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DECEMBER IN A SPEEDING CAR - Surrey Teachers

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DECEMBER IN A SPEEDING CAR
    It feels like looking out the window of a speeding      require the same capital
car. The landscape is changing so quickly, it is a blur     i n fr a s t r u c t u r e . O n - l i n e
of shapes and colours. This is the current political        courses are also exempt from
landscape. With changes in the liberal party,               government class size and
disharmony in the NDP, and even differences of              composition legislation.
opinion in the house of labour, nothing is the same one     Distributed learning teachers
day to the next.                                            in Surrey are already seeing
    One of the most recent surprises has been the           an increased workload. While
release of Don Avison’s report on the College of            on-line learning works well                Denise Moffatt
Teachers. The report was completed over the summer,         for some students, most agree                 STA President
but sat at the Ministry until December. The contents        that an on-line experience
were surprising to all of us. Despite claims that           cannot replace the socialization and citizenship skills
“everything in the report is true,” it is clear that many   learned in schools, nor the hands-on learning
of the assertions require further investigation.            opportunities.
Certainly the three egregious cases cited in the report          The expiration of our collective agreement is
require further investigation and explanation. The          coming quickly. The bargaining team has worked hard
conclusion, however, that the BCTF interfered or is         to get feedback from teachers and committees and will
somehow responsible for these cases is not true. The        present local bargaining objectives to the membership
BCTF does not interfere in the certification process or     at the January 19th General Meeting. We will also be
intervene in the individual discipline cases of teachers.   electing AGM delegates at that time. We hope to see
The bottom line is that changes to the College are on       many of you at the meeting as local bargaining is the
the horizon, and it remains to be seen to what extent       best way for you to have a say in your working
the BCTF’s voice will be considered in moving               conditions.
forward.
    The newest change is the District’s move to alter                            January 4, 2011
the scheduling of the school day at secondary schools.          In this issue:
The government has failed to sufficiently fund the            ♦ Bargaining training
capital projects required to provide educational space        ♦ BC Fed Convention
to Surrey students and the District is looking for a          ♦ Bill 27/28 contract stripping
solution. In our view, this plan is not a good one. We        ♦ Bill 33
have heard from many members who are very                     ♦ Convention is just around the corner
concerned about the impact of such changes on their           ♦ Did you know your collective agreement
programs, their students, extracurricular activities and      ♦ How Surrey students, teachers and schools give
their family lives. We have issued a press release and          back
spoken to the media. We will meet with District               ♦ February 11th Pro-d
representatives early in the new year. We will also           ♦ Pension buyback
make sure Surrey MLAs are aware of our concerns.              ♦ Reducing our carbon footprint
    One explanation for the government ignoring the           ♦ Ride-share program
urgent needs in Surrey might be that it is part of a plan     ♦ Teachers on Call preferential callout
to force their educational reform agenda. Refusing to         ♦ Sick leave
build schools fits with a plan to increase the number of      ♦ STA mentorship program
students enrolled in on-line learning, which does not
BILL 27/28 CONTRACT STRIPPING
         The legal challenge to Bill 27    • After its election in May 2001,        bargaining table in what John
     and 28 continues. The BCTF is           government had determined              Rogers characterized as “sham”
     alleging BCPSEA bargained in            that provisions governing class        or “surface” bargaining; in
     bad faith prior to the government       size and class composition, as         other words, bargaining in bad
     stripping various provisions from       well as non-enrolling ratios,          faith.
     our collective agreements,              would be removed from the                This is a crucial case for
     including class size, composition,      collective agreement through         teachers and everyone is hopeful
                                             legislation.                         that the result will be in our
     BCPSEA continued to pretend to
                                           • BCPSEA was aware of the              favour. A decision may take
     bargain with foreknowledge of
                                             impending legislation.               several months.
     the legislation.
                                           • despite          BCPSEA’s                You can see details of the
     and case load in 2002. Lawyer           foreknowledge of the                 case at:
     John Rogers entered extensive           legislation, it continued to meet        www.bctf.ca/features.aspx.
     documentation to showing that           with the BCTF at the


PENSION BUYBACK                             Rule amendments regarding leave provisions

