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CCTA Reaffirms Non-Confidence Motion in SD27

The Cariboo Chilcotin Teachers’ Association (CCTA) has reaffirmed its motion of non-confidence in School District 27 that is expected on Friday to release its’ response to a report by Ministry appointed official Dianne Turner.

Re-elected CCTA President Murray Helmer says that the motion was reaffirmed at their annual general meeting last week.

“The Ministry released data about a month ago with the restoration of the contract language from the Supreme Court,” he says noting that six teachers were laid off.

“Almost every District within the Province has seen improvements to class sizes, improvements to the number of special need students in classes, and we are one of those aberrations where things have not gotten better but are deteriorating over time.”

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Helmer adds that he is convinced there will be teachers who will not be here next year because of the situation that they encounter.

“They have a lot more difficult situations to deal with in this District and other Districts have smaller class sizes, have more resources for classrooms and that’s obviously a lure for teachers who are struggling here.”

School District 27 said in a media release that it will be holding a news conference on Friday with  Board of Education Chair Tanya Guenther, Superintendent Mark Wintjes and Secretary-Treasurer Kevin Futcher providing opening statements.

“The Board of Education of School District No. 27 will on Friday, May 25 make its response report to the Minister of Education public. The response report will provide the Minister with information in response to concerns brought to him by the CCTA,” said Board of Education Chair Tanya Guenther during the public Board meeting held on May 22.

“Earlier this year, the Minister had directed education specialist Dianne Turner to meet with staff and other stakeholders regarding the CCTA’s concerns. Ms. Turner submitted her assessment of the concerns to the Minister, and, in turn, we were asked to respond by May 31st.  Again, our response report will be made public on Friday and it will be posted to the District’s website.”

Helmer says he is not certain if that is an appropriate measure.

“I think if the Ministry has made recommendations they should be looking at them seriously and adopting them if they are designed to improve the situation in the District. And right now it needs a lot of improvement,” he says.

“Turner who was dispensed to the Vancouver District and ended up replacing that Board and Superintendent, and restructured that District has been here for a long time. We’ve had a lot of our educational stakeholder groups talking to her, we spoke with her, the administrators spoke to her, District staff spoke to her. They all brought forward their concerns and she collated it into a report and it would be really interesting to know what her findings are and what her recommendations are and so far we are unable to get that information.”

“I’m meeting with the leadership of the BCTF this weekend to talk to them about whether they can influence that process or not.”

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