Hello there County! Happy Monday! Sorry for the length of this, but I have a lot to cover today 🙂
The office has been hopping over the past few days, and I want to bring you up to date on some files that I have been working on.
To start off with, my self and former 1st VP turned Provincial Executive member Paul Boudreau were part of a six person team who met with representatives of the HRCE last week for conciliation talks. The results of those two days will be announced shortly, but I wanted you to know that the team worked extremely hard on this, meeting all day on Monday and Tuesday, with discussions going past 10pm on Tuesday evening. Just a quick nod of thanks to the members of the team who had to get up and teach on Wednesday morning!
The “tier-two” file has also been eating up a great deal of energy, as we work with the HRCE to try to navigate this new directive. There is new language around this initiative which you will start hearing, which is that of “Unscheduled Instructional Time” (UIT). This acronym may change again before the dust settles on this one, but we should all be aware that the term “Tier two support” has a very specific definition as per the Inclusion Report.
Regardless of what it is called, UIT is essentially looking to identity ways for teachers to use their time outside of the contractual 30 minutes of marking and prep to support students. We are starting to see some autonomy being granted to schools as far as what that looks like. The essential message is this: If what you are doing in your school to support kids is not working, see if you can propose something that will, keeping in mind that “support” does not always mean “academic” support.
Speaking of support, the three local presidents had a chance to meet with representatives of the HRCE to discuss the results of the Guarding Minds at Work survey, and we are starting to feel quite positive about where this is heading. One of the areas that was shown as a key “stressor” if you will was our members ability to strike a healthy work-life balance. As if on cue, the HRCE is currently organizing a wellness fair for the evening of February 19th at Spectacle Lake. This is being organized by the employer, and is designed to educate members on a wide variety of services and supports they may be able to access to help them with their individual wellness. This is meant to be for all HRCE employees, but we are hoping to have some NSTU specific booths set up as well.
We will be sending out details as they become finalized, but we are feeling somewhat optimistic that this is a good sign that teacher wellness is becoming part of the broader conversation. We are looking forward to continuing conversations with HRCE around the issue of teacher wellness, and thank you again for your input on the Guarding Minds at Work Survey.
Along the same lines, it is also that time of year when we launch our Winter Wellness Challenge! This is a great way to get your staff involved and talking about how to work towards a more healthy lifestyle! Check out https://www.nstu.ca/nstu-members/group-insurance/winter-wellness-challenge/ for more details!
Finally, it is that time of year when our minds at the local office turn to our annual Local Service Award. This award, given out at Annual Council, is:
(ii) awarded for displaying at the Local level a consistent and continuing involvement in Local leadership, professional development or long term service to education or the teaching profession;
(iii) awarded for a particular outstanding service to the Local, to education or to the teaching profession;
Any active or retired-within-the-past-two-years member can be nominated. For more specific information, have a look at our short snappers page!
That’s it for this week County! Have a great one!