    Did you know there are many different types of            family responsibility leaves of absence.
leaves of absence you can purchase as pensionable                 If you choose to purchase service for a leave of
service? Did you know that purchasing pensionable             absence covered under the ESA, your employer must
service for leaves of absence can increase your future        pay for their portion
pension benefits?                                             of that leave.
    As a member of the Teachers’ Pension Plan you                 Please refer to the
may have the opportunity to purchase pensionable              PensionFacts,
service for leaves covered under the Employment               Purchasing leaves of
Standards Act (ESA). These include pregnancy (often           absence available on
referred to as maternity), parental/adoption,                 the plan’s website at
bereavement, compassionate care, jury duty and                www.pensionsbc.ca



            STA Full Time Table Officers
 President ‐ Denise Moffatt 
  
                               pres@surreyteachers.org 
 First Vice President ‐ Chrystal Tagmann 
                                                             RIDE SHARE PROGRAM
                                 1‐vp@surreyteachers.org     Interested in sharing a ride to and from
  

 Second Vice President ‐ Jennifer Wadge                      work? Click on https://sd36.ride-share.com/
                               2‐vp@surreyteachers.org           For directions, screenshots and an FAQ that explain
  

 Health & Safety Officer ‐ Lori Wilson                       the process go to https://online.rideshare.com/
                              grv‐hs@surreyteachers.org          Only employees of the Surrey School District can
  

 Grievance Officer ‐ Steve Ranta                             sign up. Also, when someone signs up using their
                             grieve@surreyteachers.org       “@sd36.bc.ca” address they have the option to restrict
  
                                                             matches to only employees
 Grievance Officer ‐ John Wyndham                            registered on the School District No.
                            grv‐spt@surreyteachers.org       36 sub-site. Register online for free
  

 Professional Issues Officer ‐ Stephen Anderson              and start enjoying greener
                               pro‐d@surreyteachers.org      commutes.
 General Inquiries 
                                  sta@surreyteachers.org

                                                                                                                     2
HOW SURREY STUDENTS, TEACHERS AND SCHOOLS
GIVE BACK
By Sylvia Moffatt                       assistance. E.g. children who            needs
    Schools produced amazing            have no school supplies, attend        • food restrictions, if any, are
results in providing hampers for        the Breakfast Club, parents are          noted, and food is a priority
families again this year. Hampers                                              • pre-schoolers and children        to
                                           Kudos for the numerous
provided winter clothes, household                                               age 16 are included
                                           hampers provided by Surrey
                                                                               • if families are unable to pick up
staples and even groceries for             schools to families in need.
many families.       Teachers and                                                 hampers, arrangements are made
students in more affluent areas can                                               for teachers to deliver the boxes
take on a project of providing just      unemployed, or families have          • cards of thanks are forwarded to
one or many hampers for families         just arrived in Canada, etc. (The        the donor school
in schools (possibly Inner City          parents are asked tactfully if they        Schools involved in these
where the need is really quite           need a hamper at this time.)          hamper projects find it to be a
urgent.) It makes a more festive       • only first names and ages are         rewarding experience and families
Christmas or winter holiday for          sent on to the donor school for       speak warmly of how happy they
both the ‘giver’ and the ‘receiver’.     privacy reasons                       were to be
    Looking back and planning for      • families are asked not to apply to    included and
next year or helping families in         the Christmas Bureau for              r e me m b e r e d
need at other times of the year,         another hamper as supply is so        in their time
here are some helpful hints:             limited                               of need.
• staff members contact families       • volunteer teachers contact the
  who in their opinion may need          family to ask sizes and clothing


