Experience

Teaching

  • Reading Recovery Teacher
  • Learning Assistance Resource Teacher
  • English Language Learner Support Teacher
  • Primary and Intermediate Classroom Teacher
  • Langley and Vancouver School Districts
  • Founder of Intermediate Teacher Local Specialist Association in Langley
  • Founder of Special Education Local Specialist Association in Langley
  • Vancouver Teacher at X’pey, Lord Selkirk Annex, Lord Roberts Annex

Union

  • Past President / Vice President Vancouver Elementary School Teachers’ Association (1997-2002,  2005-2007)
  • Past President Langley Teachers’ Association (1985-1987)
  • Past BCTF Executive Committee Member (1996-2002)
  • Honourary Life Member – BCTF and VESTA
  • Recipient of GA Fergusson Award (2010)
  • Chair of BCTF AGM, Rep Assembly (2002-2018)
  • VESTA representative to VSB Standing Committees I, III (1991 – 2007)
  • Vancouver Teachers’ Federation Bargaining Team (1993-1995)
  • Negotiated first Collective Agreement for Langley Teachers (1985)

Community

  • Member of Vancouver Living Wage Committee
  • Electoral Officer for Provincial and Municipal Elections
  • Legal Observer during 2010 Olympics and after
  • Credit Union Member

Education

  • Bachelor of Education in Literacy and History – UBC 1974
  • Masters of Education – Urban Learner Cohort – UBC / VESTA 2002

Platform

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COPE will insist on sufficient funding to allow smaller class sizes at both the elementary and secondary level. COPE will insist that the provincial government restore sufficient local bargaining to allow school board to negotiate directly with the teachers’ unions to establish appropriate, flexible, and meaningful class size and composition limits for Vancouver students

COPE will advocate changing the current provincial funding model in order to prioritize funding for public education and eliminate funding for private education.

COPE will not be complicit or co-operate in further cuts to the public education system in Vancouver.

COPE will Implement a Students’ Environmental Bill of Rights, which will:

  • Support youth participation and initiatives in the development of green programs.
  • Develop a targeted Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Program.
  • Support the establishment of school gardens where possible.
  • Establish a VSB Bike Advisory Committee.
  • Lobby for funding to build/upgrade schools that are green and meet silver/gold LEEDS standards (e.g. heating and solar).
  • Work closely with Toxic Free Canada to remove toxic paints and cleaning products from schools and to ensure a fragrance and allergy free environment.
  • Encourage and facilitate the use of alternative methods of transportation by staff, parents and students.

COPE will strengthen school facilities by developing a district approach to protect and improve neighbourhood schools, including daycare/after school care space, gyms and activity rooms that meet the needs of the school community, and will lobby for school playground funding to remove and replace unsafe playground equipment. (i.e. secure and boost the Annual Facility Grant).

COPE will pressure the provincial government to address the need for earthquake amelioration of schools, especially those with construction that is known to be a hazard.

COPE will adhere to an open, honest and transparent process of consultation. This will be achieved by actively listening to and gaining an understanding, of what is important to our stakeholders.

COPE will reach out to the communities it represents by rotating board meetings in the communities/ neighbourhoods that it serves.

COPE will continue to focus on the need to advocate for public education by promoting, advancing the engagement with parents (including Parent Advisory Committees), unions, employee groups, and the “village”.

COPE will develop policies that ensure that foods served in Vancouver Schools are healthy, and will visit the issue of junk food in schools and look into ways of implementing and coordinating other food policy programs with Vancouver Schools.

COPE will see the classroom and services to the classroom as its first priority, and will aim to support new teachers through mentoring programs.

COPE will review existing policies and develop new policies that have the objective of promoting inclusive, accepting and safe school environments for all students.

COPE will work with our valiant Public Education unions to ensure that the 2014 Supreme Court ruling that Bill 22 is unconstitutional be effectively implemented in Vancouver.

