Monday, October 24th GVSD Board Meeting - 7:30 pm (556 Boleskine Road - Tolmie building)
The GVTA is inviting all members to attend this meeting where we will bring our concerns to the Board of Trustees. It is very important that our employer recognize the importance of our Letter of Understanding and our autonomy over OUR Professional Development.
Our Professional Development is under threat (again)!
What teachers need to know
The employer has received advice from BCPSEA that our Letter of Agreement - Professional Development Days (the Letter) has "no force or effect" and that we must revert "to the bargained language of the Collective Agreement." This is problematic. Previous to our Letter, there was disagreement and uncertainty about self-directed professional development. In the past, teachers were disciplined for pursuing self-directed professional development and denied opportunities for self-directed professional development. We were told we had to attend admin directed programs on the school-based days.
The vagueness in the language of the Collective Agreement caused problems with teachers accessing self-directed professional development. This led to several grievances that were resolved as a result of our Letter. Our Letter is an agreement on how the Collective Agreement language is applied. We shouldn't have to seek permission from a principal to participate in self-directed professional development.
Why should teachers be concerned?
The superintendent has stated to the GVTA: "I have always respected the language of the various collective agreements I have worked under and will continue to do so." If this is true, why then is our employer now advising that our Letter has no force or effect? We have documentation from the employer, since 2007 until present, showing their adherence and acknowledgement of our Letter. We have nine years of past practice and it has worked well for both parties. We have the support of the BCTF.
Where do we go from here?
If we do nothing, we will lose control of ALL of our Professional Development days. We will be back in a position of uncertainty regarding our rights to access self-directed professional development that is meaningful for us professionally and for our students' learning. If we capitulate on this issue, where will it end? What other signed agreements will the employer come after next?
On Tuesday, October 18 at 3:15 the Staff Rep Assembly (LSRA) will be meeting at Uplands school to discuss our next steps. All members are welcome. The GVTA will update members after this meeting.