Teachers endorse two incumbent trustees

The Maple Ridge Teacher Association and Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 703 endorse Carr and Clarkson in upcoming election.

The Maple Ridge Teacher Association and Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 703 are both endorsing incumbents Susan Carr and board chair Ken Clarkson in the upcoming Maple Ridge school trustee election on Nov. 19.

While the MRTA endorsed a full slate of candidates for the last municipal election three years ago, MRTA president George Serra said this time around the local teachers union wanted to focus their support on candidates with a proven track record.

“We feel that they have been the best trustees over the past three years,” Serra said. “We have a good working relationship with them and we feel they’ve stuck up for public education.”

Serra said the union would have endorsed Eleanor Palis in Pitt Meadows as well, had she not been acclaimed last month.

Teachers across the province are currently embroiled in job action with the B.C. Public School Employers Association, which bargains provincially on behalf of the Ministry of Education and local school districts. Clarkson, Carr, and Palis have consistently fought for better public education funding, said Serra.

“[Carr, Clarkson, and Palis are] advocates for public education in the greater trustee community, relaying their concerns regarding the lack of funding for education and the political game playing in collective bargaining,” the MRTA stated in a press release on Thursday.

“Furthermore, they repeatedly demonstrate that time for reflection, discussion, and debate is required prior to the implementation of Ministry of Education initiatives.”