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.

Next, your awesome social committee has arranged for a very special viewing of Thor: Ragnarok this weekend. Tickets are available on a first come-first serve basis, and you can access the form by clicking this link Please ensure that you can make the event before reserving tickets so that we do not have any empty seats. The movie is scheduled for 10:00am on Sunday, November 19th. Doors open at 9:30 at the Cineplex in Lower Sackville.

On another note, all three local Presidents had the opportunity to be part of the very 1st NSTU delegation to the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour’s 49th annual convention this past week. As you may be aware, the decision to join “The Fed” was passed at Annual Council last year, and marked the first time in our history that we have aligned ourselves so directly with the labour movement. It was a very interesting few days, to be sure, and we elected two Vice-President’s to sit on the Federation’s governing council. NSTU president Liette Doucet and NSCC’s Damian Hall will be our representatives on this body for the next two years.

We are still hearing lots about the shortage of substitutes, and about all the extra work this is causing for teachers. Unfortunately, there is not much we can do at the local level to help with that. We are aware that the board is actively recruiting and looking for solutions, and certainly applaud these efforts. For our part, we are exploring several healthy workplace models that are designed to help prevent employee illness and encourage a general state of well-being. Many of these models speak about the importance of voluntary health practices of employees, but also deal with the physical environment and organizational culture within which we work. We are continuing to discuss this issue with HRSB with an eye to finding both short and long-term solutions to the problem.

Finally, there are a number of opportunities coming up for teachers to weigh in on the topic of inclusive education. There will be two venues open to teachers here in metro. The first will be at Pier 21 on November 27th from 6:30pm – 9:00pm. This event does require pre-registration, which can be accessed by clicking on this link. The second opportunity will be on December 6th at the NSTU building on Joe Howe from 4:30pm to 6:00pm. Registration for that event will be open next week.

That’s it for today, County. Have an excellent week.

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