Check-in, February 12th, 2018

Good Morning County.

Many of you have had a chance by now to review the Glaze report, and to attend the NSTU information sessions. I have been sending out a few talking points, and hope that has been helpful. The NSTU is holding a town hall on Tuesday, which simply requires a phone, and will be yet another opportunity for you to ask questions. If you are in the system, you should have already received an information call on Friday to explain the process.

All three locals are hosting town hall events of their own to infom the public of our concerns. These include: Read more

Check-in, February 5th, 2018

Good morning County.

Almost two weeks have passed since the Glaze report was released on a rather unsuspecting Nova Scotia. Not surprisingly, considering how busy teachers are, it has taken a few days for everyone to wrap their heads around the potential implications this report has to, once again, create turmoil in our system. But if social media platforms are any indication, the idea seems to have caught on. Read more

Check-In, January 22nd

Good Morning, County!

I want to start off today talking about the service award again, and just remind you that we are looking at organizing some sessions for teachers with the Teachers Plus Credit union so that folks can find out about some of the general implications of the award. As you can well imagine, there are as many circumstances as there are members, so when it comes to advice on whether you should take the award or leave it, there is no clear-cut answer. Read more

Check-In, January 15th, 2017

Hello County! Happy Martin Luther King day.

So, I want to start off today with a bit of clarification.

Last week, I sent out a message that had been distributed by HRSB just before the Holiday break around the leaves. Somehow, it seems, the message has been interpreted that all leaves, even article 60, can be summarily denied because of a shortage of subs. That is simply not case.

To start off with, HRSB announced: All non-mandatory professional development offered by the HRSB will be postponed. The operative phrase there is “offered by HRSB”. In this instance, the employer has decided that the PD they offer to their staff to achieve the various goals of the board needs to be curtailed, for the time being, in order to reduce the need for subs. They are well within their rights to do so. As well, the HRSB has full sway over what they determine as “mandatory”, primarily because it is their PD. Read more

Check-In, January 8th, 2018

Hello County! Welcome Back.

That was certainly an interesting start to 2018. Here’s hoping that you managed ok in the power outages.

Just before the break, a message was sent out to principals from HRSB in regards to the sub-shortage and a series of steps that HRSB was undertaking to help alleviate the problem. These steps included:

  • All non-mandatory professional development offered by the HRSB will be postponed.  We will continue limited PD which is mandatory such as WHMIS, First Aid, etc.;
  • Grade level restrictions on AESOP will be lifted. Principals can hire substitutes to teach at any grade level;
  • The use of substitutes to provide PLC time will be discontinued;
  • Unpaid leave will only be approved for exceptional circumstances and if operationally feasible. This will continue to be at the Principal’s discretion;
  • Unpaid leaves tied to Article 60 conference grants will not be approved. Teachers are eligible for up to three (3) days per conference and must have pre-approval from the Principal, in accordance with the Article 60 Guidelines;
  • Continue to not fill vacant positions at Central Office requiring an NSTU licence unless operationally required Read more

Check-in, December 11th, 2017

Hello County! Welcome to the final full week before the Holiday break.

As we make the final turn of 2017, we do have some news on the substitute teacher front. At the December 1st Provincial Executive meeting, the PE accepted a recommendation to approve an agreement regarding Permits to Teach for Substitutes with HRSB and the DoEECD for the 2017-18 school year. The details of what this will look like are still being worked out between the NSTU and the HRSB, but this will hopefully provide some short-term relief for teachers who are having to cover for absent colleagues. Read more

Check-in, December 4th, 2017

Good Morning County! Welcome to December!

We start off today with some news from the Provincial body. I was able to attend Friday’s Provincial Executive meeting as an observer and there was a great deal of discussion around the substitute teacher shortage, particularly as it pertains to us here in metro. What we are experiencing here “in town” is nothing new; rather simply new to us. Many of the more rural boards, and certainly many of our own rural schools, are very familiar with the issue of not having enough qualified substitute teachers. Hopefully I will have some more information to share with you on this issue before too much longer. Read more

Check-in, November 27th, 2017

Good morning County! Happy Monday!

Wow! Can you believe this is the last Check-in for November. Amazing that there are only 19 days until the Holiday break.

I’d like to start off this week with a word on teaching standards. The NSTU is trying to get information from teachers on the upcoming release of the new Teaching Standards for Nova Scotia. These standards are being developed by the DoEECD in consultation with the NSTU and will soon become “the law of the land” as it were. These standards could then potentially be used in everything from official job descriptions to teacher evaluation tools to becoming embedded in professional growth plans. Read more