Teachers respond

It is necessary to clarify points made by Vernon School District chairperson Bill Turanski in a recent article.

RE: Cash lacking for professional days (July 1)

It is necessary to clarify points made by Vernon School District chairperson Bill Turanski in a recent article.

Chairperson Turanski says that professional development funding comes out of the district’s operating budget, which comes from per student funding. According to him, funding teacher professional development at a comparable level to other school districts of our size and location in this province would cost “an additional half-a-million dollars”. Perhaps Chairperson Turanski would like to explain how, according to a 2010 budget line item called professional development and travel $357,561 (of a budgeted $617,344) was spent. In 2009, it was $433,969. Of this amount, only $91,000 is provided to teachers. How would increasing funds for teachers to stay current, cost an additional half a million dollars?

Although teachers have the option of two days paid time to attend a conference, many don’t use these because they can’t afford the cost of the conference, workshop or travel.

The two local conferences that were available to teachers last year were planned and funded by the Vernon Teachers’ Association and member fees. Again, we are paying for and funding our own professional development.

Chairperson Turanski also states that the amount of money teachers receive for professional development is a “locally negotiated” item. This statement is completely false. When the teacher negotiating team tabled language advocating for increased professional development funding (it was for much less than the stated $1,000, by the way) the management team would not discuss it, stating that they have a mandate from the board not to discuss what they see as a “provincial item,” even though all teachers in the province do not have access to equal amounts of professional development funds. This is completely dependent on the school district in which one works. We are surprised and disappointed that the board chairperson is getting involved in bargaining only after the local bargaining sessions have been completed.

We simply would like our board to be honest, transparent and accountable. We would like our board to bargain in good faith.

Robyn Ladner,

Professional development chairperson

Vernon Teachers Association


Just Posted

Bear cub shot dead, dumped on Lumby farm

The cub is thought to have been dropped at the property on Thanksgiving morning

Okanagan rocked by AC/DC and Hip bands

Bonfire and Hip Replacements scheduled for Vernon, Kelowna and Kamloops

Okanagan organizations team up to host outdoor-accessibility event

‘It’s important for anyone to be active’: TOTA spokeswoman

Cannabis edibles, extracts legalized today in Canada

You can now legally purchase weed brownies!

Valley First feeds a big Okanagan need

Feed the Valley succeeding in fighting hunger

Competition shakes up for the Okanagan Mixoff

The Okanagan Mixoff takes place Nov. 7 in Kelowna

Letter: Election outcome predictable for North Okanagan-Shuswap riding

Writer anticipates flawed voting system will again end up ignoring large percentage of population

Everything you need to know before getting the flu shot

Island pharmacist shares concerns, recommendations before flu season hits

‘Sky didn’t fall:’ Police, lawyers still adjusting after pot legalization

Statistics Canada says 541 people were charged under the federal Cannabis Act between Oct. 17, 2018 and the end of the year

Fewer people prescribed opioids in B.C., but other provinces lack data: doctors

Patients who began taking opioids were prescribed smaller doses for shorter duration

Electric cello, stolen from vehicle in Williams Lake, returned to U.S. owner

Rita Rice of Texas said she and her husband had given up hope of ever seeing it again

Most Read