School Staff Committees
School staff committees are THE PLACE for teachers to advocate for needs, wants, challenges, issues and changes at a school level.
The right to a school staff committee is enshrined in our collective agreement, under BVTU rights, Section A.22.8.
A.22.8 School Staff Committees
a. A Staff Committee shall be established in each school if the staff so wishes.
b. The size and membership of the Staff Committee shall be determined by the staff except that the Principal or their delegate shall be a member.
c. Staff Committees shall meet to discuss issues relating to the school staff.
d. The Principal and/or Vice-Principal shall consider all recommendations made to them by the Staff Committee.
e. Should recommendations not be acted upon, the Staff Committee will be advised of the reasons and in writing if requested by the committee.
f. Any provisions of this Article are grievable in regard to process only. Process refers to the procedural steps spelled out in this Article A.22.8.
Holding meetings takes time and energy. In assessing whether a staff committee would be of benefit, members can ask themselves if there are issues that individual teachers are bringing to administration about similar topics. If there is consistency in issues that are arising at school, then it might be worth considering making use of the collective agreement right to form a staff committee and bring up challenges in a solutions-oriented way to admin.
Note that this process is enshrined and if it isn't followed is able to be grieved. The results / answers / outcomes of the staff committee meetings aren't.
How can the BVTU help?
- Release time for training to learn from a staff committee handbook.
- Release time to participate in a staff committee training webinar from the BCTF.
- Inititating a grievance where process was not followed.
- General emotional support.
- If a number of staff committees at a number of schools have the same issue, the LP can initiate a solutions-oriented discussion with the district.
- Support from Field Services in Vancouver, or via other locals in BC, to try to identify other creative solutions or avenues if they results / answers / outcomes of the staff. committee meetings aren't deemed appropriate or do not address enough of the challenges, either quantitatively or qualitatively.