TEACHERS ON CALL PREFERENTIAL CALLOUT
By Glynis Cawdell, TTOC                is especially true. As job requests     Unfortunately what happens more
    The debate continues in Surrey     often come in days or even weeks        often is that the teacher just
and across the province: To            in advance, TTOCs know where            chooses not to request that TTOC
request, or not to request? I’ve       they’re going ahead of time and         back, even telling colleagues to do
spoken to many TTOCs and                                                       the same. Sometimes teachers
                                       Should teachers really be acting        request TTOCs just because they
contract teachers on this issue and
                                       as the employer and choosing            chatted in the staff room at lunch
yet I still struggle to know what’s
                                       who gets work and who doesn’t?          and the TTOC was outgoing and
right.
    The truth is, there are some                                               friendly. Is this fair?
good things about preferential call    can communicate with the                    I can’t blame teachers for
out. When you’re one of the 800        classroom teacher beforehand.           wanting to call back the same
plus TTOCs in Surrey, and you          You feel prepared. You feel             TTOC so that their students have a
can be dispatched to any of our        confident.                              familiar face greeting them in the
120 school sites (at 5:30 AM no            That’s not to say requesting is     morning. I understand that
less. ) It’s no wonder TTOCs love      without its dark side. Should           secondary school teachers want to
to get requested. Being called back    teachers really be acting as the        leave their class in the hands of a
to the school allows you to make       employer and choosing who gets          specialist trained in their particular
connections and feel like a            work and who doesn’t? Is it             subject. My request to teachers is
member of the staff. The students      ethical to evaluate a TTOC you          that you carefully consider your
already know your expectations so      have never seen teach? If a teacher     motivation for selecting a
less time is spent on behavioural      legitimately felt a TTOC did an         particular TTOC. Is it because of
issues. For special needs students,    inadequate job, they have an            student learning or are you making
who require more consistency, this     obligation to contact that teacher      TTOCs participate in a popularity
                                       and give the m feedback.                contest?
                                                                                                                    3
                           DID YOU KNOW YOUR COLLECTIVE AGREEMENT?
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT    ARTICLE F.20 TEACHER
                           PROFESSIONAL RIGHTS
                           F.20.1 TEACHER
                                                            F.20.2 EVALUATION AND
                                                            GRADING
                                                             Subject to the School Act
                                                                                                  which takes place as a result
                                                                                                  of a school scheduled
                                                                                                  informal report to parents will
                           PROFESSIONAL RIGHTS              and Regulations and Article           be considered as an informal
                           a. Within the bounds of          E.30, the application of              report for that student. Where
                           effective educational practice   consistent evaluation and             a parent-teacher interview
                           and prescribed provincial and                                          does not take place for a
                           locally-developed curricula,                                           particular student, then an
                           teachers shall have individual                                         informal report of a type
                           professional autonomy and                                              agreeable to the district must
                           responsibility in the planning      Used with permission -
                                                                                                  still be provided.
                           and presentation of course          Compass Stone by John Carmichael   b. In secondary semestered
                           materials in the classes to                                            schools there shall be no more
                           which they are assigned.         grading practices including           than four (4) written formal
                           b. Within the bounds of                                                reports and two (2) informal
                                                             teachers shall have individ-
                           effective adult educational                                            reports each school year,
                                                             ual professional autonomy
                           practices and prescribed                                               unless the teacher decides
                                                             and responsibility in the
                           curricula and/or district         planning and presentation
                                                                                                  otherwise.
                           program goals, adult                                                   c. In secondary schools with
                           education teachers shall have    the pass/fail provisions              more than two (2) terms of
                           individual professional          applying to each student shall        instruction, the number of
                           autonomy and responsibility      be under the individual               student progress reports for
                           in the planning and              professional autonomy of the          each student shall not exceed
                           presentation of adult            teacher.                              one (1) formal and one (1)
                           education course materials in    F.20.3 REPORTING TO                   informal report per term
                           the classes to which they are    PARENTS                               unless the teacher decides
                           assigned.                        a. A parent-teacher interview         otherwise.


                           FEBRUARY 11TH PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
                                                                                                    PD Tidbits:
                           SMARTboard Workshop is           Balance
                           being held at M. J. Norris       2) Mark Less, Assess More
                           Elem.    Please register in          Please register in                  Please remember to
                           SDworkshop.                      SDWorkshop under the                    apply to your PD Chair
                              As    part     of     our     Focus Days and Workshops                for funding well in
                           commitment to help our           icon on First Class.                    advance of the event. It
                           colleagues to be      healthy    Registration will open                  is their responsibility to
                           autonomous professionals,        January.                                make sure that the event
                           the following BCTF                  BCTF workshops take                  fits the criteria and that
                           workshops will be offered:       place from 9:00 am until 2:00           funds are available for
                           1)    Health, Wellness and       pm. Please bring your own               disbursement.
                                                            lunch and snacks.

