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More than 650 teachers from across British Columbia are in Vancouver to vote on their leadership and priorities during the BC Teachers’ Federations’ 108th Annual General Meeting (AGM).

The AGM is the largest of three governance bodies that make decisions and guide the union’s direction on behalf of BC’s 50,000 teachers. This year’s AGM comes as the Federation prepares for bargaining and a provincial election amidst an acute teacher shortage.

President Clint Johnston emphasized the importance of solidarity in his opening speech on Saturday night.

“Solidarity is the fabric that binds us together. It gives us our very power, and determines the volume of our collective voice,” Johnston said.

Some key issues, like workload, haven’t gone away since the last round of bargaining, and the global teacher shortage is threatening to make it worse, Johnston said.

However, with a new round of bargaining beginning soon, he told members there is an opportunity to fight for better. Government has acknowledged there is a teacher shortage—it’s time for political leaders to take it seriously now with a fully funded workforce strategy that tackles not only recruitment but retention.

“It’s time to create the working conditions for teachers that will result in the learning conditions for kids that will allow them to thrive,” he said.

“We know teachers have the most important job in BC: shaping our future. Let’s work together, in solidarity, to make sure the public and our decision-makers understand that too.”

The AGM runs from Saturday through Tuesday at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Over the four-day event, delegates will vote on issues ranging from education policy and finance to the health, welfare, and safety of teachers. They will also elect their Executive Committee for the next year.

The union welcomes special guest speakers Sheryl Burns, General Vice-President of CUPE; Sussanne Skidmore, President of the BC Federation of Labour; Heidi Yetman, President of the Canadian Teachers’ Federation; and Arnie Lambert, President of the BC Retired Teachers’ Association.

For media inquiries please contact:

Amy Smart
Assistant Director, Media and Public Relations
Communications and Campaigns
Cell: 604-340-1959

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Category/Topic: News & Updates