Support for Teachers

Health and Wellness

Extended Health and Dental Benefits

During the last round of provincial negotiations, the BCTF was able to secure significant improvements to our benefits, which are provided through Pacific Blue Cross. This includes access to psychologists, physiotherapy, chiropractor, etc.

BCTF Health & Wellness Program

The BCTF will assist teacher-members who are unable to maintain, or return to, their teaching positions due to a medical illness or disability, by funding an early intervention rehabilitation program. This program is offered on a voluntary basis. The Health and Wellness Program contracts professional rehabilitation consultants located in communities throughout the province. In consultation with your health care provider, these consultants will coordinate services that help to improve the teacher's health and functional abilities.

Starling Minds

Starling is an online mental health and wellness toolkit to help manage stress and prevent depression & anxiety. The Starling program is provided by the BCTF and free for all members. The program is based on the protocol Dr. Andrew Miki developed specifically for teachers. As a part of Starling, Dr. Miki will guide you through the program, and teach you the basics of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT).

Employee and Family Assistance Program

The Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) is provided at no cost to employees of SD61. This confidential program offers short term in-person and or online professional counselling for a range of issues including managing stress, smoking cessation, separation and divorce, parenting and preparing for retirement.

Fitness Membership Discounts

Article B.24 requireds the District to attempt to negotiate reduced rates for employee and family memberships at public recreation centres and/or private fitness clubs in locations convenient to each family of schools. These Fitness Membership Discounts are listed on the SD61 website.

Professional Supports

BCTF Internal Mediation Services

The Internal Mediation Service (IMS) is a team of volunteer BCTF members, trained and experienced as mediators. They work with members and others to help resolve workplace conflicts that threaten positive relationships. IMS will mediate conflicts between individual members, members and support staff, and members and administrators. They will also work with small groups within schools, local executives, departments, LSAs, or PSAs, as appropriate. Mediation is a carefully designed process that brings people together in conversations, with mediators present, to help them reach a resolution to a dispute. It is a non-adversarial approach to conflict resolution. Please feel free to contact the GVTA office for more information if you are considering accessing Internal Mediation services.

BCTF Peer Support Services

The Peer Support Program is designed to provide support to teachers who are on plans of assistance (i.e., have received a less-than-satisfactory evaluation), prior to a teacher evaluation where concerns about teaching competence have been raised, or to teachers who request assistance with their teaching (i.e. are self-referring). The peer support will be provided by teachers, known as BCTF peer support consultants, who have an extensive background in teaching, and training in planning, consultation, classroom observation, analysis, and feedback skills. Peer consultants will offer support in a collaborative and non-judgemental environment. The consultants support the growth of a teacher's professional practice, through a non-evaluative, peer coaching model. Please feel free to contact the GVTA office for more information if you are considering accessing Peer Support services.

GVTA Teacher Helping Teacher Program

Teachers can access Professional Development Funds to work with a colleague who will provide support and mentorship. Up to three days can be utilized per teacher. Please note: accessing these days would preclude you from applying for other PD funds for that school year.


Community resources - BC211.ca

If you need support beyond what the union or employer can offer, you might want to check out BC211.ca. 211 is a free and confidential service that connects people to helpful and vital resources in their community.

They provide information and referral to a broad range of community, government, and social services that assist with:

  • basic needs like food and shelter,

  • mental health and addictions support,

  • legal and financial assistance,

  • support for seniors, and much more.