January 31, 2020 Message to Members

Negotiation Representation

The BC Principals’ & Vice-Principals’ Association has one critical mandate: to support our members. We do this in the context of leadership development, advocacy and representation. As a learning organization, the BCPVPA is focused on supporting our members – and the sector – with exceptional leadership development opportunities. In a week, our Professional Learning Development Committee and Chapter PLD Representatives will gather for biannual meetings and workshops. I’m looking forward to connecting and engaging in generative learning, and conversations with colleagues from across BC. The focus on instructional leadership is near and dear to my heart!

I also appreciate and recognize the critical role that our members play in their classrooms, schools and communities. It is my pleasure and honour to regularly share your contextual experiences when and where I can. This week is one of those times.

As many of you know, the BC Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) Annual General Meeting is underway, with a representative from each of our 60 School Boards in attendance. Earlier this week I sent each School Board Chair a letter, with the request that they share it with their BCPSEA representative. The letter reminds the representatives of BCPSEA’s January 2019 resolution and commitment to engage in non-binding discussions with the BCPVPA through 2019, with the objective of establishing a structure and process that could identify key terms and conditions of employment. The letter also outlines our Association’s concern that, despite our outreach, those non-binding discussions have not taken place. You can read the letter here.

The BCPVPA’s goal over six years of advocacy has been to achieve a provincial negotiation representation model that will support our members in the negotiation process, eliminate the significant inequities and inconsistencies in Principal’s and Vice-Principals’ contracts throughout the province and ultimately create new efficiencies for both the employer and our members. In essence, your employment contract is a tangible representation of financial security for you and your family. It is a framework that supports your professional capacity, and it is the ultimate safety net for your physical and social-emotional health.

I can circle back to our meetings last week with another important BCPVPA group, the Contract Advisory Committee. Their ongoing support of our members who have contract inquiries or issues with their employment relationships really illuminates the challenges that our members experience in trying to maintain their financial security while at the same time managing increased workplace intensification, supporting students and staff, and being lead learners in their schools.

As Principals and Vice-Principals, we all began our careers first and foremost as educators. That passion for learning and supporting innovation is what energizes us each day. As leaders, we look after schedules, scraped knees, assessment and curriculum implementation and even the odd sidewalk covered with snow, but we lead people, and those people need and deserve your full attention and support every day.

We continue to hear from our members directly, and we’re listening. The BCPVPA will continue our focus on the critical steps in the journey towards negotiation representation so that you can maintain your focus on the important work of leading BC schools and supporting student success. You are all doing such great work.

Take Care,

David