At the school/worksite level, there is a site-based Union Team comprised of Staff Reps, Health & Safety Reps, Professional Development Reps, Social & Environmental Justice Reps, Technology Reps, and Working/Learning & Bargaining Reps, and Staff Committee Chair. Reps are elected every year by their Staff Organization.
Staff Representatives represent ALL staff and are the “face of the Union” in the school. They keep staff updated on both Union and District initiatives by disseminating information and holding regular staff organization meetings to promote discussion and union involvement. They are aware of issues of conflict on staff and support members in resolving them as best as possible. They ensure that Staff Committee functions well and is effective and that decisions are made collaboratively. They advocate for members when dealing with administration. They defend the Collective Agreement and uphold the BCTF Code of Ethics. Staff Reps meet from across the district at monthly Council meetings to share information, bring awareness of site issues, and provide feedback and direction to the Executive Committee and BCTF.
Health & Safety Rep
The Health & Safety Rep advocates for colleagues and are the initial representation of members with school administration around health and safety issues. They attend regular VSTA Health & Safety Committee meetings and participate in the school/worksite’s Health & Safety Committee. They provide effective two-way communication between members and VSTA and BCTF and have basic familiarity with WCB and School Board health and safety regulations and procedures.
Professional Development Rep
The Professional Development Rep takes a leadership role in asserting professional rights, defending public education, building member and public support for professional development, facilitating professional learning for teachers as autonomous professionals, advocating for teacher-centered PD, and returning control of PD to teachers. They are also the go-to person for accessing pro-d funding. They also attend regular VSTA Professional Development Committee meetings where they meet with representatives from across the district.
Social & Environmental Justice Rep
The Social & Environmental Justice Rep advocates on behalf of colleagues. They attend regular VSTA Social & Environmental Justice Committee meetings and provide effective two way communication between members and VSTA and BCTF about social justice issues. SEJ Reps work with interested staff members around social and environmental justice issues.
The Technology Rep advocates on behalf of colleagues. They attend regular VSTA Technology Committee meetings and provide effective two way communication between members and VSTA and BCTF about technology issues.
Working/Learning Conditions & Bargaining Reps (2)
The Working/Learning Conditions & Bargaining Reps advocate on behalf of colleagues. They attend regular VSTA W/LC&B Committee meetings and provide effective two way communication between members and the VSTA and BCTF about working/learning conditions issues. They collect data on teachers’ working and learning conditions including class sizes and school staffing and report annually to school’s Staff Committee about issues arising from working and learning conditions surveys and data collection.
The primary function of the Staff Committee is to provide advice to the Principal/Vice-Principal(s) in relation to the operation of the school. It is the school’s only democratic body authorized by the Collective Agreement to provide advice on behalf of the staff.
Vancouver Teachers’ Federation – Staff Committee Language as per the Collective Agreement
A.5.c. Staff Committee
There shall be established in each school, at the beginning of each school year, a Staff Committee. Such Committee shall operate without derogating the duties and authority vested in the Principal/Vice-Principal pursuant to the School Act and School Act Regulations. Labour Relations Code and/or, subject to the provisions of the Collective Agreement, the policies of the Board.