BCTF Online Museum

BCTF History Articles and Videos

Langley teachers plaque

Bargaining and collective agreements

So that's the way it happened

Ken Novakowski outlines key events in the development of the BCTF's ability to bargain the salaries of teachers.  He focuses on the New Westminster strike of 1921 and the Langley dispute in 1939-40.

Gaining full bargaining rights

Ken Novakowski says "It happened in 1987. B.C. teachers gained full collective bargaining rights. And the grantor was a most unlikely politician—Social Credit Premier Bill Vander Zalm."

The Hidden Legacy of Connie Jervis

Marcy Toms writes about an elementary teacher from Langley who, with colleagues, stood up to the school board when it refused to accept the decision of an arbitration board on teacher salaries.  The result was a change in the law, forcing school districts to implement the rulings of arbitration boards.

Connie Jervis—a video story of gaining bargaining rights in the 1930s

Gaining the right to arbitration was a result of struggle by women in Langley under the leadership of Connie Jervis, as told in this video from The Knowledge Network and the Labour Heritage Society. Scroll down page to view Connie Jervis video.

Teacher rights and benefits:  Building on our past

Ken Novakowski gives a summary of key bargaining events building to the bargaining in 1999 which produced the collective agreement that was stripped by the BC Liberal government in 2002 and restored by the Supreme Court in 2016. Teacher Newsmagazine Volume 12, Number 1, September 1999

BCTF action in an historical perspective

Ken Novakowski  frames the successful illegal strike of 2005 in the context of other times that it was necessary for the BCTF to take a drastic action in response to government actions harmful to education and to teachers.


ProD teachers

Curriculum and professional development

Historical perspectives: Teachers, curriculum, and the BCTF

Ken Novakowski outlines a history of the BCTF's engagement in the development in the provincial curriculum.  The article is from 2006, before the significant contribution of BCTF appointed teachers in the curriculum changes that started in 2014.

Involvement: The Key to Better Schools—
“The report of the commission on education of the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation”

The BCTF played a key role in capturing the ideas of the 1960s that would frame education development in BC over the next decade, in particular. While most “commissions” on education have had government’s official stamp, the BCTF commission in 1968 broke the pattern. Four teachers and BCTF staff traveled the province and received hundreds of oral and written submissions about where education should go in the future. 


Solidarity Strike image

Solidarity movement–1983

Operation Solidarity 30 years later 

Ken Novakowski  looks at the impact on the BCTF of Operation Solidarity and the strike in 1983 on the development of the BCTF and protecting the rights of teachers.

The Effect of the 1983 Solidarity Movement on the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation

Labour historian, Andy Hanson, presented this paper about Solidarity at the conference of the Canadian History of Education Association in 2016.  Hanson is writing a history of the BCTF.

The solidarity strike of 1983

Ken Novakowski writes about what he saw as "the most significant week of BCTF history in our lifetime."  The BCTF played an important role in a public sector strike, with both gains and challenges.

Solidarity

This is a 3-minute video produced by the Labour Heritage Centre and the Knowledge Network about the Solidarity movement.
Scroll to the end of the page to view Solidarity.


Common Cause: The Story of the Operation Solidarity Coalition

Produced in 1984 by Barna-Alper Productions, National Union of Provincial Government Employees and Operation Solidarity. This video tells to story of the 1983 Solidarity strike in BC.