Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Teacher bargaining in the news

Janet Steffenhagen has been slowly adding posts on the upcoming round of teacher bargaining. See today's "Report Card" for her latest (http://communities.canada.com/vancouversun/blogs/reportcard/archive/2011/01/25/tough-talk-from-bc-teachers-about-bargaining.aspx).

It has been five years since we last negotiated, and in that time I have seen less funding for schools, more stress and workload on teachers, and no improvements in class sizes or composition and a deterioration of services for students with special needs.

In my District, we are focusing on two objectives - teacher workload and professional rights. Teachers in Victoria are becoming ill from work related stress at an alarming rate. In a five year period, one in ten teachers needs to take a medical leave. This is double the average for similar size Districts. This is just one reason why we need to address local working conditions for teachers.

I will be posting more on teacher bargaining as we progress as I serve on both my local and the provincial bargaining team. For some background, please see an article I co-authored that was published in Teacher Magazine (http://bctf.ca/publications/NewsmagArticle.aspx?id=21166).

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