On behalf of your K-12 Presidents Council executive, I want to wish everyone a healthy and happy New Year! With vaccines now being rolled out in B.C., hopefully 2021 will be a brighter and safer year for all.
We hope everyone had a re-energizing winter break.
We all need to diligently follow the guidance of the PHO: keep physical distancing wherever possible, wear masks if not possible; wash hands frequently; stay home if feeling at all unwell. As Dr. Bonnie Henry says, no one approach will stop COVID-19, we need to use all of our “layers of protection”.
Your K-12 Presidents Council committees continue to meet with the provincial government regarding COVID-19 and how it relates to K-12.
In safety and solidarity,
K-12 Presidents Council President
Local surveys coming soon
As part of the Provincial Support Staff Framework Agreement, CUPE and BCPSEA on behalf of the K-12 Presidents Council, have developed two surveys to be distributed within the next week:
Joint Health and Safety survey
Responses to the Joint Health and Safety survey will inform further work of the Health and Safety Taskforce. This survey will be completed by a support staff member (the local support staff union may identify a support staff individual) as well as a representative from management (who serves on the school/site JHSC).
Support Staff Education Committee survey
The Support Staff Education Committee (SSEC) survey responses will help define priorities for, and interest in, support staff training and upgrading. This survey will help inform the work of the SSEC over the next two years.
District remote learning survey
On January 8, districts will be given access to a survey about the current state of district transition programs created for families not ready to send students back for full-time in-class instruction.
We also need to know how many K-12 Presidents Council members are working remotely. We are asking local presidents to contact their districts to find out how many members are working remotely with students.
Please email this information to your coordinators and copy K-12 Presidents Council President Warren Williams.
Federal grant money being released to districts
According to a B.C. Government media release on December 21, K-12 COVID-19 funding is being used to hire additional staff and increase cleaning in schools throughout B.C.
“We know this funding is making a tremendous difference for students and staff, keeping our schools open and supporting our safety plans during the pandemic,” said Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside.
New positions created include:
- 252 educational assistants and 228,491 more staff hours
- 403 additional custodial staff and 575,885 more staff hours
- 244 additional staff including
bus drivers and 202,744 more staff hours
We will continue to advocate that these additional staff and hours be maintained after COVID-19 has ended.COPE 491