November Editorial

Uncertainty appears to be the theme this year. We have been two and a half months without a Collective Agreement and have received a Mediator’s Report which holds true to government mandates and provides little for teachers and students. It is a fact that teachers’ working conditions are student learning conditions. We want what is best for teachers and for students; the recommendations in the Mediator’s Report do not meet these needs.

Not only are students in BC funded less than students in other provinces, but we are now dealing with a proposed Prevalence Model of Funding which could put BC students even further behind. The Prevalence Model breaks the tie between funding and student needs. Instead of funding students with special needs based on their categories, the Ministry would provide the district with a pot of money based on the “prevalence” of certain categories in the geographic area. The district would then have the “flexibility” to assign funds to where they feel the support is needed most. This method of funding puts much greater pressure on parents and teachers to advocate for the needs of their students.

With all of this uncertainty, what can we do?
• Wear Red for BCED – every Friday, until the signing of a new Collective Agreement, teachers are encouraged to wear red to show their support for BC Education
• Email – continue to email John Horgan, Carole James, and Rob Fleming to express your concerns about provincial bargaining and the prevalence funding model
• Attend – the CTA will be holding a Special General Meeting on November 19, 2019 at GW Graham Secondary where Kip Wood, BCTF Executive member, will be providing an update on provincial bargaining and will be answering your questions
• Talk to parents – about the underfunding of public education, the Prevalence funding model, and lack of supports for students with special needs
• Talk to Trustees – email your concerns regarding educational issues to school district trustees (please do not disparage the employer)
• Participate – the CTA will be organizing public events around the community to promote public education

In Solidarity,
Ed, Danielle, and Reid