VSTA Connect – January 21, 2022

January 21, 2022

Dear Colleague,

End of Semester One is near!  As we continue to navigate our work demands during an ever-changing pandemic, remember to make space for grace for yourself; you are doing the best you can.

In this week’s VSTA Connect there is pertinent information for Indigenous Teachers, New Teachers, and BIPOC Teacher engagement. Also please register now for the VSTA General Meeting.

Inhale:  I will not forget myself
Exhale: I deserve to exhale



VSTA General Meeting via Zoom Tuesday, January 25, 4:00 pm

BCTF AGM delegates will be elected at this meeting and we will consider a motion to vacate our current building.
Voting will be conducted online using Simply Voting. The BCTF will manage the motions and the election for the GM.  Members who are registered will receive their voting link on the morning of January 25 with further details to follow. Advance registration is required. GM registration deadline is Monday, January 24 9:00 am.  Register here.

Call for Scrutineers for VSTA Delegate Election for the BCTF AGM - 2 positions

The election for delegates will take place at the VSTA GM on Tuesday.  Indicate your interest to fill one of two positions by emailing kim@vsta.ca before 4:00 pm TODAY, January 21. If more than two members apply, we will draw names to fill the positions.  A brief but mandatory training session will occur on Monday, January 24 at 3:15 pm via Zoom.

Talking Circle

The BCTF is looking to engage VSTA BIPOC community members in a Talking Circle around the relationship between police and school practices and a broader conversation around creating and sustaining safety in Vancouver schools. The Talking Circle will be grounded in Indigenous ceremony and cultural practices and lead by an Indigenous community leader. Register here by February 1st.

Contracting COVID-19

If you have or have recovered from COVID-19, the COVID-19 infection coincides with your role as a teacher, and you are missing or missed work due to this condition, you are encouraged to apply for WCB using the Teleclaim Service (1-888-WORKERS). This applies to teachers regardless of employment status (Continuing, Temporary, TTOC, etc.). A claim supported by WCB could result in the reversal of lost sick days due to contracting COVID-19 at the worksite. 

Refusal of Unsafe Work

Please contact the office if you believe that a refusal of unsafe work is merited at you school.  A flow chart outlining the Refusal of Unsafe Work is here.  Workers in BC have the right to refuse unsafe work. Section 3.12 of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation spells out the right of a worker to refuse work if there is reasonable cause to believe it would create an undue hazard to their health and safety. An “undue hazard” would include a condition at the workplace that may expose a worker to an excessive or unwarranted risk of injury or occupational disease. During COVID-19, an “undue hazard” would be one where a worker’s job role places them at increased risk of exposure and adequate controls are not in place to protect them from that exposure. 

Indigenous Educators Committee Meeting February 9, 4:00 pm via Zoom

You are invited to a meeting on February 9th from 4-5:00 pm. The purpose of this meeting to set goals for the rest of the year. Please email Liz@vsta.ca to register for this meeting.

New and Early Career Teachers

The BCTF is offering a New ad Early Career Teacher around opportunities for professional growth and how to access funds through Collective Agreements. There will be guest speakers and breakout rooms offered in English and in French.  Please register here

Mental health resources for students

The BCTF is seeking 10 members to work with the Ministry of Education to enhance mental health resources available for students K-12. This project will involve four full days of collaboration time to review, modify, and endorse the key principles and strategies for K–12 Mental Health Promotion in School. Registration closes on January 26, please see here.

Digital version

Click here for digital version.