                             LSA COUNCIL MEETING
                              Local Specialist Associations (LSAs) are an important part of the professional support our
                              Surrey teachers receive. We have scheduled a LSA council meeting for January 20th, 3:30 -
                              5:30 pm at the STA office, board room #2. We encourage every LSA to have at least one
                              representative attend this meeting. Topics include: growing LSAs, funds available, and shared
                              successes. Please RSVP to Lorna Sheh via lsheh@sd36.bc.ca
                                                                                                                                 4
CONVENTION IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER !
    The Surrey Teachers'               year ,we have more attending and         At present we have
Association's annual convention        feedback continues to be mostly      applications for 31 presentations.
has been running for more than 30      positive. We have taken any          We need your help in either
years. May 6, 2011, it will be         critiques from last year and         applying to present or encouraging
hosted at three sites: Lord            incorporated them into our vision    others to present. Traditionally,
Tweedsmuir will have an                for this year.                       we have over 150 presentations.
Elementary focus, Queen                     Are you passionate about an     Presenters are also eligible for a
Elizabeth will be available for        area of your teaching? Have you      half-day workshop preparation
specialty workshops (home ec.,         considered sharing your passion?     time. If you know anyone that
labs, tech ed., etc.) and SFU          You don’t need to be an expert to    should be encouraged to apply,
Surrey will be Secondary focus.        share with your colleagues. Have     please direct them to
    We have three keynotes being       you considered presenting at the     www.staconvention.ca. If you
shared between SFU Surrey and          convention? If you are interested    would like to find out more or run
Lord Tweedsmuir. Paul Shaker           in sharing with your colleagues,     an idea by us, please contact Julia
and Ken Clarkson, in addition to       we encourage you to apply. There     Poole or Mark Chow on First
Laura Thomas, will be presenting.      is still time to sign up and to      Class.
    The convention is shaping up       encourage others to sign up.
to be awesome again.         Each


 NEW TEACHERS’                                             Surrey Intermediate Teachers'
                                                                    Association
  CONFERENCES                                            During the past year, a small group of teachers
                                                         have been trying to resurrect SITA. The group has
  STA New Teachers’ Conference                           been hosting Diana Cruchley's workshops and
                                                         helping with PITA events such as the Year of
     Thursday, February 3rd, 2011                        Professional Support and the Fall Conference.
        at Bear Creek Pavillion,
                                                         Why join SITA?
       13750-88 Avenue, Surrey                           * Attend quality PD opportunities for free
           8:30 am - 2:45 pm                             * Meet new colleagues and form new relationships
               Register online at                        * Free snacks and door prizes at each meeting
  http://www.surreyteachers.org/contact/                 Upcoming Professional Developments:
              event-registration/                        Presenter: Gary Endersby
                                                         Location: A. J. McLellan Elementary
 BCTF New Teachers’ Conference                           Time: 3:30 to 5:30 pm
                                                         1. January 12th     Comic Life in the Classroom
    The STA is providing Special Funding to cover        2. April 20th       iPhoto Workshop
the conference fee and a release day for fifteen
beginning teachers to attend. This will be on a first    Register for these workshops by emailing Monica
come, first served basis. Contact Lorna Sheh at the      Grant on First Class.
STA office to get your name on the list.
    For more information or to register for this         Want to present a workshop for SITA? Do you
conference visit the BCTF website at:                    have any ideas for our organization? Please email
http://bctf.ca/NewTeachersConference2011.aspx            Monica Grant on First Class.

Need a Professional Development Idea or Resource? Look no further than the PD Icon on First Class where
       opportunities are posted, including masters' programs, unit plans, workshops and speakers.
                                                                                                              5
             BARGAINING TRAINING
                 BCPSEA has argued that        experience:                     in a bargaining scenario and
             it is too inefficient to have         “Our management team        to realize just how important
             local bargaining and districts    had an assignment to make       the language that we have in
             can't be successful against the   changes to the collective       our collective agreement is.
             BCTF. The point of local          agreement. It was amazing       Particularly salient was that
             bargaining is that local          the conversations within my     the collective agreement is
             bargaining is done by local       management team as to how       not just a contract, but rather
             people not the BCTF. You          we could write the language     an agreement that both sides
             have a bargaining team that is                                    have already agreed to.
             working hard in preparation        the collective agreement is        In our local negotiations,
             for local bargaining.              not just a contract, but       we will need to improve the
             BCPSEA has been offering           rather an agreement that       conditions in our collective
             training to school boards,         both sides have already        agreement. This is our role
BARGAINING


             although their stance is that      agreed to                      as the Surrey Teachers’
             school boards shouldn't be                                        Association bargaining team.
             negotiating with local unions.    to get what we wanted and       Surrey Teachers' Association
                 Four members of the STA       needed. What seemed like        believes in improving
             bargaining committee              very simple language had        working and learning
             attended the BCTF                 many interpretations and we     conditions for teachers.”
             bargaining training at the end    looked for holes in the             Make sure you attend the
             of November. One day of the       union’s logic, statements and   January 26th, 2011 Surrey
             training was a simulation         their proposed language         Teachers' Association
             with five members acting as       changes. Often it came down     General Meeting. At this
             management and eight              not to what the words said      meeting, the membership will
             members acting as a local         but rather the intent of the    set the local priorities for the
             union.                            language.                       bargaining team to further
                 Here is what Kevin                I am grateful to have had   improve our collective
             Amboe had to say about the        the experience to be involved   agreement.




