School Board 27 trustees and staff conduct business at a recent board meeting in Williams Lake. Pictured from left to right are; trustees Willow MacDonald, Linda Martens, Sheila Boehm, Bruce Baptiste, Brice O’Neill and Christine Dyment, Superintendent Mark Wintjes, Board Chair Tanya Guenther and Secretary-Treasurer Kevin Futcher. Angie Mindus photo

Teachers pass vote of non-confidence against SD27 board and management

President Murray Helmer cites personnel practices, financial mismanagement and collective agreement issues as the top concerns

The union representing School District 27 teachers said its membership passed a vote of non-confidence in the district’s superintendent, secretary-treasurer and board of trustees this week.

Cariboo-Chilcotin Teachers’ Association (CCTA) president Murray Helmer said concerns around personnel practices, financial mismanagement and failure to follow the collective agreement spurred on a special meeting and subsequent vote Monday night, Nov. 20.

“This is a grassroots movement,” Helmer said of the vote, which saw close to 50 teachers take part in following the fall break.

Last year the CCTA’s executive also passed a motion of non-confidence.

Helmer accused the district management of making “odd decisions” when it comes to spending, operating with a general lack of consistency, working in isolation from the CCTA and filling classrooms to capacity.

“This is a situation the teachers are finding it hard to work in.”

In response to the CCTA’s press release issued Wednesday morning, Superintendent Mark Wintjes said the union has several channels available to express their concerns and that he finds it “troubling” they chose instead to communicate through the media, not them, in an attempt to apply political pressure on Wintjes, secretary treasurer Kevin Futcher and the school board trustees.

“They actually haven’t communicated with us, they just sent the (press release),” Wintjes said.

In previous interviews with the Tribune, Wintjes has described his management style as one that backs the reduction of administrative costs to redirect more funds to support students. One case in point would be management’s decision at the start of the school year to take away one principal position between Lake City Secondary School’s busy middle and high school campuses.

“As management we are doing the best we can for our students as well as our staff, including teachers, but our students come first.”

Wintjes acknowledged staffing changes can add more stress to staff, and said he is fully supportive of the collective agreement. He encouraged the CCTA to take advantage of opportunities to have their voices heard within the process, adding he believes the conflict is with the union, not its teachers.

“To me there is a silent majority who would rather concentrate their efforts on supporting students.”

Helmer said he would be reaching out to the ministry for support, as he finds the new provincial government to be “more willing” to listen to teachers.

SD 27 has seen a teacher shortage in the district this year, like most others in the province. Currently there are approximately 300 teachers in the district. Wintjes said the district has filled many vacant positions, however, there are still more open.

“We are always looking for teachers.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19 test tube. (Contributed)
test tube with the blood test is on the table next to the documents. Positive test for coronavirus covid-19. The concept of fighting a dangerous Chinese disease.
Interior Health launches online booking for COVID-19 tests

Testing is available to anyone with cold, influenza or COVID-19-like symptoms

100 Mile RCMP Staff-Sgt. Svend Nielsen. (Patrick Davies photo, 100 Mile Free Press).
RCMP responded to 212 calls in first two weeks of October

B&Es, bears and mischief on the list of reports

A health-care worker prepares to swab a man at a walk-in COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal North, Sunday, May 10, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes)
Interior Health records 21 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend

Thirty-six cases remain active; two people are in the hospital, one of whom is in intensive care

Siblings Ash Patterson and Kaimarra Patterson (left) take to the skies with Ursula Hart on Oct. 1. (Photo submitted)
Youth take to the skies with 100 Mile Flying Club

The grand Junior Kids Fly Day was grounded, but students still got a chance to get up in the air.

B.C. NDP Leader John Horgan arrives at Luxton Hall to cast their votes in advance polls for the provincial election in Langford, B.C., Monday, Oct. 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Pandemic election prompts voter suppression claims by B.C. Liberals

‘These emergencies require in us a maturity that has been lacking in politics for so long’

UBC geoscientists discovered the wreckage of a decades-old crash during an expedition on a mountain near Harrison Lake. (Submitted photo)
Wreckage of possibly decades-old airplane crash discovered on mountain near Harrison Lake

A team of UBC geoscientists discovered the twisted metal embedded in a glacier

The official search to locate Jordan Naterer was suspended Saturday Oct. 17. Photo courtesy of VPD.
‘I am not leaving without my son,’ says mother of missing Manning Park hiker

Family and friends continue to search for Jordan Naterer, after official efforts suspended

A bear similar to this black bear is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich on Oct. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bear kills llama on Vancouver Island, prompting concerns over livestock

Officers could not track the bear they feel may not fear humans

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Bernard Trest and his son Max, 10, are concerned about B.C.’s plan for students in the classroom. He was one of two fathers who filed a court application in August to prevent schools from reopening if stricter COVID-19 protections weren’t in place. That application was dismissed last week. (Contributed photo)
B.C. dad pledges to appeal quashed call for mandatory masks, distancing in schools

Bernard Trest and Gary Shuster challenged health, education ministries’ return-to-school plan

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
RCMP cleared in fatal shooting of armed Lytton man in distress, police watchdog finds

IIO spoke to seven civillian witnesses and 11 police officers in coming to its decision

A 34-year-old man was treated for a gunshot wound in Williams Lake Monday, Oct 19, 2020. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake man treated for gunshot wound after accidental shooting: RCMP

Police are reminding residents to ensure firearms are not loaded when handling them

Most Read