Disaster response update and supports for affected members
First and foremost, to the thousands of members who have been impacted by the flooding and landslides in southern BC, on behalf of the Executive Committee and BCTF members throughout the province, our hearts are with you and your families during this difficult time. Thank you for doing everything you can to continue to support your students, colleagues, and communities despite your personal hardships, challenges, and losses. In the face of these incredible challenges, you are demonstrating a remarkable commitment to your students and school communities. Please know that we appreciate you, and all that you do.
Update on BCTF’s disaster response and supports for affected members
We have been working with all the impacted locals and the province to ensure continuity of pay for all members. If you are facing barriers to working related to the ongoing crisis and experiencing any employment related issues, please contact your local office for assistance. I have spoken with government officials, and there is a commitment to work with the BCTF on any issues members are experiencing due to the disaster.
Many schools and classrooms have faced catastrophic damage as a result of the flooding. Please know that funding is available from the BCTF that can be accessed through your local office to replace damaged personal belongings and resources.
Your local office is your best resource for any questions or concerns that arise. Leadership and staff at the provincial level are working diligently to ensure your local has everything they need to support you, as well as continuing with our advocacy at the Ministry level to ensure the employer is providing adequate accommodations and support for all those who have been impacted. Lastly, I want any members in financial need to know that the BCTF Assistance Society can grant emergency financial assistance for cases such as medical emergencies, housing emergencies, local disasters, personal disaster, and family crisis. Click here for more information and to access the application form.
Natural disaster/public safety information and resources
With another wave of heavy rain upon us, I want to ensure all of you are aware of some key resources from the Government of BC related to flood preparation and recovery, road closures and evacuations, and other important information to help you all stay safe.
The Government of BC has a detailed flood preparedness guide that provides advice and checklists to support planning for members who may be at risk of further flooding and/or alerts and evacuations.
This page includes links to public safety information and resource pages for other hazards, including landslides, severe weather, and power outages.
This page contains the latest updates on the state of flooding in BC, road closures, evacuee registration, and Emergency Support Services Reception Centre locations.
The Government of BC regularly updates this interactive map with emergency-related information, including Evacuation Alerts & Orders and Flood Watches & Warnings.
Mental health support
In addition to your contractual benefits and local Employee Family Assistance Plans there are community-based supports available.
BC Mental Health Support Line, available 24 hours a day at 310-6789 (no area code)
KUU-US Indigenous Crisis Line at 1-800-588-8717 (toll free, 24/7 support available)
Kids Help Phone: Text CONNECT to 686868
Thank you for all your work under these difficult circumstances. Dealing with this natural disaster on top of the stressors that have come with the pandemic has been extraordinarily taxing on everyone, especially those directly impacted.
I have heard stories of almost unimaginable loss and heartbreak over the past week, but I have also heard countless heartwarming stories of folks coming together to lift each other up and go above and beyond to support neighbours and communities.
Please take good care of yourselves and your loved ones. Stay safe.