Check-In, May 21st

Good Morning County! I hope you had a great, albeit soggy, long weekend.

By now I am sure you are all aware of the conflict that has emerged between the NSTU and the government around funding of schools for next year. Your local presidents did get an opportunity to meet with representatives of HRCE’s senior management team last week, and were told that during the year there have been consultations with principals and senior staff around how schools are funded. 

Guidance

HRCE had a focus group going on this year (that we did not know about) that was asked about guidance delivery in HRCE. That group, which included some guidance counselors, determined that the HRCE should meet its 1:500 ration, and that all kids in HRCE should have access to guidance. The HRCE has now met this obligation in all schools, but this has resulted in some reductions at schools which may have been “overstaffed” (if there is such a thing) in guidance. 

ELS/Reading recovery

The move from ELS back to reading recovery has been a promise of the government since they took office. We have been told that this change from ELS to R/R in some schools is just part of this trend. We could not determine if this is going to continue, as these decisions are now made at the provincial level.

Specialist allocations

These were determined as a .3 specialist for every classroom in a school. If a school had more than 15 classrooms, that ratio dropped to .25. This means that some schools will see allocation decreases. 

Resource/ Learning Center

The HRCE said this would remain needs driven, but allowed principals to play with the allocation. So if a principal got 1.5 Resource and 1.5 L/C, they could decide to go 2 and 1.

O2

We are still trying to work out the O2 budgeting issue. As we see it, schools used to get $2500.00 from the DoEECD to spend on O2, and a top up from the HRCE of about $5500.00. This money was ear marked of O2. The way we understand it is that now the extra funding will still go to the schools, but that principals will have more discretion on how it is spent. As far as the staffing allocations are concerned, it is our understanding that those reductions were made at the HRCE level, where HRCE used to provide a .7 top up in allocations but has determined that will change going forward. 

The recent comments by Zach Churchill of school funding changes seem to indicate that this has been in the works for awhile now, and this may be why HRCE has seen such turmoil. However, we have no way of knowing if this is the case.

As well, we have been told that the budgeting process will last at least a few more weeks, so things may still move a bit between now and June. 

I wish that I could provide more clarity, but we have not been consulted on any of these changes, and received an explanation only last Tuesday. If you have any questions, e-mail them to me directly at halifaxcountylocal@nstu.ca.

Now, onto other business.

The deadline for purchasing tickets for the retirement brunch is fast approaching! If you wish to purchase tickets, you have until May 31st to send your RSVP to hfxcowellness@nstu.ca. Tickets are available at the office in Burnside, and you will be able to buy them until June 3rd. Please call (902) 499-0933 to ensure that I am in the office before you drop by. My usual office hours are from 8:00 am to 3:30 pm, but I do get called away from time to time.

Finally, we are still taking applications for any number of our local committees. The deadline for applications is tomorrow! This a great way for you to “get your feet wet” in the workings of our union. Click on any one of the links to the right of this page to find out more.

That’s it for this week, County. Have a great one.

PS: Don’t forget this year’s inspire award. E-mail halifaxcountylocal@nstu.ca for information and a nomination form 🙂

 

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