Elimination of VSB Personnel Committee opposed by all VSB unions, which together represent over 8,000 workers, and ordinary citizens alike
VANCOUVER (Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Territory) - OneCity Vancouver today announced that all VSB unions, representing over 8,000 workers and 200 Vancouverites have come forward to voice concern about changes at the Vancouver School Board (VSB).
The concerns surround the elimination of the standalone Personnel Committee, which is dedicated to the discussion of issues concerning VSB staff. The VSB proposes to merge the Personnel Committee with the Finance Committee.
This is an ill-considered move. With the VSB facing severe staffing challenges and a lack of adequate support for students with special needs, this move would damage the VSB’s ability to address these challenges - as well as damage its ability to hear, directly, from the communities affected.
A petition signed by those 200 Vancouverites will be presented to the VSB tonight - October 30. The move could come before the VSB for a vote as early as tonight.
Multiple organizations have voiced their opposition to this move
"The VSTA believes that a school district with over 8000 employees merits a committee solely dedicated to their welfare, recruitment, and retention. It is also an obligation that we fought for as part of our collective agreement.”
Vancouver Secondary Teachers Association (VSTA) President, Terry Stanway
“Each VSB Standing Committee performs unique functions and we do not support any watering down of their effectiveness by amalgamating them.”
International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 963 President, Tim Chester.
“As a Stakeholder Union on the Personnel Standing Committee, CUPE Local 15 values these meetings and the information that is shared given that we represent a large number of members who are responsible for the care, support and education of children and youth. It is imperative that Trustees have an understanding of what is happening from an employment perspective not just an educational perspective and how they are addressing high burnout and resignations of its employees.”
Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 15 and President, Warren Williams
“VEAES believes that transparency is central to the relationship between stakeholders and the Board. Over the past several years we have seen a steady and significant decrease in the accountability of district decision-making. This has been due to fewer, less consultative meetings, inadequate provision of information, and decrease in public and stakeholder participation. Not only are the standing committees enshrined in our collective agreements, they’re essential parts of how teachers, alongside, parents, other workers, and the public work with the Board. It’s also reductive and insulting to conflate the complexities of the employment relationship and the oversight of all who engage with students and their learning - the VSB’s core mandate - to financial considerations. We want real, meaningful relationships with our employer and elected trustees as teachers, as voters, and as defenders of public education. The personnel committee serves an important role in the VSB’s democratic processes and needs to continue.”
Vancouver Elementary and Adult Educators’ Society (VEAES) President, Jody Polukoshko
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
OneCity Vancouver Communications Committee