STA Political Action/Public Relations committee actions!

We have been hard at work preparing information for our active members about the upcoming school board election.

For your information, our process this time around is as follows:

    • Invite school board candidates to an interview on issues of importance to teachers.
    • Conduct in-person interviews with those willing to be interviewed (September 13-18).
    • Prepare transcripts and summaries of their interviews.
    • Publish the interview summaries as an attachment to our weekly memo to teachers Monday, September 24.
    • Distribute the interview summaries to retired STA members, via SRTA.
    • Facilitate consideration of endorsing candidates at our special AGM Wednesday, September 26.
    • Publish our endorsements on our website, and in memos to our members.
    • Share our endorsements with other locals in the Lower Mainland to inform teachers in other locals, who live in Surrey (but are not STA members) about the endorsed candidates, and to encourage voting.

    • Encourage our members to vote with voter reminder cards, posters, stickers, Facebook posts, tweets, and information on our website: www.surreyteachers.org/electingourbosses
    • Hold voter awareness discussions at our World Teacher Day pub nights.
    • Distribute stickers to members, saying “I teach, I vote” and “Early Voter”, to encourage early voting.
    • Prepare a Special Advocate about the election for our members.
    • Use social media to promote early voting and awareness of the election among members
    • Prepare a special website about the election on our website – surreyteachers.org/electingourbosses
    • We plan to organize an all candidates forum on Special Education before the election if we can summon more help from the membership/recruit a bigger committee.

How did the STA recommend these candidates for endorsement?

These are the criteria that were used by PA/PR and the Executive Committee in determining whom to recommend for endorsement:

    1. Aware of, and prepared to advocate for, issues in our district.
    2. Demonstrated an understanding of the role/expectation of School Trustee.
    3. Impressed with their approach to Truth & Reconciliation, safe and inclusive schools, and diversity.
    4. These candidates have a plan to improve relationship with teachers.
    5. These candidates are ready for change.

All candidates were considered based on the interview responses and our other interactions with them over many years in the case of the current and former trustees, or as we know them in the community through their advocacy as activists on education issues. The meetings of the PA/PR committee and the Executive Committee were in depth, “in committee” and were democratic. At the General Meeting Sept 26 members were given time consider, discuss, and to ask questions. They then voted without dissent to endorse the recommendation. We include the endorsed candidates’ interviews and all 18 interviews are available for viewing on this website.

Who is the PA/PR Committee?

The committee exists to promote the cause of proper funding of public education, and therefore is active during electoral cycles to consider each candidate’s commitment to public education. In the past, we have sometimes endorsed candidates, and have sometimes (before the changes to the Elections Act) recommended to the members that we support candidates financially. This fall we have been working hard to prepare for the municipal election where school trustees are elected for 4 year terms. We have a responsibility to help teachers know more about the importance of these elections, and we can choose to endorse certain candidates. Please feel invited to come and lend a hand. The committee is made up of teacher volunteers. If you are passionate about politics and advocating for public education, feel free to let us know you want to join our committee!