After sitting out this past electoral term, Chris Ellis is running for School Board Trustee.
Ellis has served as Trustee for over seven years in the past, and is hoping to bring his past experience to serve with the board once again.
“I am well versed in most aspects of what goes on with the school district from management to CUPE to teachers to the students,” said Ellis. “I do enjoy it. I like contributing to the community and hope to get back there.”
Ellis has worked with the RCMP for the last 35 years and serves as the shop stewart for his union, dealing with employee interactions between police and the city.
“I’m well versed in that, so I can deal with teachers, grievances and that stuff,” Ellis said.
He adds that his background with labour relations is one of his strengths, considering the tension between the BCTF and the province.
“It’s unusual that you have three employee groups,” Ellis said. “You have management, you have teachers and you have CUPE, where in most other places you have two.
“That’s unique. I enjoy dealing with those three and learned a lot, just how the system works and those kind of things with labour relations.”
Advocacy for funding is always important, because the squeaky wheel gets the grease, Ellis added.
It’s not just in-classroom resources that need funding, but transportation (buses) and capital projects as well. Mount Baker Secondary School gets a lot of recognition as a building that needs replacement, but there are others, such as Amy Woodlands Elementary School that should get some attention as well, said Ellis.
“Advocating for stuff and dealing with the government—there are ways to do it, and ways not to do it,” Ellis said. “We should get our fair share of what we need to make sure our school system continues on.”