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President’s message

Sunjum Jhaj photo

By Clint Johnston, BCTF President

Teachers provide safety, consistency, and support for families and colleagues every day, and this work does not go unnoticed.

As you settle into a new school year, I want to thank you for all the work you do in your classrooms, schools, communities, and union. Teachers provide safety, consistency, and support for families and colleagues every day, and this work does not go unnoticed.

The teacher shortage is putting a strain on our public education system right now, and much of this pressure falls on teachers to manage. Thank you for holding our public education system together, even in difficult circumstances. The BCTF will continue to advocate for the improved working and learning conditions we all deserve. We know a comprehensive and funded strategy is needed to improve recruitment and retention, and we will continue to push for this in the school year ahead.

With the Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA) just around the corner, the BCTF will soon be launching our campaign to remove the FSA from public schools in BC. Standardized tests like the FSA do not provide holistic and authentic feedback on student learning, and these tests rarely result in more funding or resources for the students who need it.

In fact, the Fraser Institute’s school rankings based on FSA results are inappropriate, damaging, and unfair to communities around the province. As such, if you are a parent to a child in Grade 4 or 7, I encourage you to withdraw your child from the FSA. To members working in elementary schools, I hope you support your colleagues as they grapple with fitting the FSA into an already packed term. Visit to learn more about the negative impacts of the FSA, and for resources to participate in the campaign against inappropriate standardized testing.

Over the summer break, the Ministry of Education and Child Care finalized their resources to help support the implementation of the new K–12 reporting policy. The resources available to teachers to support the transition to this new reporting order include a webinar series, video presentation, reporting policy guidelines, and educator information sheets. The Federation will continue to relay concerns that arise from members and locals regarding the implementation of the new reporting order.

Lastly, I encourage each of you to familiarize yourselves with your local collective agreement and explore different ways to get involved in your provincial and local union. A union is strong because of its members. Your voice, your opinions, and your engagement matter.

I look forward to working with, and on behalf of, you all this year. I wish you all a great start to the new school year.

In solidarity,

Clint Johnston

BCTF President


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