By Teri Mooring, BCTF President
The 2020–21 school year truly has been one for the books. Teachers throughout BC have faced unprecedented challenges and stress loads as we have navigated this pandemic together. You have carried more responsibility than ever before—and done so without many of the tools necessary to protect yourselves, your students, and your colleagues.
I am immensely proud of both the advocacy and resilience I have seen from colleagues throughout the province. Together, we have fought for stronger health and safety measures, and raised widespread public awareness of the conditions teachers and students face in our classrooms every day. I also want to acknowledge the locals for their tireless work advocating for members through public and political channels, as well as the Labour Relations Board troubleshooting process.
We continue this important advocacy work every day—at the individual, local, and Federation levels—fighting for safer classrooms, data transparency, portable ventilation systems, and more.
With teacher vaccination programs well underway and mere weeks left in this school year, we are shifting our focus to meaningful enhancements to safety measures for the next school year. Though we are encouraged that the vaccine rollout for teachers is underway, we recognize that the students entering our classrooms in September will not yet be vaccinated. As such, the K–12 Steering Committee is now meeting twice each week, with the second meeting dedicated exclusively to planning for a safe return to schools in September.
I applaud each and every one of you for your strength and tenacity over the past year. You have adapted to the ever-changing conditions, while continuing to centre the needs of your students; and through this you have reaffirmed the integral role of public education in our society and our economy.
I hope you all find time for rest and rejuvenation with your loved ones over the summer. You deserve it!
From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your commitment to BC students.
Stay safe and take care,