Check-In, Monday, February 4th, 2018

Hello there County! Happy Monday.

Well, February has arrived, and as we enter into the final few weeks of winter, we mark the first full week of our Winter Wellness Challenge. Best of luck to all those hearty souls who signed up to take part this year!

Speaking of wellness, the HRCE is hosting a first of its kind Wellness Fair on Tuesday, February 19th from 3:30 to 6:30pm at the Regional Center’s offices at Spectacle Lake. The purpose will be to let all HRCE employees gather information on a wide variety of resources that are available to help individuals manage their overall personal wellness.

There are expected to be approximately 15-20 presenters there, including everything from Nordic Walking NS and Good Life Fitness to HRCE’s Health and Abilities team and NSTU providers. This would be a great opportunity for members to not only learn about some services they may not be aware exist, but also potentially “scout” some great offerings that could perhaps be brought back to your schools at a later date, say during a professional development day.

Conversations around individual health are always valuable, of course, but at the same time we aware of added stress that has been placed on some teachers by UIT (Unassigned Instructional Time). I want to encourage members to continue to look for ways of exercising some professional judgment on how this time is used. If what you are currently being asked to do in schools is not working for your students (or if you are struggling) you are encouraged to propose an alternative to your administration. These may not automatically receive approval, but will hopefully start a much broader conversation around UIT in your school.

Finally, I would be ignoring the elephant in the room if I did not a spend a moment or two on our pension. The recent declarations from our Premier about this issue have obviously been upsetting to all NSTU members. As much as your NSTU leadership is attempting to work through this, it must be recognized that we all are impacted by this uncertainty. Comments like those made publicly by the Premier last week only serve to exacerbate feelings of under-appreciation, and cause stress levels to rise.

Thus, as much as we are trying to promote wellness among our members, we are keenly aware how much of what is causing stress is outside of their individual control. However, when it comes to being able to deal with that stress, looking after the wellness of not just yourself, but the people you work with, can go a long way.

We are once again in a bit of a tussle with our government. Now, more than ever, it is important that we continue to look out for each other.

Have a great week, and reach out if you have any questions or concerns.

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