Service Award…Day 2

Well, that was an interesting day 🙂

In way of an update, I have no new information on the service award.

I am getting a number of very similar questions, mostly around eligibility. Now, although I can’t answer individual questions, the information on the HRSB website is a good place for folks to start.

It was made clear yesterday that choosing  to take the service award will not impact the NSTU’s case against the government, which was one of the most common questions I received on Tuesday, so hopefully that information was useful.

I have had folks who believe that they are eligible asking about how the award will be calculated, and if they should take it. As far as calculations, HRSB is looking after that, and presumably they will be able to provide some rationale to members as to how they arrived at a final number. That should happen sometime around mid-February.

Finally, as to the decision to take or not, that is up to the member, and will obviously be driven by a number of factors. However, the Economic Welfare Committee is already looking at setting up an information session for members, and bringing in a financial advisor to help.

As information comes out, I will share. Keep an eye on your email and follow our social media sites, as you can.



Special Notice

Good morning county!

Well, there’s nothing like a good ol’ fashion mid-week bombshell to get the blood flowing.

You probably have heard by now that the government is moving forward with a payout of the long term service award.

There are, of course, a barrel of questions being asked, including what it means for individuals, and what it means for our legal case.

The answers to those questions are being asked by me as well, but at this point, I have no information to share beyond what you received yesterday.

However, please know that the moment I know ANYTHING, I will send it along.

Please keep an eye on your NSTU e-mail over the next few days, and monitor our social media sites as you can.

Check-In, January 15th, 2017

Hello County! Happy Martin Luther King day.

So, I want to start off today with a bit of clarification.

Last week, I sent out a message that had been distributed by HRSB just before the Holiday break around the leaves. Somehow, it seems, the message has been interpreted that all leaves, even article 60, can be summarily denied because of a shortage of subs. That is simply not case.

To start off with, HRSB announced: All non-mandatory professional development offered by the HRSB will be postponed. The operative phrase there is “offered by HRSB”. In this instance, the employer has decided that the PD they offer to their staff to achieve the various goals of the board needs to be curtailed, for the time being, in order to reduce the need for subs. They are well within their rights to do so. As well, the HRSB has full sway over what they determine as “mandatory”, primarily because it is their PD. Read more

Check-In, January 8th, 2018

Hello County! Welcome Back.

That was certainly an interesting start to 2018. Here’s hoping that you managed ok in the power outages.

Just before the break, a message was sent out to principals from HRSB in regards to the sub-shortage and a series of steps that HRSB was undertaking to help alleviate the problem. These steps included:

  • All non-mandatory professional development offered by the HRSB will be postponed.  We will continue limited PD which is mandatory such as WHMIS, First Aid, etc.;
  • Grade level restrictions on AESOP will be lifted. Principals can hire substitutes to teach at any grade level;
  • The use of substitutes to provide PLC time will be discontinued;
  • Unpaid leave will only be approved for exceptional circumstances and if operationally feasible. This will continue to be at the Principal’s discretion;
  • Unpaid leaves tied to Article 60 conference grants will not be approved. Teachers are eligible for up to three (3) days per conference and must have pre-approval from the Principal, in accordance with the Article 60 Guidelines;
  • Continue to not fill vacant positions at Central Office requiring an NSTU licence unless operationally required Read more

Check-in, December 11th, 2017

Hello County! Welcome to the final full week before the Holiday break.

As we make the final turn of 2017, we do have some news on the substitute teacher front. At the December 1st Provincial Executive meeting, the PE accepted a recommendation to approve an agreement regarding Permits to Teach for Substitutes with HRSB and the DoEECD for the 2017-18 school year. The details of what this will look like are still being worked out between the NSTU and the HRSB, but this will hopefully provide some short-term relief for teachers who are having to cover for absent colleagues. Read more

Check-in, December 4th, 2017

Good Morning County! Welcome to December!

We start off today with some news from the Provincial body. I was able to attend Friday’s Provincial Executive meeting as an observer and there was a great deal of discussion around the substitute teacher shortage, particularly as it pertains to us here in metro. What we are experiencing here “in town” is nothing new; rather simply new to us. Many of the more rural boards, and certainly many of our own rural schools, are very familiar with the issue of not having enough qualified substitute teachers. Hopefully I will have some more information to share with you on this issue before too much longer. Read more

Check-in, November 27th, 2017

Good morning County! Happy Monday!

Wow! Can you believe this is the last Check-in for November. Amazing that there are only 19 days until the Holiday break.

I’d like to start off this week with a word on teaching standards. The NSTU is trying to get information from teachers on the upcoming release of the new Teaching Standards for Nova Scotia. These standards are being developed by the DoEECD in consultation with the NSTU and will soon become “the law of the land” as it were. These standards could then potentially be used in everything from official job descriptions to teacher evaluation tools to becoming embedded in professional growth plans. Read more

Check-in, November 20th, 2017

Hi County! Happy Monday.

Let’s start off with another huge shout-out to members of the Social Wellness committee for all their hard work organizing the Thor-Ragnarock movie event. I had an opportunity to speak with a number of teachers who attended and, as always, it was very well received. Thanks to the whole team for all their great work on the event.

Read more

Check-in, November 14th, 2017

Good morning County.

Two feel good pieces to start off your week. First off, we have started distributing gift cards from the Elementary Teacher’s Federation of Ontario, and have managed to get them out to a number of schools through the reps. These cards were originally designated to be put towards a teacher luncheon on Teacher Appreciation Day in October, but we were unable to distribute them in time. If your school has not yet received your gift cards, they will be mailed out this week, and, if you are willing and able, drop us a quick line as to how they will be used. I would love to have that information (and maybe some pictures) for my next monthly report. Read more