The B.C. teachers’ union has a new president — someone who the head of the local teachers’ union says is a good pick for the role.
Outgoing British Columbia Teacher’s Federation (BCTF) president Jim Iker has served three years, the traditional term length for the position, and is being replaced by Vancouver elementary school teacher Glen Hansman.
“It’s a good choice, (Hansman) is a great communicator, he’s knowledgeable, he’s articulate, he’s bilingual, he’s pretty well-rounded and people like him,” said Windermere Teachers’ Association president Doug Murray. “He’s actually been out to the valley a couple of times doing training, and the teachers here liked him.”
The most recent visit by Hansman to the Upper Columbia Valley was some time last year, to do some consulting about pensions, according to Murray,
“He got voted in as second vice-president (of the BCTF), spent three years in that position, then became first vice-president for three years and now is the president,” said Murray. “So there’s been that progression, and he’s been through everything the BCTF has been through in the past six years, so he’s got experience. It’s his turn to be president.”
Murray said Hansman will likely have a relatively calm three-year term, with teachers’ labour strife of recent years settled for the time being.
“Not a lot is going to happen in the next three years, not like what Jim (Iker) had to go through,” said Murray. “Hansman will probably be mostly concerned about funding in schools and poverty in schools. These issues have not yet really been addressed by the provincial government, so that’s what he’ll be working on, along with the new curriculum.”
Hansman will officially take over the role of BCTF president on June 30th, and Iker will stay on the BCTF executive committee for one more year as a past president.
“It is our responsibility as teachers to be strong advocates on matters fundamental to the welfare of the students with whom we work daily,” Hansman said in a press release. He added that his key objectives are improved teaching and learning conditions in B.C. public schools and securing the necessary support to help implement the new curriculum; engaging new teachers and planning for the next round of bargaining; supporting implementation of the calls to action by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission; and working with parents and others to restore public education funding.
Teri Mooring, who has been the BCTF second vice president for the past three years, will move up to the role of first vice president, and public school teacher Clint Johnston will step in as the new second vice president.