Check-In, Tuesday, February 26th

Good morning County, happy Tuesday!

First off, apologies for not putting out something yesterday. I was waiting on confirmation (and now have it) around our regional contract. The HRRC team has reached a deal in principle with the HRCE, and now will be presenting the information to the members at two sessions on Monday, March 4th. The first will be held at the main NSTU building at 3106 Joseph Howe Drive, from 4:30 to 6:00 pm, and the second will be held at Dartmouth High School from 7:00 to 8:30 pm.

At those meetings the membership will have a chance to see the new regional agreement and ask questions of the bargaining team. The date for the ratification vote is Wednesday, March 13th.

Speaking of dates, nominations for our Provincial Executive elections are now closed, and I would like to thank Paul Boudreau, Andrew Fournier and Terry Ryan for putting their names forward for this important position. Watch the up-coming weekly Check-In starting next week for information about both candidates. That election will be held on March 28th.

We also have a spot open on our local executive for the position of Member at Large, Equity and Reps. If you are interested in that position, please see the candidate form that is available on this page.

While I have you, I would like to take a moment to clear up some confusion around the issue of “doctor’s notes” that I have been hearing about. Please note that the provision in our contract around presenting of medical information is VERY specific. The article reads like this:

3.02 Teachers may be required to present a medical certificate in the Form attached, if the illness is more than five (5) consecutive days, or if there is a pattern of illness. Teachers who do not return the Form with complete information by the deadline provided may have their sick leave inactivated until such time as the form is satisfactorily completed, after a review of the individual circumstances.

Pay particular attention to the wording “form attached”, “5 consecutive days” and “pattern”. The form that the contract refers to is called the “Request for Functional Information” form, which is on page 38 and 39 of your contract. This information can only be requested after five consecutive days, or if there is a pattern of illness. In either case, the form is not automatically required, but “may” be required by the HRCE.

Now, your admin team may remind you of this requirement, but if they do, your responsibility is to provide the documentation to the HRCE, not your admin team. As well, it is the employer’s responsibility to pay any associated costs charged for this service by your physician.

If you have any questions about this, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Finally, since we are on the topic of health, the HRCE’s health and abilities team is hosting a second wellness fair today at Spectacle Lake from 3:00 pm to 6:00pm. Although this one is not specifically geared towards NSTU members, there will still be a wide number of presenters in attendance. Feel free to drop by and check it out.

That’s it for this week, County. Have a good one, and I hope to see many of you at the information sessions next Monday.

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