Read the latest on BC Teachers voting to withdraw extracurricular activities as a message to the provincial government:

Full article in The Vancouver Sun posted by Janet Steffenhagen, The Vancouver Sun April 20, 2012 8:02AM

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Read the latest news on the Vancouver Board of Education and the new Education budget from The Vancouver Sun here.

Vancouver Sun article by By Janet Steffenhagen, Vancouver Sun April 12, 2012

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Read a North Vancouver teacher’s proposal for quality B.C. education and his opinion on the BCTF‘s action plan:

Full article from the Vancouver Sun’s Education Blog, The Report Card here.

Vancouver Sun article by Janet Steffenhagen: April 15, 2012. 3:32 pm • Section: Report CardSTAFF

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Is Our Education System Headed for Success or Failure?

Review the Vancouver Sun’s Education Blog The Report Card for today’s forum of the future of education in British Columbia.

The forum is free: register here.

Guest speakers: 


The Vancouver School Board is has an article on the public opinion’s effect on the future of public education in Vancouver.  Find out more here.

Vancouver School Board Sectoral Review: Our Schools, Our Programs, Our Future pdf here.

The Ministry of Education has put money saved during the BC teacher’s strike towards a learning fund.

Read the full Tyee “The Hook” blog here. Written by Katie Hyslop April 2, 2012 02:45 pm.

Katie Hyslop reports on education and youth-issues for the Tyee Solutions Society“. © The Tyee News

Years of failed negotiations offer government solutions, say former union leaders.

If you need proof that history repeats itself, look no further than the contract negotiations between the provincial government and the B.C. Teachers’ Federation.

Since the New Democratic Party government pushed bargaining from the local to provincial level in 1995, there’s only been one successfully negotiated teacher collective agreement.

During that period legislation has been passed, teachers have walked out, fines have been issued, and classes have been cancelled, and when negotiation time rolls around again both sides profess a desire for change, but change doesn’t happen.

The current case is Bill 22: the Education Improvement Act, which introduces a mediator to the equation, but rules any decision must meet the government’s net-zero mandate, which teachers refuse to accept.

Read The Tyee full article here.

By Katie Hyslop, 26March2012,

The B.C. Teachers’ Federation has warned the Liberal government to radically change its approach to public education or face more protests by teachers, including the possibility of a provincewide shutdown of public schools.

“Our members are angry,” union president Susan Lambert told a news conference a day after she was re-elected to head the organization for another year.

She said delegates who attended the BCTF’s annual general meeting this week drafted a “bold plan of action” that will be presented to 41,000 teachers for a vote April 17-18.

While not divulging full details of the plan, Lambert said it includes asking members if they want to withdraw from all extracurricular activities – as teachers have already done in some school districts – and whether they want to walk a picket line in an illegal strike. She suggested a second vote would be called before such action would be authorized.

Read THE VANCOUVER SUN full article here.

By Janet Steffenhagen, Vancouver Sun March 22, 2012


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The BC Teachers’ Federation executive committee elections this morning saw incumbent President Susan Lambert keep her position, beating out challenger Rick Guenther by 429 votes to 238.

Lambert, a teacher librarian who began her teaching career in Prince Rupert in the early 1970s, has been president of the teachers’ union since 2010. Lambert ran as a part of “The Coalition,” a slate that includes 1st Vice President Jim Iker, who also retained his seat, and 2nd Vice President Glen Hansman, whose seat is being challenged by Stephen Zlotnik, a teacher from Boundary.

Challenger Rick Guenther, an independent member of the BCTF executive, had hoped to unseat Lambert  telling The Vancouver Sun the Coalition had been in power for 10 years and it was time for a change. Guenther campaigned on the platform that the BCTF wasn’t engaging with the government or teacher-associated groups like the BC Coalition of Parent Advisory Councils, and that the teachers’ public image was in need of repair.

Teachers’ rejected that position, however, in favour of Lambert who has received strong support from both teachers and fellow public sector unions like the BC Federation of Labour, the Canadian Union of Public Employees, and several national and international teachers’ unions, during the BCTF’s fight against the Education Improvement Act, which legislates teachers to return to the bargaining table with their employers, and a government approved mediator, to reach a net zero contract agreement by the end of June.

Teachers are supposed to decide today or tomorrow the next steps in their fight against the legislation, which could include everything from withdrawing from extracurricular activities to a full-scale illegal walkout that could cost the union up to $20 million a day in fines.

By Katie Hyslop March 20, 2012 10:42 am – The Tyee Hook Blog

Katie Hyslop reports on education and youth issues for The Tyee and The Tyee Solutions Society.

© The Tyee News

Teachers were planning to distribute leaflets outside B.C. public schools Monday morning at the start of what is likely to be a three-day strike.

Because picketing is not legally permitted in this job action, schools were expected to remain open, with principals, vice-principals and support staff on the job. But almost all districts have cancelled bus services and are urging parents to make other arrangements for their children rather than sending them to school.

“It is not possible for school administrators … to provide appropriate supervision for more than 70,000 students,” Surrey, the province’s largest school district, says in a statement on its website. “Even if just a fraction of the total number of students were to attend, their safety and well-being may be seriously compromised.”

StrongStart Centres and child care programs on school property around the province are not expected to be affected.

The 41,000-member B.C. Teachers’ Federation is striking to show frustration over a lack of progress during year-long bargaining and its opposition to Bill 22, which the government introduced last week to force an end to the dispute and the limited teacher job action that began in September.

“We are simply fed up,” union president Susan Lambert said over the weekend, while apologizing to parents for the inconvenience.

Read full article here.

By JANET STEFFENHAGEN, Vancouver Sun March 4, 2012

Read more education news in The Vancouver Sun’s Report Card

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