I am a long-time union activist and teacher. I began my teaching career in 1978 and have taught in Abbotsford and Vancouver. I also travelled overseas and taught in Japan and Saudi Arabia.
I was very active in the B.C. Teachers’ Federation, serving as President of my local, the Vancouver Secondary Teachers’ Association from 1997 to 2000. I was a negotiator on numerous provincial bargaining teams and acted as co-chief negotiator for the public school teachers in the province. I was elected President of the BCTF in 2007 and served for three terms.
I was elected to the position of Secretary-Treasurer of the B.C. Federation of Labour in 2010 and was re-elected for a second two-year term in 2012.
I am taking the welfare challenge because I am appalled by the fact that so many people in this beautiful province live in poverty. I want to convince the provincial government to introduce a poverty reduction plan with targets and timelines. That plan must include raising welfare rates so that everyone in the province has access to the basic necessities in life, including safe housing and nutritious food. I hope that by joining with others to make this small sacrifice we will help bring attention to this issue and pressure the government to take action on the issue of poverty.