BC Teachers Gathered in Vancouver
Prince George, B.C. – The BC Teachers Federation is holding its 100th Annual General Meeting in Vancouver with more than 700 delegates from across the province in attendance.
The meeting kicks off a year-long celebration of the BCTF’s 100th anniversary and will culminate in Monday’s election of a new president as Jim Iker steps down this June following three years in the top position. Elections will also be held Monday for first vice-president, second vice-president and four members-at-large.
President of the Prince George District Teachers Association, Richard Giroday, says on Saturday night delegates heard from the candidates running for president and first and second vice. Glen Hansman is the lone candidate for the presidency while Teri Mooring looks to become first VP. Giroday says the election of second vice-president will be interesting with three candidates in the running. There are seven contenders for the four members-at-large positions.
Giroday says delegates have been discussing aboriginal curriculum, working to improve classroom conditions, public education funding, child poverty and restoration of public services. And he says they received a powerful welcome from Musqueam Elder and Knowledge Keeper Shane Pointe, who is also an Elder-in-Residence with the Vancouver School Board.
Giroday says CUPE BC President Paul Faoro made two noteworthy comments while addressing delegates last night: that properly funded education is the great equalizer in our society, and that the Clark government has given the wealthy $215 million in tax cuts while at the same time cutting bus passes for the disabled.
This afternoon at 2 pm the keynote address will be delivered by Stephen Kakfwi, former Premier of the Northwest Territories, Dene leader and residential school survivor.
Meantime the longest break of the school year is now underway in District 57. As of this past Friday, students in the district have a total of seventeen days off. That includes Spring Break, running from March 14th to the 24th, and then Friday the 25th, Good Friday and the 28th, Easter Monday. Students will also get a long weekend in April with non-instructional days scheduled for Friday the 22nd and Monday April 25th.