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STA Connection
October 15-18, 2019

Rookie staff reps! We have added another day of training for rookies who didn’t get a chance to attend the first one. Please register now for Oct 16th.
Register Now

Call for Resolutions to the BCTF AGM

As you may know, BCTF policy is ultimately created by its members through the AGM, so locals are encouraged to submit resolutions.
If any policy adopted through a resolution were traced back to its source, its origin would probably be in the mind of an individual member, who concluded, as a result of experience or of reflection on problems confronting members, that BCTF policy was lacking or deficient on a particular issue. Every individual member can therefore initiate policy. In other words, if you have a good idea for the BCTF, this is your opportunity to put it forward.
Please submit your idea by October 17 using our resolution form to the STA office at courier #000, or fax: 604-594-5176, attention: Resolutions Committee. You can also send ideas by email to Jatinder Bir at

STA Committee Elections at STARA October 23

Committee elections will be occurring at upcoming STARA meeting on Wednesday, October 23 at Eagle Quest Golf. Check out Standing Committees Vacancies. 
•    If you are interested in putting your name forward, please let Julia know at It is helpful to have the nominations in advance.
•    If you want to know more about what the different committees do, or who is already on the committees, please consult our website or give us a call at (604) 594-5353.

The Anti-Poverty Committee in particular is looking for new members. This committee supports schools' initiatives to address poverty in our Surrey students. In the past we have co-sponsored mini-conferences on poverty issues, examined issues of families who are refugees, and many other events and supports. If you are interested in joining the committee, please contact Julia MacRae at

Who Speaks for You at the BCTF?

The BCTF Representative Assembly (RA) meets three or more times per year, and is second only to the Annual General Meeting as a decision-making body. Elected representatives from each local attend and vote on behalf of their members in the decisions, that the RA makes. Local presidents also attend and can speak, but cannot move motions or vote. The Fall RA will be on November 1-2, and there will be important decisions made there about provincial bargaining. Any member may attend and speak, but cannot move motions or vote.

Surrey has six Local Representatives (“Local Reps”, or “LRs”) who will be representing you at RAs:
  • Kevin Amboe (IST, David Brankin)
  • Lizanne Foster (Queen Elizabeth)
  • Rick Kumar (Salish, and also representing Adult Education Teachers)
  • Isaac Louie (Hall’s Prairie)
  • Angela Marcakis (Creekside)
  • Pauline Veto (Queen Elizabeth)

It is helpful to the LRs in their work to hear from STA members about their views on provincial issues, such as bargaining. If you wish to contact your LRs, you can email them at and they will all receive the message. (Please use your personal email, so the message will not be on the employer’s system.) All emails will be read, but it may take time to receive a response, depending upon the volume of messages received.

Changes to Extended Health Benefits for TTOCs

In response to a recent arbitration regarding extended health benefits (EHB), BCPSEA has unilaterally created a new provincial plan specifically for TTOCs. This plan is administered by Pacific Blue Cross (PBC) and is only for TTOCs and not contract teachers. While the new plan provides the same coverage as the regular provincial plan, the BCTF is concerned that the new plan for TTOCs contains changes to premiums and additional restrictive terms. 
Despite our concerns, because there is a deadline of October 31 to apply to PBC for coverage, it is very important that TTOCs submit their application forms as soon as possible and arrange to remit payment directly to PBC. Any late applicants have to provide evidence of good health and may be denied EHB coverage due to medical conditions. See the attached documents for more information.

October 25 is PSA Pro-D Day!

On Friday, October 25, Provincial Specialist Associations will be putting on a variety of professional development conferences around the province. You can choose to attend any of these or you can also choose to do self-directed professional development. A list of all the available PSA conference is available on the BCTF website.

Calling all Union Troublemakers!

The STA would like to send some Surrey teachers to hone their activist skills! If you are interested in a unique opportunity to learn some campaign methods from some union brothers and sisters south of the border, please feel invited to attend the first ever Labor Notes Troublemakers school in Vancouver. We have set aside funding for 20 attendees. Check out for more information, and let Julia know by email to that you would like to attend. The event is on October 26, 2019.
October 29th is the day when we will be hosting our popular new teachers’ conference here at the STA. If you are a new teacher (first or second year, not just new to the district!) you haven’t already attended this last year) please feel invited to sign up to attend. It is so great to meet our new colleagues to welcome them to the profession. The teachers will receive a series of orientations throughout the day to various aspects of the services the union offers them, and the rights they can assert.

