Some School District 43 teachers are irked that half a dozen administrators went to Las Vegas on a professional development trip earlier this month.
The Coquitlam Teachers' Association newsletter had an item saying that some school staff were "wondering about this" trip at the same time they are being "badgered over sick days and doctors' appointments."
But CTA president Charley King says the union isn't going to make a big deal about it, recognizing the professional development is legitimate and part of principals' contracts, although he said the optics aren't good at this time.
"When members are stretched as much as they are and seeing the positions they are seeing [cut], it's going to rub people the wrong way," he said.
The trip to the Leadership NOW convention cost $7,134 for six administrators to attend, according to Coquitlam Principals' and Vice-Principals' Association president Rob Foot; it was paid for through administrators' pro-D allowance and vetted by the association.
(Each principal receives $800 per year to spend on professional development; they may save some or all of that money to be used another year, which is what happened with the Vegas conference.)
"I know for sure it was an educational conference and it was also a conference that administration have attended in a past because of the quality of the presenters," Foot said.
According Rob Zambrano, Centennial secondary's principal, who attended the conference, it was a great opportunity to get new ideas on building school culture as his school moves to a new building.