12 comments on “BCTF v BCPSEA: where does this leave me? An administrator’s perspective

  1. Pingback: Check out vpstories.com | Re-Imaging what Learning can be like.

  2. Bryn, thank you for taking the time to give your thoughts regarding the ongoing “dispute”. I’ve wondered how administrators are feeling during this – it must be tough to be caught in the middle. I moved here from Alberta 3 years ago where administrators (right up to the Superintendent) are part of the ATA. When bargaining happens no one is caught in between sides. I believe you that all stakeholders would stand up and fight for the funding that is needed for class size and composition, but based on my experience in AB I feel that the BCTF is right to get it included in the collective agreement. In 2002 AB teachers were on strike trying to improve wages and classroom conditions. They were legislated back to work and stripped of the right to include class size or composition in their collective agreements. The AB government agreed to form a committee to look into classroom conditions. Eventually funding envelopes were provided to lower class sizes, but once the economy took a turn for the worse that funding was taken away again. If the terms are in the collective agreement they would have to be bargained out (not illegally legislated away).

    • Thank you, Jennifer, for making a great case. I actually agree with you about making sure that appropriate funding is in place. I’m still not completely on side with composition in the contract,but I do see your side of this. I do believe that there must be some way that composition ca be within the school act that cannot be removed by the government of the day. I may be just wishful thinking…..

  3. Twelve years of watching senior management teams, trustees, and schools-based admin meekly making cut after cut without a peep leads me to disagree strongly with your utopian ideal that by some miracle those same groups will fight after this round of negotiations for a better funding envelope. Maybe you believe that you would do it, but your provincial association won’t. Try to find an example of once in the last twelve years where the BCPVPA has spoken up for improved funding. If you can find one, I will post a mea culpa. Don’t spend too much time looking, though. You and I both know the answer. Never. Not once.

    • That is a sad take on the situation. I truly believe that all admin would support the move towards a better funding model for all students. I might be naive, but I believe that a lot of people would support a better education for our students.

  4. I guess what should happen then, is the BCPVPA, the BCSTA, the BCPSEA and the BCCPA should all hold a massive joint press conference in which they join in solidarity on the issue of funding with the BCTF. I feel like we are fighting the funding issue alone, perhaps the only body with any power left (for the time being) to force the issue. If no joint voice is raised, teachers will continue to pay the price with perhaps the elimination of their union as the end ‘game’. I appreciate so much that you took the time to write on the issue.

    • I appreciate your comment. I understand the frustration out there around this issue, and I would hope that after this is completed, there would be a united voice on improving the funding model/amount for schools. I see it so much more than just composition of classes, as the needs of the students without IEP’s is also great (for example, mental illness, stress, anxiety).
      Thank you for taking time to respond.

  5. My question then would be, where has the voice of the principals and vice principals association prior to this? I have no doubt of your desire to help in this as I know administrators see the need as clearly as teachers.

    And even if your voice is raised, is there any power? This government ignores public opinion as a matter of course. They ignore school trustees and even just replace them wholesale if they disagree too loudly. Without the power of a union and its negotiations behind it, is there any oomf to the voices raised?

  6. First I am thankful to hear your thoughts. I have struggled with, what I have perceived, is the lack of support from all of the various stakeholders. I understand the desire not to take sides but I read that you have. I don’t believe that teachers see themselves as the “only guardians” of public education, but I do believe that my colleagues and other teachers in our province believe that equitable funding of student needs is the most important way to improve our working conditions. Respectful discussions is going to be key to working together after this is all over, I appreciate that you are willing to have these transparent conversations.

    • Thank you for your comments. I can only hope that after this is all resolved ( whenever that is) that we can all work together to improve student learning and develop a culture of learning (or re-develop)

      • I appreciate and share your hope that everyone will speak out about the future of public education, Bryn. However, as mentioned previously, the voices of administrators have been noticeably absent over the years. As an example, way back in the early 2000’s, a parent-led group called Consortium 43 formed in Coquitlam to try to bring all public education stakeholders together to speak out about the lack of reliable, sustainable, adequate funding. CUPE, CTA, trustees, parents all joined for a period of time. No administrators ever came out. Since then, as a continued advocate, both as a parent and teacher, I still do not hear the voices of administrators, whether it is contract negotiation time, or not. I do hope that you are able to generate some kind of action in BCPVPA so that your voices can be heard. Public education needs to be protected by the general public, but until that public steps up, anyone who can and will speak out are welcomed. I am heartened by the fact that in 2014, many more boards, parents, public and even some media voices are joining with teacher voices. This can only lead to good things for kids.

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