www.surreyteachers.org/pro-d-rep-training-2016/
 
Drinking water quality
Over the summer the School District tested all potable water sources (fountains and school lunchroom/kitchen sink taps) for lead content in schools that were built before 1990, as per Fraser Health requirements.  Those schools where higher than allowable levels of lead were found are listed on the District website –https://www.surreyschools.ca/NewsEvents/Posts/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=463
 
For some of these sites each drinking water source will be flushed for two minutes at the beginning of each day to ensure safe levels. For some sites, however, flushing does not provide safe levels. At these sites, the District will provide multiple water sources.  In the meantime, we recommend that teachers bring a water bottle filled from home.  Attached is a copy of a letter from Superintendent Jordan Tinney to parents and guardians which will be sent home with students this week. Please contact Kristine Olsen, Health & Safety Officer at the STA, if you have further questions or concerns.
 
Teachers on Recall
If you are still awaiting recall, and a position you are qualified to teach is posted in a staff bulletin, contact Steve Hardy (Secondary teachers) or Chris Stanger (Elementary teachers) and let them know that you have the necessary qualifications for the available position. Please contact Joanna Cerazy at grv-spt@surreyteachers.org,, Sue Heuman at grieve@surreyteachers.org or Kristine Olsen at grv-hs@surreyteachers.org, STA grievance officers, if you have questions about this process.
 
What Information Can Be Shared About Student History Regarding Violence?
As the new school year begins and new students transfer into schools and classrooms, a question often arises: “What information can be shared about student history regarding violence?”  Please read the  WCB Bulletin (WS 2013-05) “Communicate student information: Prevent violence-related injuries to workers in the education sector”.  This bulletin discusses the worker’s right to know and the employer’s obligation for keeping workers safe.  The bulletin also talks about how the right to know fits in with the Freedom of Information and Protection of PrivacyAct, Teacher Regulation Branch, and codes of conduct. If you have any questions regarding this document feel free to contact the STA.
 
STARA Meeting – September 21 Eaglequest
We extend a warm welcome to the first STARA meeting of the year, beginning at 4:00 pm.  All members may attend but only elected staff reps may vote.  Please make sure your school elects a staff rep or reps before this meeting.  If you require childcare, please contact Donna Stewart, dstewart@surreyteachers.org
 
Grievance
Pay Increment Upgrade

Each September, teachers who have accumulated 10 months service by the previous June 30, should move up another year on the salary grid.  Teachers are responsible for checking their pay slips, –bottom left corner–for the correct category and year.  The District will generally pay only 30 days back from receiving notice of an error, even if they made the error.  This could cost you hundreds of dollars in pay, as well as pensionable earnings.  Please check your payslip and contact Payroll if you think a mistake has been made.  If you are unable to resolve the error, contact Sue Heuman, grieve@surreyteachers.org to advocate with the district on your behalf.
 
Parental Leave Grievance: Final Resolution All parents (including birth mothers who were previously denied access) will now have access to SEB parental leave benefits of 8 weeks starting July 1, 2015. This means all mothers taking the parental leave as of July 1, 2015 will now be getting the parental SEB as negotiated.
 
In addition, a sum of $300,000 was negotiated and made payable as damages by the Surrey School Board to be divided and paid equally to birth mothers who took parental leave between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015. With all eligible birth mothers included, each was entitled to $1,140.69. For  more details and information, please go to the STA website: http://www.surreyteachers.org/parental-leave-grievance-final-resolution/
 
Chevron Fuel Your School
Both the STA and the BCTF have motions opposing corporate involvement in public education and an STA general meeting passed a motion that we not participate in Chevron Fuel Your School. The reality is that Chevron is giving teachers a tiny bit of money in order to sell their brand as a socially conscious company that cares about public education. Perhaps corporations should just pay their fair share of taxes!
 
Opportunities for Members
BCTF Committee vacancies – Members are encouraged to apply by September 9, 2016 for the G.A. Fergusson Memorial Award Trustees committee, the Teacher Magazine Advisory Board, and the W.R. Long International Solidarity Fund committee. Visit the opportunities for members page to learn more about each one.   
 
STA Committee on Labour History
We are looking for teachers who are interested in Labour History to be involved in an ad hoc committee for the Remembering Working People: Plaques Around the Province Project.
The main tasks of this committee would be as follows:

    to engage in the necessary steps required to nominate the 1974 Surrey Teachers’ strike for a BC Labour Heritage Centre plaque;
    to work with the BC  Labour Heritage Centre on appropriate wording of the plaque;
    to consult with members regarding an appropriate location in Surrey;
    to seek the permission required for installation of the plaque at a relevant location.

Interested teachers should submit their application by September 13th. Application/CV is attached

The BCTF is seeking eight teacher-librarian members to serve as Education Resource Acquisition Consortium (ERAC) learning resource evaluators. The posting and application form can be found here. The deadline for applications is Thursday, September 29, 2016, at 5:00 p.m.

The BCTF is seeking 20 members to attend the Student Mental Health Summit, a one-day issue session being hosted by the BCTF on Thursday, September 29, 2016. The posting and application form can be found here.
 
Social Justice
Speaking out for Public Education:

The Ecuadorian government has ordered the destruction of the country’s 72 year old national teachers’ union, UNE. Despite protests from around the world, including the United Nation’s International Labour Organization (ILO), President Correa’s Education Minister ordered the dissolution of the UNE. Please click here to send a letter to President Correa urging him to rescind the dissolution order against UNE. Labourstart and Education International have also started a petition in support of UNE that can be found here.
 
And CoDevelopment Canada also has a letter with copies to the relevant Canadian politicians.
 
If you would like to learn more about the issues underlying this conflict, here is a backgrounder by IDEA researcher Edgar Isch. Please share this information on your social media and urge your friends and followers also to send the messages to President Correa.
 
Joke of the week
Why was King Kong asked to leave the STA AGM?
Because he wanted to sit on all the committees!
 
This week’s joke was submitted by Julia MacRae. If you would like to participate in joke of the week, please submit a short, clean, (but not necessarily education-related) joke to Laura Barker at 1-vp@surreyteachers.org 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:
September 13 – STA Executive Committee Meeting, STA Office
September 19 – Staff Rep Training (Rookies), STA Office
September 20 – Pro-D Rep Training (Experienced reps), STA Office
September 21 – Pro-D Rep Training (Experienced reps), STA Office
September 21 – STARA Meeting, Eaglequest
September 22 – Pro-D Rep Training (Rookies), STA Office
September 23 – Pro-D Rep Training (Experienced reps), STA Office
September 26 – Non-Instructional Day
September 27 – STA Executive Committee Meeting, STA Office
September 27 – Pro-D Rep Training (Rookies), STA Office
September 28 – Pro-D Rep Training (Rookies), STA Office
September 29 – Pro-D Rep Training (Experienced reps), STA Office
October 3 – Staff Rep Training (Rookies), STA Office


Sunday, September 11th, 2016. Filed in Category: Monday Memos

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