Good morning, County! Happy Monday.
Welcome to the first full week of school. I hope that the break and the shorter, two day start up has allowed you to get some rest and to ease back into the daily grind.
The office was fairly quiet leading up to the break, so I don’t have a great deal to share with you as far as updates are concerned. As 2019 opens, however, I did want to let you know that there are a few ongoing concerns that we are continuing to work on.
To start with, negotiation of the regional contract is still on-going, and we have moved on to conciliation, which is scheduled for January 21st and 22nd. Your bargaining team will be meeting with the HRCE and the conciliator in an effort to hammer out the final details of our new regional contract on these dates. At this point, we do not see the conciliation being particularly onerous, and will hopefully be able to lock down a contract at that time.
Second, we are continuing to bring forward concerns to the HRCE around the use of unscheduled instructional time (formerly ‘tier 2’). We are keenly aware that this new initiative has placed a great deal of stress on some members at a time when demands on classroom teachers only seem to be increasing. This is an evolving process, and we are doing our best to raise your concerns at every opportunity.
Finally, the substitute teacher crises continues to be a major concern for our members. I have been getting a large number of questions about this, and want to clarify a few things:
- It has come to our attention that there are some rumours circulating about unpaid leaves being universally denied by HRCE. We have been assured by HRCE on numerous occasions that this is not the case. There is no obligation on the employer to grant the leave, but they must consider each application individually. We are continuing to monitor this situation, and please reach out if you have any specific concerns.
- Please remember that if you are required to give up your scheduled marking and preparation time to fill in when a sub can not be found, you are entitled to have that time rescheduled within ten days.
That’s it for this week folks. Here’s hoping you have had a great start to 2019.