February 21, 2020 Message to Members

A Week of Connections

As I walked to work on Wednesday, I thought about the special pleasure of crisp air and blue skies in February, something that just seems to lift our attitudes and brighten our days. Yesterday’s Board of Directors meeting had a marina-side view, where we joked that we would need to shake up the table-seating halfway through our day so that everyone could have an opportunity to enjoy the scenery.

We are gathered at our host hotel, the River Rock Casino Resort, for a few days of meeting, learning and connecting. Today is our annual BCPVPA Issues Forum, and we’re so pleased to have a ‘sold-out’ crowd: not even standing-room available this year! Our keynote speakers and breakout presenters will share their knowledge on a variety of themes, but overwhelmingly there is a connecting thread that follows leadership in a climate of change, and the resiliency, agility, openness and mindfulness that is needed to carry us through. We are grateful for today’s opportunity to listen and learn, to explore and synthesize, and most importantly to be with our members and friends.

It’s been a week of connections such as these, leading from BC Family Day weekend with a visit to our members in Burnaby (SD41) and meetings in the office on Tuesday, and my meeting with sector leaders on Wednesday. As you are aware, Provincial Negotiation Representation has been at the forefront of the work of the BCPVPA, and it has been – and continues to be – identified by our members as a top Association priority both in our 2017-2020 Strategic Plan, and continuing in our strategic planning process for 2020-2023. In the follow-up to the passing of an amendment to the January 2019 BCPSEA Resolution 0-2 at BCPSEA’s January 2020 AGM, a number of sector leaders reached out to me to initiate a conversation regarding the amended motion. Those conversations led to Wednesday’s meeting with leadership representatives from BCSTA, BCSSA, BCASBO and BCPSEA. I appreciated the opportunity to share with the group some of the challenges that our members experience in the context of the terms and conditions of their personal services contracts. I reiterated that a provincial table continues to be a critical strategic goal for the BCPVPA, and that we are continuing to support and inform our members as we travel along this path.

The discussions in Wednesday’s meeting were collaborative, explorative and very future-outcome-focused. Two significant ‘next steps’ emerged from this dialogue. The first step is to address the amended motion from the 2020 BCPSEA AGM. This will be done through a working group comprised of members from each organization with the intended outcome to develop contract language and best practices necessary to achieve equity of contractual employment conditions for Principals and Vice-Principals. The second step will be to engage in a more comprehensive dialogue to address sector health and its impact on leadership.

These steps are positive opportunities to continue a collaborative dialogue with our key sector partners. I look forward to our next meeting, and working together to discuss system solutions that support equity and address the variability that currently exists in personal services contracts.

As part of our Chapter Council agenda this evening, your Chapter Representatives will have a number of opportunities to enrich their understanding of their colleagues’ provincial experiences through dialogue; to review the historical and legal contexts for negotiation agency; and to ask questions of staff, presenters and each other so that they can directly inform their understanding of this complex and important concept on your behalf.

Please take a minute to further explore the contextual pieces associated with this journey by going to this link on our website. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Kevin Reimer or myself directly. I look forward to the conversations, the dialogue and the important sharing of perspectives.

Take Care,