Values

Equity

  • Appropriate and Predictable support and funding for Elementary Indigenous Focus School
  • Creation of Indigenous Focus Secondary School
  • Provision of hot breakfast and hot lunch programs for students
  • Pursuit of the Employment Equity for Aboriginal Educators agreement
  • Commitment to Indigenous Enhancement Agreement
  • Willingness to meet and discuss with members and leaders of constituent communities
  • Re-commitment to discrete Social Justice programs at VSB including Advisory Committees
  • Increased District Anti-Racism, Anti-Homophobia and Diversity Mentors
  • Support for District emphasis on Early Literacy

Collective Agreements

  • Prioritize Recruitment and Retention Incentives and support
  • Full restoration of the VTF/ VSB Collective Agreement and a willingness to discuss improvements
  • Support for local Mentorship Program for new teachers
  • Believe in Local Bargaining as the best way to meet the needs of stakeholders and the Board
  • Honour and respect negotiated agreements with employee groups
  • Good faith grievance discussions
  • Will support joint training and education sessions with stakeholder groups on Collective Agreements
  • Fast tracking cross-District boundaries review

Stakeholder / Board Relations

  • Open Door policy for employee representatives
  • Increased training for Administrators and District Staff
  • Commitment to building a community among VSB management, elected trustees, employees and stakeholders, including students
  • Ongoing commitment to Student Trustee with an expanded roles

High School Completion

  • Advocacy with Provincial Government to restore Graduation Requirements
  • Ongoing support to increase eligible courses for Graduated Adult Funding
  • Increased Adult Education program including accessible school sites
  • Support for Implementation of New BC Curriculum

Transparency

  • Restore regular Standing Committee Meeting schedule
  • Approach Standing Committee Meetings as consultative and discussion-based
  • Open consultation and outreach to stakeholder groups
  • Restore full budget consultation with stakeholder groups
  • Commitment to publishing full itemized budget to public

Budget

  • Advocacy through the Provincial Funding Formula Review for equitable, sustainable funding based on needs
  • Interministerial advocacy for anti-poverty strategies and support for students
  • Commitment to producing a needs-based budget
  • Full review of budgetary process including input from stakeholders

 

Nomination Presentation to COPE June 2018

I was a public school teacher and union activist for 35 years. Since I retired, I’ve devoted my time to community issues like poverty and homelessness.

I started my Vancouver teaching career in Vancouver at X’pey Elementary in 1989, what was then called Macdonald Elementary. At that time, most of our students were living in povery. 40 years ago. Too long. We must develop more strategies to solve this problem.

NO CHILD needs to live in poverty. There is enough wealth in this province to ensure that our children our healthy, happy, fed, housed, and safe and that every student’s needs are met in our public schools.

The provincial funding formula needs to be radically overhauled. Many organizations have suggestions for improvement. These should be studied.

The VSB’s own budgeting process needs massive improvements. I have been involved in establishing many budgets. I have never before seen one where only enhancements and deletions are shared. We need to go through the budget line-by-line.

Finally, I will do what Jack Layton asked of us all. I will not “Let them tell me it can’t be done”

I seek your support, your enthusiasm and energy, your creative ideas and your engagement as we work towards a better school system for our students and our communities.

Endorsements

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I’m delighted that Barb Parrott is putting her name forward for School Board Trustee with COPE.

Barb is a friend, mentor, honourary life member of  VESTA and the BCTF, retired reading recovery teacher and perpetual activist.  Barb is a trade unionist who respects and understands Collective Agreements and their role in the school districts and has deep rooted values that are consistent with mine.

Barb is a consummate chair and both appreciates and honours process, and I trust that she would embody a School Trustee who stands on principles and advocates for the needs of the district.

Jody Polukoshko, Vancouver Teacher, VESTA Vice President

 

About Barb

Barb is a lifelong advocate for public education.  She is also:

  • an avid kayaker
  • a brilliant auntie
  • retired
  • a transit user
  • a believer in “The Golden Rule”
  • companion to a nutty dog
  • a knitter
  • someone who values her large and diverse family
  • an electric car owner
  • a breast cancer survivor
  • a friend
  • a road tripper
  • an anti-poverty advocate
  • a Blue Jays fan
  • an ally
  • a feminist
  • a trade unionist
  • a Roberts Rules of Order expert
  • a companion to stuffed friends named after collective actions
  • not willing to be silent