                                                 11



                                                                                                             6
WHY CAN'T WE GET PAID FOR LEFT OVER SICK LEAVE?
By Kevin Amboe                         dealing with long term illness,        Further, they would be penalized a
    In the bargaining survey, there    they are able to do so without loss    second time by not getting a buy
were requests to consider a buy        of pay. The district uses actuarial    out upon retirement. This would
out of accumulated sick leave          data to predict the cost of            be a discriminatory benefit.
when a teacher retires. Those who      providing sick leave as insurance.         We, as BCTF members, have
have been healthy and working for          Sick leave as a benefit has        our own Salary Indemnity Plan
15 years or more, may see the          higher costs. The district would       (SIP) to provide support once
potential to buyout more than 200      need to save money elsewhere to        district sick leave has been
sick days as being a tempting          afford the buy out. This could be      exhausted.     Changing the sick
benefit. It may seem disappointing                                            leave approach to a benefit plan
                                        Bargaining for sick leave as a
                                                                              model could result in teachers
to have over a year of sick leave       benefit would put forward that
                                                                              using up their district sick leave
evaporate when one retires;             we are willing to weaken the level
However, these days were never          of insurance that we currently
                                                                              and transferring to the SIP more
something you owned. (It is             have
                                                                              quickly. Those plan costs would
actually more like a term life                                                increase and more of your salary
insurance, you pay into it and can     done by having have much stricter      would have to be deducted to fund
use it but once you stop paying        guidelines on accumulation,            that plan.
into it, the insurance disappears.)    number of days usable at a time,           Any increase to the costs of
Sick leave in Surrey is considered     types of uses and maximum              sick leave would be included in
insurance and meant to ensure that     accruals. Sick leave as a benefit      the calculation of a contract
members do not suffer loss of          also sets up two crucial negative      settlement and may reduce the
income from illness or disability,     impacts in the system.                 amount available for benefits for
not to provide an additional               First, teachers, especially as     all members, such as: salary,
benefit.                               they get closer to retirement, may     extended health benefits,
    The Surrey Teachers’               choose to come to work ill, thus       preparation time, paid leaves, and
Association has historically           exposing others to their illness.      working conditions.
supported sick leave as a form of      Secondly, those that have been             As a socially just union, our
insurance, available to all            unfortunate enough to need to use      focus is to provide benefits for all
members when needed. If a              their sick days are penalized for      of our members, regardless of
teacher has poor health, or is         being sick, and may have reduced       health.
                                       access through tighter restrictions.

WORD SEARCH
Bargaining                Negotiations
BCPSEA                    Non-Enrolling Teachers
Benefits                  PELRA
Collective Agreement      Post and Fill
Contract Stripping        Preparation Time
Distributed Learning      Professional Autonomy
Employment Equity         Professional Development
grievances                Provincial
Health and Safety         Ratification
Hours of Work             Rights
Job Action                Salary
Language                  Scope
Layoff and Recall         Seniority
Learning Conditions       Strategies
Legislation               Strike
Local                     Teachers Teaching on Call
Manner and Consequence    Working Conditions
Members
                                                                                                                7
CUTS TO SERVICES HAVE HURT THE WHOLE SYSTEM
By Karen Kilbride, LST teacher in     be. Workloads have increased            There are fewer teachers, more
Surrey, and the rep for non-          drastically since the cuts were         testing, paperwork, Individualized
enrolling teachers on the STA         made. The School Board used             Education Plans (IEPs) and
Bargaining Committee.                 cuts in services to students to         Adapted Education Plans (AEPs).
    The Surrey School system is                                                   It is unreasonable to expect
under stress. Cutbacks in services       It is no longer assured that a       that all students in your class, who
                                         child will get year long service     seem weak,          will be tested
for students, such as counselling,
                                         even if a child needs it.            immediately. Each school usually
learning support and library
services, have removed essential                                              has a referral and testing process
supports from students and            balance the budget; teachers            that must be followed. If you have
teachers. Many of our members,        cannot be asked to make up the          a concern, please speak to the
who previously taught in one or       shortfall in services.                  teacher(s) involved directly.
two schools, now have to travel to        In the past, all levels of ESL          Please remember that non-
five or six. Class sizes have         students were serviced, usually on      enrolling teachers are doing their
increased and there are higher        a pull-out model. Presently, in         best with the time and resources
numbers of special needs students     most schools, only beginners are        provided and that they need your
in classes. The STA office is         given direct service. The ratio in      support and understanding. We
hearing from teachers that they       the 1990's for students with            recognize the plight of regular
cannot cope in the present system     learning disabilities (LD) in a         classroom teachers, especially
and that their health is suffering.   resource room, used to be 1 to 12,      with the present class size and
They do not feel that they have the   with an SEA. Some students with         composition issues that make a
time to help their students, as       a learning disability are now given     mockery out of inclusive practices
much as they would like to. They      only a small amount of support.         and present a nightmare for
often feel overwhelmed by the         Therefore, we appeal to all regular     “differentiation.” We know
expectations of students,             classroom teachers to understand        everyone is working harder.
colleagues, administration and        that only those students who are            Please speak out about the
parents. We feel that there is a      most needy, and/or who have             service cuts and help the STA
need to remind members that           IEPs, are given priority in the new     advocate for better support for
learning support, counselling,        system. It is no longer assured         students. More information about
integration teachers and library      that a child will get year-long         this can be found on the BCTF
services are not what they used to    service, even if that child needs it.   website.

