There’s a new boss at the BC Teachers Federation.
First Vice President of the BCTF and former president of the Vancouver Elementary School Teachers Association Glen Hansman took the job unopposed at the union’s AGM today.
Tonight he joined Drex on the line to talk about the road to here, and what comes next.
Hansman was a special education teacher before getting into union work, but says he was actually drawn into advocacy quite early, after moving to Vancouver form Montreal in 2002.
Not long after that he was tapped as a volunteer to help develop the VSB’s gender identity and sexual orientation policy.
“One thing led to another,” Hansman says, and soon he was involved with the Elementary School Teachers Association.
Hansman says he’ll miss outgoing president Jim Iker, whom he says he loved to work with.
But he says it’s also time for some new blood in the top job.
“I’m a couple of decades younger than my predecessors, but it’s important at this time especially since the demographic of our membership is changing.”
Hansman says there are several things on the top of his list, but politics are one of them.
“Of course the provincial election is coming up next year, and we’ve got our Supreme Court case coming up in November.”
That, of course, referring to latest chapter in the ongoing battle between teachers and the province over class size and composition, the final appeal after B.C. tore up teachers collective agreement in 2002.
“It’s not an inconsequential decision one way or another… it means any government anywhere across Canada can rip up a collective agreement as they see fit after the fact.”
But Hansman says it’s not all about the old battles.
He says the BCTF also has an eye to the roll out of the province’s new curriculum, which teachers and the province jointly developed.
“It’s a pretty big overhaul and a lot of it we’re extremely happy about. So we want to make it work, but looking back through history we know where things have fallen flat or failed or just gone sideways only because the implementation wasn’t supported.”
Hansman says he’ll be watching the province to see if they come up with a realistic timeline for the change, along with new money to back up the programs.
He takes over the top job June 30th.