Uncertainty about the future of bargaining in public education is expected to be the off-the-docket topic of discussion at a weekend school trustee academy.
Kamloops-Thompson trustees Annette Glover, Meghan Wade, Joan Cowden and school board chairwoman Denise Harper are bound for Vancouver Thursday to attend the three-day trustee academy.
The theme is cultivating connections between school districts and stakeholders in the community, Glover said Wednesday. This will be explored through a number of workshops and seminars.
“It’s getting the word out there and creating a deeper understanding of how you can participate, how you provide input and how we can provide opportunities for more input,” she said.
The gathering is also an opportunity for trustees from all 60 districts to mingle and discuss ideas about public education and the challenges school districts face.
A hot topic this year is changes to the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association, particularly Education Minister Peter Fassbender appointing a public administrator to bargain with the B.C. Teachers’ Federation.
The ministry said the move would allow the government to restructure its bargaining process and move toward a long-term deal with teachers.
No one knows what the association is going to look like, said Glover, adding BCPSEA is involved in human resources as well as bargaining.
“It provides a lot of information sharing and support to the 60 districts,” she said.
Wade said bargaining and funding are big concerns for trustees. Being able to talk about them among colleagues is a good way to meet the challenges as they come.
“It’s being ready and being informed and being engaged,” she said.
The academy wraps up Sunday.