    http://bctf.ca/IssuesInEducation.aspx?id=5770           http://bctf.ca/IssuesInEducation.aspx?id=14812



  Be A Delegate to the BCTF AGM—March 19 - 22, 2011
  This year, the BCTF AGM will        They can be submitted by email
be held in Victoria, with             to Lorna Sheh via First Class.
delegates staying at the Fairmont     (lsheh@sd36.bc.ca)
Empress Hotel. Accommodation            Members may also submit their
is paid for by the BCTF.              name at the January 26th general
  If you are interested in running    meeting, but any statement
for election as a delegate, please    received after January 17th will
submit a brief statement of no        not be published.
more than 50 words. Statements
must be submitted to the STA
office, no later than January 17th.


                                                                                                                8
BC FED CONVENTION
   The 2010 BC Federation of          He spoke about the importance of       was re-elected to the position of
Labour Convention was held from       protecting public health care and      Federation President. Both Jim
November 29th to December 3rd.        stressed that health care shouldn’t    and Irene ran unopposed.
A number of issues were               be a cost, as it is a right.           Outgoing Secretary-Treasurer
discussed, from combating climate        On Tuesday afternoon,               Angie Schira, BC Fed Secretary-
change to engagement of young         following the Education                Treasurer since 1989 and the first
workers, poverty issues to work       Committee report, many teachers        woman to hold that position,
place safety.      The convention     were able to speak at the              became the first recipient of the
provided an opportunity for the       microphones, informing all             Joy Langan Award.
BCTF and Surrey Teachers’             delegates about the many issues           Throughout the week, delegates
Association to reach out to other     facing public school teachers in       passed many important
unions and for all groups to share    BC. BCTF and STA delegates             resolutions.   Unfortunately, the
struggles and successes.              spoke about the underfunding of        resolution on aid to Haiti and
   This year, there was also a one-   public education, the concerns         Pakistan, brought by the Surrey
day Young Workers’ Conference,        teachers have around 21st Century      Teachers’ Association, did not
held on Sunday, November 28th.        Learning, and our Foundation           make it to the floor.        One
Craig Wrotniak, a teacher at North    Skills Assessment campaign. That       resolution, which was somewhat
Surrey Secondary, attended as the     afternoon, all BCTF delegates          contentious, was that the BC Fed
STA young worker delegate. The        wore blue t-shirts with the            Convention be held every two
other Surrey delegates were           “Choose Teach” logo on the back.       years, with regional conferences
Monica Hoeflich (KB Woodward),           Irene Lanzinger, past BCTF          held during the alternating year.
Gurmit Bains (Elgin Park),            president, was elected to the          This resolution passed by
Pummy Kaur (Hyland), Saroop           position of Secretary-Treasurer.       majority. The next BC Federation
Nagra (Clayton Heights), Gavin        This was a very exciting election,     of Labour Convention will be held
Hainsworth (Fleetwood), and           as it was the first time, since the    in 2012. The Surrey Teachers’
Jennifer Wadge (STA 2nd VP).          BCTF joined the BC Fed in 2006,        Association will be looking for
Denise Moffatt attended as a          that a BCTF member was elected         delegates for any regional
member of the BCTF executive.         to an officer position. Jim Sinclair   conferences held in 2011.
   One of the highlights of the
convention was the speech made
by federal NDP leader, Jack
Layton.     He spoke about all
Canadians having rights to
essential protections and services,
such as health care, public
education, and safe work
standards. He noted that, instead,
we see the cost of these essential
protections and services being
downloaded to working people.


