British Columbia

B.C. Interior teacher's association passes non-confidence motion in school board and superintendent

The Cariboo-Chilcotin Teacher's Association has passed a non-confidence motion in school district 27's superintendent, secretary-treasurer and the entire board of trustees.

Citing concerns over personnel, finances, class sizes

The Alberta Teacher Association says 12 core classes offered in various schools throughout the province had more than 44 students during the 2017/2018 school year.

The Cariboo-Chilcotin Teacher's Association has passed a motion of non-confidence in the superintendent, secretary treasurer and board of trustees of school district 27 in B.C.'s Interior.

The association cites concerns of personnel practices, financial mismanagement and failure to comply with the Supreme Court ruling around class size for its decision.

"Teachers are into almost their fourth month of the school year dealing with situations they shouldn't have to be facing" said Murray Helmer, president of the Cariboo-Chilcotin Teacher's Association.

Helmer said the teacher's association has tried to work through issues through consultations, meetings and party dispute resolution processes, but none of those have been able to resolve concerns.

Tanya Guenther, chair of school district 27's board of trustees, said the district has heard about the association's concerns about communications, but would not address the specific issues around personnel, financial management and class size.

"The board does not respond to stakeholders or debate issues through the media," Guenther told CBC's Shelley Joyce on Daybreak Kamloops.

"There are a number of avenues in which any of our stakeholders can address concerns," she said.

 "I would recommend the CCTA continue to use the avenues identified in the collective agreement."

School District 27 superintendent Mark Wintjes said he and the board have been in discussions about how concerns can be resolved.  

"There's an issue, and we need to spend some time looking at how we can build relationships with the union," he said.

"In collective agreements, there are interpretations, and we have one interpretation, and they may have a different one. There's respectful processes that allow the partners to get together to discuss them."

District secretary-treasurer Kevin Futcher said Helmer hasn't raised the concerns around financial management directly with him. 

"There's a serious connotation attached to an accusation of financial mismanagement," Futcher said. 

"At this point, the teacher's union or Murray Helmer have not provided me with any evidence of such mismanagement so I'm not able to make a comment until such time as he or the union provides substance to the allegations."

Futcher said the school board's financial records are carefully reviewed, by the Ministry of Education and other entities. 

This isn't the first time the Cariboo-Chilcotin Teacher's Association has passed a non-confidence motion in the school board.

In 2016, Helmer says the executives passed a similar motion, but this time it's the membership that has raised concerns and asked the association to get involved in creating change.

With files from Daybreak Kamloops