VSTA Connect – January 28, 2022

January 28, 2022
Dear Colleagues,

Gung Hey Fat Choy! Gong Xi Fa Cai! Happy Lunar New Year to all of our members. We wish you all a prosperous new year full of good fortune and health with good food, family, and friends. As we approach second semester, the VSTA/BCTF calendar has many opportunities for members to engage with the union and the employer.


Thank you to all of the members who ran as delegates for the spring AGM and thank you to the members who showed up to participate in our Association’s democratic process.  The delegation to the 2022 BCTF AGM include our Local Reps: Nikitha Fester, Carmen Schaedeli and Jonathan Wynn along with the elected members:

Jelana Bighorn, VT  
Russell Cripps, PW  
Lindsay Donaldson, VT  
Treena Goolieff, VSTA  
Shannon Less, BRIT  
Sylvia Metzner, TTOC  
Sarah Ng, BRIT  
Roderick Ofreneo, VT  
Tina Quan, MGEE  
Nigel Reedman, VT  
Alyssa Reid, VSTA  
Katharine Shipley, DIST  
John Silver, JO  
Terry Stanway, VSTA  
Jesse Taylor, MGEE  
Kathryn Walks, JO  
Preet Lidder, WIND Alternate
Irving Lau, JO Alternate
Indigenous Education

There will be a meeting on Wednesday, February 9, 2022 for VSTA members who self-identify as Indigenous. Please email liz@vsta.ca to register. The meeting will take place via Zoom. 

Talking Trash with SEJ

All member are invited as guests to hear Louise Schwarz, co-owner of Recycling Alternative, talk about trash and the ways we handle it in our schools, and in our city. Louise has been in the recycling business for over thirty years and she brings a depth of knowledge to this topic. Email kim@vsta.ca by Monday, January 31st, noon, if you would like to attend the Social and Environmental Justice meeting on Tuesday, February 1, 4:00 pm via Zoom.

Reconciliation in Action

The VSTA has put together a 25-copy book club set of 21 Things you May Not Know about the Indian Act by Bob Joseph. Joseph is the founder of Indigenous Corporate Training Inc. and an initiated member of the Hamatsa Society and has inherited a chief’s seat in the Gayaxala (Thunderbird) clan, the first clan of the Gwawa’enuxw one of the 18 tribes that make up the Kwakwaka’wakw.

VSTA members are encouraged to use this book club set to deepen the conversation around Reconciliation at their school sites. The book club tub will be ready for use by March and will be delivered to your school by blue bag.  Here is how it works

  • You plan your own book club discussion with your staff. There are excellent discussion questions at the back of the book.
  • Share your own book club questions and prompts in the folder that will travel with the book club tub.
  • The book club is for staff to use.
  • You have the books for one month and then we ask that you return them to the VSTA office via the blue bag.
  • Request the tub by contacting alyssa@vsta.ca
Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) – Seeking Feedback

The Employer is exploring improvements to EFAP and would like your input.  If you have accessed the program anytime in the past, and you are willing, please fill out the following anonymous survey.

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 lead by an Indigenous community leader. Register here by February 1st.

In Solidarity,
Treena, Terry and Alyssa