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 VANCOUVER–As teachers and other educators across BC began receiving materials by mail regarding the upcoming BC Teachers’ Council elections, they were frustrated to discover that the actual ballots were not included in the mail-out.

“It’s very disappointing that the Teacher Regulation Branch made such a fundamental mistake, one that will create confusion and wastes thousands of dollars in mailing costs,” BCTF President Jim Iker said today. 

The BC Teachers’ Council is part of the Teacher Regulation Branch and oversees the standards for teacher education, certification, and conduct. Most positions on the Council are appointed, but five are elected by all teaching certificate holders, including teachers in the public and private systems, principals, and superintendents. This year, elections are being held in the Vancouver Island Zone, the Coastal Vancouver Zone, and the Fraser Zone. Candidates in the Interior and Northern zones were acclaimed.

“The election timeline for the BC Teachers’ Council is actually very tight with spring break approaching and a hard deadline to mail ballots back in,” said Iker. “Our concern is that this bungled process could end up creating confusion and ultimately reducing participation. The Teacher Regulation Branch should extend the voting deadline to ensure the process is fair for all certificate holders, no matter where they live.”

Iker has expressed his concerns to Education Minister Peter Fassbender directly, asking him to extend the voting deadline. The BCTF hopes the minister will follow through on that request.

“It’s unfortunate that the Teacher Regulation Branch, a government body, has wasted thousands of dollars in this mix-up that could have been spent on hundreds of needed textbooks or basic supplies for students across the province. At a time when the provincial government is forcing school districts to cut $54 million over the next two years, this kind of waste is unacceptable.”   

Iker encouraged concerned BC teachers to contact the Teacher Regulation Branch office at 604-660-6060 or 1-800-555-3684.

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For more information, contact Rich Overgaard, BCTF media relations officer, at 604-871-1881 (office) or 604-340-1959 (cell).

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