HAVE YOU GOT SOMETHING EXCITING TO SHARE?
    Is there something cool going     to write about 200 words               print), we’d love
on at your school? Share with us.     describing what is happening, we       to include photos
We would love to highlight            can include the article in The         to go along with
successes in our schools. There       Advocate. It will only take about      the stories.
are so many wonderful things          10 minutes and you can highlight
happening and too often, the          success at your school. If you
stories go untold. If you are able    have a photo (with permission to
                                                                                                              9
STA MENTORSHIP PROGRAM
By Geny Freisen                       how do I download report cards,       much out of it. I am now looking
                                      was not only informative, it was      forward to the chance to be a
    It was a Friday, school started
                                      fun! I now had someone who            mentor to someone myself. Don’t
on Tuesday, and I had just been
                                      could help me figure out many of      think about taking part, do it. It
hired to teach. I was excited,
                                      the ins and outs during my first      will be one of the best decisions
nervous, overwhelmed and a bit
                                      year teaching and that was a great    you will make this year.
scared to be completely honest!
                                      relief! I am sure that having a
Thankfully I was also approached
                                      mentor helped me have such a            The Surrey Mentorship
by a staff member and asked if I
                                      successful first year. Today, my        program has been running in
wanted to be a part of the Surrey
                                      mentor and I still have a great         various forms for the past
                                      relationship where we bounce            couple of decades. It is now
   I am sure that having a
                                      ideas back and forth and I feel         jointly sponsored by the
   mentor helped me have such
   a successful first year.
                                      inspired each time we meet.             Surrey Teachers’ Association
                                          Thinking back to the program        and the Surrey School
                                      though, it has to be said that, the     District. This year we have
Mentorship Program. I knew little
                                      chance to network and build             approximately 80 people
about the program, but the more I
                                      relationships with other new            involved in the program. If
learned about the program, the
                                      teachers and their mentors over the     you would like to get involved
more I thought that this was
                                      year added to feeling welcomed          with next year's program,
something I needed to take part in.
                                      into the Surrey district.     This      watch for advertizing near the
    Meeting and collaborating
                                      program is now something I              end of this school year and in
with an expert teacher who could
                                      encourage colleagues to try and         the Fall next year.
answer all of my questions, from
                                      take part in because you get so
where the photo copier was, to

SOCIAL GREAT SUCCESS
     The TTOC committee hosted a social for all
 Surrey teachers at Central City Brewing on
 December 1, 2010. There were over 50 teachers
 that came to our first social of the year. It was
 great to have so many out to share refreshments
 and appetizers.     Thank you to the TTOC
 committee for giving us this great social event.




