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.

I would also be remiss if I didn’t send a rather large “Thank You” to Communications Committee member Andrew Ardley for his work on our home page last week. Andrew gave up a day last week and came to the office to update and streamline the page. We are still tweaking, but the new look is clean and, hopefully, easier to navigate. Please send us your feedback if you have any comments/ suggestions!

Final delivery of the gift cards from the Elementary Teacher’s Federation of Ontario is continuing this week. I will be popping the last few in the mail this week, or dropping them off at schools. The hope is that these cards will go towards some sort of staff unity event, such as a luncheon or staff room treats. The cards will arrive addressed to “NSTU Rep”. Please feel free to tweet a quick blurb on what you are doing and send your thanks to @ETFOnews, using #hfxcothanksETFO.

On a more serious note, all three local presidents have spent considerable time working collaboratively on a number of key issues that have proven problematic for our members. This includes the confusion around Holiday concerts, the extended P-2 day, and the drastic shortage of subs. I hope that the memo I sent on Friday helped clarify the concert issue, and we are currently in the process of tabulating our survey data and sending recommendations on to the HRSB about how to support teachers in the new extended P-2 day.

There is not a great deal, obviously, that we can do about the shortage of available substitutes, but we are exploring models that we can share with the employer to improve overall employee wellness, thus reducing the demand. It should be noted that the issue of teacher wellness is not a regional one. A great deal of attention is currently starting to be focussed on the issue nationally. There was, in fact, a very interesting CBC broadcast just yesterday that dealt with teacher wellness, in particular, violence in the workplace for teachers across the country.

That’s it for this week, County. Best of luck to all of you who will be wrapping up your report cards comments this week and, as always, reach out if you have any questions or concerns.

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