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Dear Teachers,

WE are celebrating the one-year anniversary of their Supreme Court win!

One year after the BC Teachers’ Federation’s landmark victory that ordered the restoration of our pre-2002 collective agreement, teachers in South Peace are celebrating the positive changes that have come to our schools as a result.

“Since the BCTF’s Supreme Court victory, on November 10, 2016, teachers in South Peace have been working hard to ensure our restored collective agreement language is implemented correctly to ensure students see improvements to their learning conditions and our members see improvements to their working conditions.  In SD #59 alone, we’ve seen some significant improvements that are having a positive impact for teachers and students.

The improvements and gains for our schools and district include:

  • an increase of 28 FTE teaching positions
  • a teacher-librarian position in every school site, an increase of teachers in the learning assistance positions, as well as just over 2 ELL and 1 district helping teachers in the district
  • expanded school spaces (1 portable) and increased amount of classes in at least three schools
  • approximately $2.8 million+ new dollars in funding for the school district

After 16 years of cuts and under-funding, it’s refreshing and exciting to see resources flowing back into our schools. The restored collective agreement, has had an overall positive impact in our schoolsThe next step is to keep meeting with the school district to continue to implement the changes necessary, address the shortfall issues and work together on the recruitment and retention challenges we face here in School District #59.

For more information contact the local Union office or Elaine at 250-782-1284.

Dawson Creek Local – Welcome Back Bash!

Back by popular demand… of some district employees, both present and retired!
We are resurrecting the Corn Roast Socials of yester-year.
The event will be held on October 5th from 3:30-7 PM
At the Curling Rink in Dawson Creek– upstairs

Corn on the cob, appys, wine and a cash bar will be available.
Everyone is welcome as we connect to old and new colleagues, visit, and celebrate the beginning of another school year!!

Posters for each site will be coming ASAP.
Stay tuned for posts for “Welcome Back Bashes” in Tumbler Ridge and Chetwynd.

Elaine Fitzpatrick

President’s Message: September, 2017

WELCOME BACK TO THE 2017-18 SCHOOL YEAR IN PEACE RIVER SOUTH

At last word, the District has hired 31 teachers so far for this year.  Some are our retired teachers are returning to the classrooms to help out in a pinch!  Our new teachers are from other countries, other provinces, other regions in BC and some are from the community up the road or a school down the street!!!   Please make these new teachers feel welcome in our schools and communities.  Give them a helping hand, an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on, and an invitation for a bit of rest and relaxation after a tough day or week!

I am looking forward to another great year!  Always, there are challenges, especially at the beginning of the year as the whites of students’ eyes are counted, classes are arranged, changes to schedules and plans are done in the general business of starting up.  The District has indicated that they are intending to meet and maintain the classroom numbers expected with the re-instated language by the October 1st date.  There is still the challenge of ensuring there are teachers in every classroom in the district, especially in Chetwynd.  The District has approached the Union with some possible “temporary” measures if needed as we move forward into the school year.  We will try to get the information out as quickly as possible but I would ask everyone to be patient as we all try to get things in place this year.

As you may be hearing on the news, the challenge of staffing both classrooms and non-enrolling positions is common throughout the province.  TTOC lists are also affected in most school districts as hiring has occurred off of those lists, depleting them as well.  I am anticipating that this may also be a problem in our district for the coming year so we may find it necessary to “re-arrange” planned group Pro-d, Foundation, Support for Growth and other District in-services differently.

On the more positive side of things, I am looking forward to getting out to schools in all three of our sub-locals over the next few weeks.  We are also planning to host a Fall Social, hopefully in each sub-local, on October 5 to celebrate International Teachers’ Day.   I know that Chetwynd and Tumbler will be planning their Sub-local AGM in the next month and I hope to see many of you out at the meetings.   This coming year is the “prep” year for provincial negotiations so the PRSTA Executive will be focusing on preparing for both Provincial and Local bargaining.  We will be listening to what is important to our members and what needs to be addressed in this next round of bargaining.  Please watch for opportunities to be part of focus groups on the topic of Working and Learning conditions as I hope to begin that process in the Spring.

Again, Welcome to a New School Year.

Elaine Fitzpatrick
PRSTA President

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Christy Clark’s attempt to cling to power putting start of next school year at risk

“The BC Liberals and Premier Christy Clark are putting the successful start of the next school year at risk by clinging to power,” said BCTF President Glen Hansman.

“When the Supreme Court of Canada restored what was illegally stripped from teachers’ collective agreements, the education community in BC was relieved to know that smaller classes and more supports for children with special needs were finally on the way,” said Hansman. “The subsequent implementation agreement set a clear path forward to ensure that next school year starts with better teaching and learning conditions in place. Unfortunately, the government’s stalling tactics since the May 9 election created huge uncertainty for school districts who must finalize their budgets by June 30. Christy Clark has been so busy with delays and political theatre that her government is putting our students’ education at risk again.”

Hansman said school districts have been hamstrung for weeks by not knowing how much funding they were getting to implement the restored contract language. It was only late last week that the government informed districts of their funding allotments, and in many cases, the amounts came up far short. The result is more potential cuts to school programs and staffing.

“Springtime is normally when all the hiring and organizing occurs for students’ classes in the fall,” said Hansman. “Because of the delay and uncertainty in funding, many of these processes have been on hold or not completed. Now, with districts around the province receiving significantly less than what is needed and expected, the BC Liberals have allowed uncertainty and instability to play out at a critical time. It is unacceptable.”