                                                                                                               10
BILL 33 PROCESS CONTINUES
  Bill 33 was imposed in 2006,       students + number of students          class size and composition
following our illegal nine day       with an IEP) for grades 4-12. For      “limits” and restricts principals
walkout which received               redress purposes, arbitrator           from accessing the means to
unprecedented public support.        Dorsey created tiers of differing      remedy these violations.
One of the major themes of our       redress amounts ( Dorsey # 33, 34        To further add insult, Bill 33
job action was class size and        -36, 37-39, and 40 or more).           arbitrations have tended to
composition. The language in the       This might have been seen as         consider that certain classes, such
bill, which became part of the       good news, in that there would         as Communications, can be
School Act includes:                 now be a consequence when a            expected to ‘attract’ students with
 a board must ensure that the        board breaches the legislated          IEPs, so it is not a violation to
 size of any class for any of        classroom limits. While in some        create large classes with a large
 grades 4 to 7 in any school in      smaller districts this has worked      number of IEPs. This is far from
 its school district does not        well, with teachers being offered      our stripped Collective
 exceed 30 students UNLESS in        remedies at the consultation stage,    Agreement language, which
 the opinions of the                 Surrey has had a far different         limited English classes to 25 and
 superintendent of schools for       experience. The rationale, on the      shop courses to 24, with lab
 the school district and the         majority of forms we got back,         course enrollment being limited
 principal of the school, the        was lack of resources/space/           for safety reasons to the number
 organization of the class is        financial means to do anything         the room was designed for. In
 appropriate for student             about classes that don’t meet the      addition, under our stripped
 learning, and the principal of      limits.                                language, any class with an IEP
 the school has obtained the           Indeed, Surrey teachers seem to      student would have to be smaller,
 consent of the teacher of that      have developed the opinion that        and special needs students were
 class.                              nothing will be done about their       supported by specialist teachers
  In terms of class composition      classes, which are in violation of     with caseload limits.
the bill states that:                the guidelines.       This is made       All the parties involved know
 a board must ensure that any        obvious to the STA, as hundreds        that the processing of Bill 33
 class in any school in its school   and hundreds of classes over the       grievances will most likely cost
 district does not have more         guidelines this year, yet the STA      far more than the sum of all the
 than three students with an         received less than 20% of the          most optimistic remedies that
 individual education plan (IEP)     completed consultation                 could possibly, some day, be
 UNLESS in the opinion of the        forms. Presently, we have less         awarded in Surrey. Unfortunately,
 superintendent of school for the    than 80 grievances going forward       redirecting all that money towards
 school district and the             for this year. We received more        classrooms does not seem to be in
 principal of the school, the        than 80 forms. Unfortunately, we       the government’s agenda, as so
 organization of the class is        can only pursue cases where the        far, there seems to be no signs of
 appropriate for student             teacher disagreed on both the          improvements or replacement of
 learning, and the principal of      district and STA consultation          the legislation. Looking forward
 the school has consulted with       forms. On many forms, teachers         to another year of Bill 33 forms?!
 the teacher of that class.          expressed that even though they
  The BCTF continues to oppose       didn’t agree with the composition
the legislative stripping of our     of their class. However, they            BC Green Games
class size and composition           either checked off agree, or stated      registration extended
contract language and continues      that they didn’t want to bother          until February 1, 2011.
the effort to put class size and     their principal, as they understood      Contact
composition language back into       that there were no further               info@bcgreengames.ca
our collective agreements.           resources            available.          for more information.
  In a recent ruling, arbitrator     Unfortunately, by not pursuing
Dorsey created the rule of 33.       grievances, this allows the district
(Dorsey # = total number of          to gradually erode the Bill 33

                                                                                                              11
       SURREY TEACHERS' ASSOCIATION - JANUARY 2011
Sun                 Mon                       Tue                           Wed                   Thu               Fri   Sat
   2                     3                        4                            5                    6                7     8
                                School re-open        4:00                          3:45
                                                      Grievance Committee           Mentorship
                                                      STA office                    Planning
                                                                                    STA office
   9                10                        11                              12                    13              14    15
       4:00                  4:00                     4:00                          4:00
       Pro-D Committee       Executive Committee      Continue the Conversation     Economic Welfare
       STA office            STA office               TBA                           Committee
                                                                                    STA office
                             4:00
                             International
                             Solidarity Committee
                             STA office

  16                 17                          18                           19                   20               21    22
       4:00                  3:30                     4:00                          4:00
       Convention            Mentorship               Dinner speaker                LSA Council
       Committee             TBA                      Compass Point Inn, Surrey     STA office
       STA office

       4:00
       Anti-Poverty Ad
       Hoc Committee
       STA office
  23                 24                       25                               26                  27               28    29
                             4:00                       4:00 General Meeting                             BCTF Rep
                             Executive Committee       To elect AGM Delegates                            Assembly
                             STA office               Local Bargaining Objective


  30                 31




REDUCING OUR CARBON FOOTPRINT
    Last month we reduced the              only 25g per KWh. While our                 we have saved over 545 kg of CO2
number of print copies of the              savings of greenhouse gas (GHG)             emission.
Advocate by 1,800. This equates            emissions are minimal, the                     Remember that you can sign
to 3 hours of duplicating. We are          reduction in paper use is dramatic.         up to receive the newsletter by
using an energy efficient                      By not cutting down a tree to           PDF every month, instead of a
ComColour 7050 by Riso that                create each ream of paper, 5.4 kg           paper copy.
only uses a maximum of 1,000W              of CO2 is removed from the
per hour, compared to a standard           atmosphere by the living tree. In
copier at 3,500W per hour (and a           addition, 3 kg of CO2 is released
finisher at 200W per hour.)                during the processing of each
Because we have been proactive,            ream of paper. The reduction of
we’ve saved 3.6 KWh.                       1,800 copies equates to 22 reams
    A coal fired power station             of paper or a net benefit of over
creates 1 kg of CO2 for every              180 kg of CO2 not released into
KWh of energy produced. BC                 the atmosphere. With reduced
Hydro is much more efficient, at           printing for the last three editions,

				
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