Check-In, Monday, May 6

Hello County. Happy Monday.

This weekend saw approximately 45 County members attend the 98th NSTU Annual Council.

Annual Council is a meeting which is held annually (ergo the name) where decisions are made about everything from NSTU policy to what to ask for in our contract. This year’s council saw a great deal of focus, not surprisingly, on budgetary concerns and on the upcoming negotiations. With the departure of the Community College membership and the removal of the administrators, the organization was facing a fairly significant financial shortfall. At the same time, although there was some tentative optimism about the impending contract negotiations, this was tempered with a recognition that, considering recent events, the NSTU would need to be prepared for any eventuality. Having our finances in order is a major part of that preparation.

To that end, to maintain services to members, and to make sure we maintain some fairly strategic alliances, a vote was passed which will see membership dues increase starting in August. The central NSTU office is preparing a communication for members to explain some of the ins and outs of the increase which should be out within a few days.

I do want to take a moment to thank all the delegates from County who gave up their weekend to lock themselves in a room with about 240 other teachers from all across the province to debate and discuss the issues of the day. As well, a special thanks to the local executive committees for all their work, particularly the nominations committee and the social-wellness committee. The event essentially went off without a hitch, and it was in large part thanks to their hard work.

Outside of Annual Council, there have been a few recent developments that have been taking up a great deal of time. To start with, it came to our attention only last week that there were some changes at the junior high level around how classes are being scheduled, in particular Phys Ed and Healthy Living. The HRCE has informed us that this decision was made in order to provide some consistency across schools, as there was none prior to this decision in how much time was dedicated to these subjects. If this change is causing undue stress or strain at your site, please send me an e-mail to provide some details.

As well, there has been a rather sudden expression of concern on Social Media about potential changes to guidance allocations and early literacy support. As of publishing time, we have received nothing in the way of a confirmation that changes are coming, but we have sent a request on to the HRCE for details. If your school is losing positions or if your allocations are changing, please contact me via e-mail with the details.

Finally, we do have a number of positions open on committees and on our local executive. Committees are a great way for members to get a feel for what the NSTU is all about and some of the many services we provide. For those looking to take on a greater commitment (or to take the next step on their NSTU journey) the local executive table is a fantastic experience. I encourage anyone who is interested to have a look at the forms posted on this page, and let me know if you want to find out anything about the role.

That’s it for today, County. Have a great 1st full week of May.

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