In Vancouver, it has been reported that the school district is getting $22 million less than expected, which will result in fewer classes meeting the class-size and class-composition limits. The district is also proceeding with more cuts to adult education programs.

In Saanich, the provincial government has shorted the school district the $1.5 million in funding needed to hire the 15 new teachers to meet the restored contract language.

In Richmond, the school district sent a letter to all employees outlining that the provincial funding shortfall means 100 fewer teachers than what the district believes is required.

Kamloops andAbbotsford school districts are planning to cut 18 and 11 education assistant jobs, respectively.This is a direct result of inadequate government funding.

“If the provincial government doesn’t act quickly to meet the real funding requirements of school districts, next school year is going to be unnecessarily chaotic and students will still be facing cuts,” said Hansman. “It’s been almost two months since the election and our students need certainty, not more stalling. Christy Clark’s ongoing efforts to put her political career before our students must come to an end.”

For more information, contact Richard Overgaard, BCTF media relations officer, at604-871-1881 (office) or 604-340-1959 (cell).

Rich Overgaard

Assistant Director

Communications and Campaigns Division

BC Teachers’ Federation

604 871 1881

rovergaard@bctf.ca

www.facebook.com/BCTeachersFederation

@BCTF

PRSTA New Office Open House

Come and check out the new office space on SATURDAY between 10am and 2pm. You’ll find it at 1120 103rd ave!

Pro-D Opportunity: time-sensitive

The district would like to offer the Introduction to ASD course that is given by the Provincial Outreach Program for Autism and Related Disorders this summer to any interested teachers and Educational Assistants. The course is five days long and the dates it will be offered have not been decided yet. This course could be part of the requirements for an EA to qualify for a level 2 position. In order to offer the course we must have a minimum of twenty participants so if you are interested please let me know ASAP.

Gayla Langmuir

District Special Ed Helping Teacher

Peace River So. SD #59

250-784-6350 (office) 250-219-6350 (cell)

250-782-1470 (FAX)

Pension Presentation April 30th at South Peace

Please read carefully!

As some of you are aware, Victor Choy from the BCTF is coming to Dawson on Sunday April 30.  He will be doing a short information presentation Sunday, April 30th.  People are invited to attend, with refreshments being served starting at 4:30 PM and Victor’s presentation starting near 5 PM (his flight doesn’t arrive in Dawson until 3:55.  His presentation is about 1-2 hours and then he will be available for individual consultations.  Information about what “paper work” you would need before meeting with Victor individually was sent out to Staff Reps at each school a couple of weeks ago.

On Monday May 1 Victor will be doing a re-cap of his presentation on Sunday for those teachers from Tumbler Ridge and Chetwynd wanting to attend.  He will then continue to meet with individuals from 10 AM until 1:20 PM when he needs to prepare to fly out.  We will try to make the slots after his Monday session available to out of town people.  You will need to leave your other PD session, slip out and meet with Victor and then return to your session.

Please, only take Victor’s Monday session if you are from Tumbler or Chetwynd or if there is no way you can attend on the Sunday during the full presentation.

All presentations and consultations will be done at SPSS for both days.

If you are attending Sunday’s Presentation, please let me know as I need an idea of how much “refreshment” is needed that evening!!!

If you wish to have an consultation with Victor please contact me as I have a schedule started.

Elaine Fitzpatrick

BC Election Candidates – Questionnaire

Our Elections Officer, Megan Seymour, has posed the following set of questions to our candidates.

Stephanie Goudie – NDP Candidate – BC Election – Peace River South 2017 – PRSTA Questionnaire

Mike Bernier (BC Liberal Candidate – Peace River South) – has not responded yet.
They will be added as soon as we have his responses!

1. We face significant issues with recruitment of qualified and specialist teachers in our region. This has a direct and detrimental impact on student learning. What policies would you implement to ensure our districts our adequately staffed, and that our students are not getting short-changed?

2. Retention is also an issue that we in the North are facing more and more as young people come into our area, gain a few years of experience, and proceed to move elsewhere in the province or into Alberta to continue their careers. Especially in the case of teachers moving into Alberta it is a case of higher salary with similar or lower cost of living. How would you help ensure that the quality teachers we do recruit stay in our area to raise families, buy houses, and create that consistency for our students?

3. How will you make sure educational inclusion is done effectively in our region?

4. What is your view on class size and composition and how do you plan to ensure that this critical aspect of our education system is guaranteed?

5. How will you fight to make sure teachers have sufficient specialist support and all students are given the support needed to reach their potential?

6. BC is under going a massive shift in its curriculum.What is your view on current assessment practices and how this is reported to parents, guardians, post-secondary institutions, and other stakeholders?

7. With the new, more innovative curriculum, what do you see as important areas to focus funding on as elementary teachers continue to need support and secondary teachers roll it out in their subject areas?

8. Over the last 10 years funding to independent schools has increased 92% while funding to public schools has only increased by 19%(from cbc.ca, Vancouver Sun and Ministry of Education). What is your position on the use of public funds for independent schools?

DCTA AGM June 13th, 2016

Please join us!

3:20PM at Ecole Frank Ross

BCTF is on Youtube

BCTF Youtube Channel
BC’s teachers are working for better schools for our students: smaller class sizes, more support for special needs, and more learning specialist teachers.