‘Fill these shoes with teachers’

Surrey Teachers' Association erects display to mark World Teachers' Day and draw attention to inadequate government funding.

The Surrey Teachers' Association set up a display on Wednesday to illustrate the types of teachers 'missing' in Surrey schools.

Nearly 350 pairs of shoes peppered a grassy area outside Surrey’s District Education Centre on Wednesday afternoon, accompanied by colourful pieces of paper with words such as “librarian,” “special ed teacher,” and “ESL teacher.”

The display, organized by the Surrey Teachers’ Association (STA) to mark World Teachers’ Day, was meant to illustrate the “more than 346 teachers missing from Surrey classrooms this year,” said the union.

“These teachers would be in Surrey classrooms today if the government had remedied the illegal legislation enacted in 2002,” said Denise Moffatt, President of the Surrey Teachers’ Association. “Just imagine the difference more than 346 teachers would make to students.”

The legislation in question dismantled local collective agreements across the B.C. public health and education sectors. The changes removed hundreds of provisions from the teachers’ contract and took away the union’s ability to negotiate class size and composition.

To symbolize the service cuts, the STA asked each school in Surrey to send in three pairs of shoes, along with their wish for what teacher position they would like to fill those shoes. Various teaching roles were requested, including speech and language pathologists, regular classroom teachers, counsellors and other specialist educators.

“Predictably, schools have asked for the return of those same teachers that were cut in 2002,” said Moffatt. “It is a sign that the legislation that is in place today is not working.”

She said other provinces, such as Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan, have made public education a priority.

“They understand it is an investment in the future of their province with long term and lasting benefits.

“It’s time to fill these empty shoes,” said Moffatt.

Surrey North Delta Leader

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

Just Posted

South Surrey boy, 11, hopes to raise $3,000 for Sources – and be Prime Minister

White Rock Coldest Night of the Year event to take place Feb. 22

Recharged Sharks aim for playoffs after ‘well-earned’ break

Bayside rugby club mixes youth with returning veterans in quest for men’s Div. 1 title

Pedestrian fatality in Surrey

Police are investigating at 183 Street and Highway 10

Spring is looming – what are you most looking forward to?

Spring is looming – what are you most looking forward to?… Continue reading

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

B.C. man released from quarantined cruise ship in Japan

Because Spencer Fehrenbacher has American citzensip, he was evacuated by the U.S.

Henrique scores 2 as Ducks soar past Canucks 5-1

Vancouver tumbles out of top spot in Pacific Division

Trudeau cancels Caribbean trip amid pipeline protests across Canada

Protests against Coastal GasLink have disrupted rail service

B.C. VIEWS: Inaction on pipeline protests not a viable response

Columnist Frank Bucholtz on how the Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute got so bad

PHOTOS: Top 10 memories of the 2010 Olympics

Black Press Media’s Jenna Hauck, shares some of her most memorable images of 2010 Winter Games

#FoxForFiver: Support grows in B.C. to put Terry Fox on new $5 bill

Terry Fox’ Marathon of Hope raised money for cancer research

Registration opens soon for BC 55+ Games in Richmond

2020 55+ Games have been officially scheduled for Sept. 15 to 19

Trudeau confers with cabinet ministers as rail blockades continue

The Trudeau government has been criticized for not doing more to end the blockades

Most Read