We review topics such as preparing for your first year evaluation, how to understand your paycheque, Pro D opportunities, and legal pitfalls for teachers. You will be inducted them into the provincial union; each teacher will receive a certificate and a pin. Sign up for our New Teachers Conference now! We want to offer this to as many as new teachers as possible, and may rent a larger venue if we have enthusiastic registration numbers!
Register Now

STA Mediation Service

Your STA Executive Committee will appoint up to 2 Surrey teachers to the STA Mediation Service. Successful applicants are appointed for a three-year renewable term. Release time will be provided to attending training in conflict resolution and mediation, as well as to conduct mediation sessions. 
More information about the service can be found here. Teachers can apply using the STA Curriculum Vitae form

Opportunity for Special Education Teachers

Are you interested in joining ASSET, a local specialist association for Surrey special education teachers? They have monthly meetings to discuss issues relating to inclusion, professional development, IEPs, and supporting student needs, health and wellness. Contact Melanie Miki at for more information.

Failure To Fill

The STA has filed a grievance regarding the District’s practice to direct non-enrolling teachers to cover failure to fill for classroom teachers. The STA is therefore collecting data to support this grievance by requesting that staff reps regularly report failures to fill. In an effort to make this task as quick and efficient as possible, we have created a new format for reporting failures to fill. Please report failures to fill at your school.


The process of looking at possible variances to the school day for 2020 – 2021 secondary classes has begun. Secondary staff reps should have received information and application forms that we ask be forwarded to the Fine Arts Department Head and any other interested teachers. The forms need to be completed and returned to the STA office by November 15, 2019. Read More

TTOC Experience Transfer Credit Deadline Nov. 15

Your pay increment (step level) is based on your teaching experience. Contract teachers move up one step on the pay scale after 10 months of full-time experience. Incremental increases take place automatically on September 1 and January 1 each year.

 The next incremental increase will be January 1, 2020. Contract teachers should have their form into Payroll, no later than November 15, 2019, in order to receive an increase on January 1, 2020.  If there’s any confusion, or you have questions, please contact Mark Keelan at the grieve@surreyteachers.orgRead more

Do you have any PORTABLES on your school property?

If yes – is there access from the portable to a washroom facility which is “not more than 60 metres (200feet) walking distance”? We are asking for your help in collecting this data/feedback – which would be used to ensure that our members have access and availability to suitable facilities at every worksite.
Please report your findings to the STA Health & Safety officer, Dana Neidig at

October 18 is Person’s Day

In Canada, the British North America Act (BNA Act) of 1867 used the word “persons” when referring to more than one person and “he” when referring to one person. Many argued the Act implicitly stated that only a man could be a person, which prevented women from participating fully in politics or affairs of state. Governments also used the “persons” argument to keep women out of important positions, that only “qualified persons” could be appointed to the Senate of Canada meant that only men could be appointed. Read More

World Food Day

World Food Day, on October 16, marks a day to take action against hunger with the goal of ensuring food security and nutritious diet for all. The BCTF World Food Day poster offers elementary lesson plans. Additional resources can be found on the FAO World Food Day.

Reconciliation Through Indigenous Education

Beginning October 15, this free 6-week guided online course helps us to understand Indigenous histories, perspectives, and world views.
Register Now

World Teachers’ Day Feedback

Did you have a chance to attend any of our World Teachers’ Day events on Friday, October 4? We are always looking for ways to improve this event, and would love to hear any feedback you may have regarding the registration, location, day of the week, appetizers ordered, prizes given, or anything else! Please feel free to email the event coordinator, Angela Marcakis, at

We want to publish YOU!

We are looking for articles to publish in our bimonthly Surrey teacher magazine, The Advocate, and we would love to feature your ideas! We know Surrey teachers are doing great work in their schools and communities. Please feel free to contact Angela Marcakis at for more information.

Shout Out!

We are so proud to be Surrey Teachers and we know there are amazing things happening around the district that we would love to hear about. In the spirit of acts of kindness, we would love for our members to send us a “shout out” about a colleague who inspires you and who you think deserves recognition, whether it is for their kindness, a great resource they shared recently, or an awesome lesson they teach. 
This week’s shout out is from Amanda Van Garderen to Todd Alexander: 
“I'd like to send a "shout out" to Todd Alexander. Todd brings a contagious energy to his classroom and his oral storytelling puppet unit is out of this world!” 

Thank you Amanda, you and Todd are now entered into our monthly draw for a $25 Indigo! gift certificate. Please submit your “shout outs” to Angela via to spread the kindness around our local and for your chance to win a gift card too!

Upcoming Events

October 15 - Executive Committee
October 16 - World Food Day
October 16 - STA Rookie Staff Rep Training
October 16 - Staff Committee Chair Training
October 16 - Finance Committee
October 16 - Indigenous Education Committee
October 17 - Labour Affairs Committee
October 17 - Resolutions Committee
October 18 - Persons Day
October 18-19 - BCTF Fall Zone Meeting
October 21 - Peer Support Training
October 22 - Resolutions Committee
October 22 - Staff Committee Chair Training
October 22 - Resolutions Committee
October 23 - STARA @ Eagle Quest Golf
October 25 - PSA Pro-D Day
October 26 - Troublemakers Workshop
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Surrey Teachers' Association · 201, 9030 King George Boulevard · Surrey, BC V3V 5V9 · Canada

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