By Jess Kyle
I’m so glad I decided to go to my first AGM this year. It expanded and revitalized my connection to the union. I loved the opportunities to get to know the other folks in the delegation. I thought the long days of sitting were going to be difficult, but actually it was a wonderful opportunity to do art, while learning more about what our union does on a broader scale. I loved the different Social Justice connections I was able to make through the guests from Puerto Rico, the BCTF Social Justice dinner and the many debates around motions on inclusion, equity and climate change. I now see our union in a much broader and more wholistic light.  

By Melanie Miki
The highlights of the 2023 BCTF AGM for me were seeing two of the resolutions #118 and #171, that I crafted come to life on the floor of the AGM. The Surrey teachers who spoke to these motions did so eloquently. It was amazing to see and hear speakers from other districts supporting statements. Needless to say, both resolutions passed with an overwhelming majority.  

By Priya Moodley
I put my name forward as a delegate because of someone speaking to me about the amount of power we have in voting at the BCTF AGM. I have now seen how much power I have as a racialized member in the Surrey Teachers’ Association and the BCTF. I continue to represent my students at these conferences to make a better future for them. This experience has given me a lot of guidance on the language of Robert’s Rules and enabled me to be confident in speaking up during governance meetings. Attending this meeting has also inspired me to run for Local Representative for this upcoming year! 

By Hallan Mtatiro
As the 2023 BCTF wraps, we have great news for Teachers Teaching on Call. In a climate of teacher shortages and rampant failures to fill, the role of the teacher-on-call has never been more important. The 2023 BCTF Annual General Meeting passed a few motions that are sure to increase TTOC profile in the province. 

The first highlight is the federation’s commitment to “publicly demand that school districts ensure that there is a sufficient supply of teachers teaching on call in all specialist areas…”. On the floor, this entire conversation was overwhelmingly supported by delegates across the board. Teachers spoke passionately for the need to recruit and retain quality TTOC’s in every district. 

The second highlight is the decision to keep TTOC fee at 1.59%. There was a motion to match it to the 1.69% contract teacher rate; however, the assembly ultimately decided equity means the precarious conditions of the casual teacher require this appropriate accommodation. In addition, should our fees ever be the same, an important conversation has started about having TTOC voice on the BCTF executive. 

The third highlight happened in December 2022. In response to a motion from the BCTF TTOC Advisory Committee, the BCTF executive approved a 2022-2023 $1500 “Teachers Teaching on Call Appreciation grant.” Intended for use during the annual TTOC appreciation week in May, these funds are another olive branch from a federation that supports TTOCs. 

All in all, it’s a great time to be a Teacher Teaching on Call. 

By Krystal Ng
If I had to describe my first BCTF AGM experience, I would use three words: thrilling, sad, and hopeful.  

It was thrilling to hear passionate debates, see heartfelt emotions expressed by our members, and feel empowered by my first-time speaking experience at the microphone by successfully challenging the chair to give the room another chance to vote on an important recommendation.  

It was sad when certain critical social justice and equity recommendations and resolutions were voted down even though many, many amazing reasons were provided to push them forward.  

It was hopeful because we successfully elected two Surrey teachers as Member-at-Large in the BCTF Executive Committee both of whom are sure to uphold our values of equity, diversity, and inclusion.  

Many would ask, would you go to the BCTF AGM again in the future? I would proudly say, YES! 

Leave a reply