Vancouver teachers contract first in province to include support for transgender employees

Vancouver – “We are very proud to have the first teachers Collective Agreement in the province to include anti-discrimination language that recognizes discrimination on the basis of gender identity,” says Glen Hansman, President of the Vancouver Elementary School Teachers’ Association (VESTA). “There may not even be another one in Canada.”

VESTA and its secondary counterpart, Vancouver Secondary Teachers’ Association (VSTA), bargain collectively as the Vancouver Teachers’ Federation. They signed a memorandum of agreement with the Vancouver School Board recently that will be ratified by teachers on April 12th. No other teachers contract in BC mentions gender identity.

“As teachers, we have been very active the past five years working with management and trustees of the Vancouver School Board to make schools welcoming for all members of our school community,” says Glen Hansman. “Having this new language is a significant step in protecting trans-identified and gender non-conforming employees against transphobia and other forms of harassment.”