WTA Annual Report – 2014/2015

PRESIDENT

I felt both apprehensive and excited to start the 2014/15 WTA year as the only “veteran” on the WTA Office Team. I was a new President, joined by a new Vice-President, Kristin Insull, the WTA’s new MTS Staff Officer, Nancy Kerr and our new Administrative Assistant, Michael Krauss. I could not have fulfilled the duties of this position without their daily support, advice, encouragement, suggestions, ideas and plans mixed with a healthy dose of good humour and teamwork. I would like to begin this report by thanking each of them for their contributions to the organization and specifically for supporting me as a new President.

Kristin Insull not only completed all the tasks that are usually assigned to the Vice-President, but she also took on the role of WPSH Chair and immersed herself in provincial legislation, WSD policy reporting systems and related concerns. She is gaining valuable bargaining experience at the negotiations table as well as spear-heading many major projects related to our goal of increased member engagement. I want to thank her and give her the recognition she deserves. In addition, I am proud that she was appointed to the MTS Provincial Executive in October, 2014. It is important to have our voice heard at that table, as our members comprise approximately 20% of the provincial membership. Kristin also possesses many useful qualities that I do not – a near photographic memory, advanced math skills and a strong belief in the value of taking care of one’s physical health. She is helping me with the last one!

Nancy Kerr has been indispensible and incredibly helpful as our Business Agent. On a daily basis when we address concerns and questions from members, I am grateful for Nancy’s invaluable expertise. We are fortunate to have her at the bargaining table as she has many years of experience in this area as well.

Michael did a fantastic job of running the office throughout the year. It would be impossible to list everything that he has accomplished and completed. He keeps us organized as we move through the administrative annual cycle. Michael’s many years of experience has helped him to pick up on the existing practices of the organization and initiate new projects.

Thank you to the 2014/15 Executive members, for the time and energy that you have invested in the organization on behalf of the membership, and for the sacrifice you make when you were away from your family and friends. Also, thank you to our Council Representatives who faithfully attend monthly Council meetings and act as a crucial and important link to members.

YEAR IN REVIEW

WTA Executive Elections

At the October WTA Council meeting a by-election was held to fill three vacant spots on the WTA Executive. The Executive welcomed three new members: Winston Blakey, Matthew Jones and Carl Neumann. A contested election is a good sign that members are engaged in the Association. This engagement continued in the Spring of 2015, when 13 candidates ran for nine member-at-large positions on the Executive. This indicates major progress toward the goal of increased member engagement and it will be a foundation for planned continued improvement next year.

New WSD Board of Trustees and the direction of the WSD

In October, a civic election was held in Winnipeg and nine school trustees were elected in the Winnipeg School Division. Three incumbent trustees were re-elected: Mike Babinsky, Cathy Collins and Mark Wasyliw and six new trustees were elected: Sherri Rollins, Chris Broughton, Lisa Naylor, Kevin Freedman, Allan Beach and Dean Koshelanyk. There has not been this much turnover on the Board of Trustees for a long time and this new group of trustees have already made an impact. In a short period of time, the Board made major decisions related to the budget and the structure of the Division. These decisions may have a lasting effect on the overall direction of the school division and will affect all WSD employees, including WTA members. As you know, the Winnipeg School Division is the largest division in Manitoba, so it can be a leader in the province, not only in the programming and services it offers to students and residents, but also as a workplace for the members of its employee groups. The re-structuring process, which is in its initial stages, is an opportunity for the Division to reflect on the needs of all stakeholders and plan for changes accordingly.

WTA Executive Workshop

In November, the WTA Executive gathered for a full-day workshop. In the morning we reviewed Executive members’ responsibilities and the processes by which policy is developed and implemented. We also reviewed the WTA Constitution and Executive and Council policies. Chairpersons described the functions and work of WTA standing and executive committees. It was thorough training in the practices that guide the governance of the Association.

In the afternoon Executive members participated in a plenary facilitated by Changemakers, a firm hired by the WTA to conduct a review of the Association’s public profile. The session was the Executive’s opportunity to input as a stakeholder in this review. Changemakers also led Executive through a process to develop a mission, values and vision statement for the Association. It was a revealing and fruitful exercise that enlightened and engaged new executive members while recharging experienced members. This was just one portion of a bigger plan/discussion about new and exciting ways that the WTA is looking to connect with the members, share information and collect timely feedback.

New Council Representative Workshop

Nearly 30 Council Representatives in their first five years attended an afternoon workshop in November. An overview of the structure of the MTS and the WTA was provided, along with information about benefits and services. Evaluations validated the experience, with most attendees indicating the afternoon was well structured and informative. Feedback received from attendees will be used to guide future workshops.

School Visits

As of May 1, 2015, the Vice-President and I have visited 55 schools and met with approximately 600 members. These school visits give us the opportunity to meet with our members in person, share important information, answer questions and listen to comments and concerns. Recurring themes brought forward by members included:

  • Technology issues regarding Central Print and Web CRD and online report cards
  • Provincial report cards
  • Assessment(s)
  • Workload
  • Negotiations
  • Lack of consistency across the WSD in a variety of contexts

These, along with other concerns, provided the WTA with a focus when entering into conversations with the WSD at various committees, which are highlighted within the following annual reports.

MTS 2015 AGM

As we approach the 2015 MTS AGM, the WTA delegation is excited to support Kristin Insull as she campaigns for a member-at-large position on Provincial Executive. Kristin has served admirably since her interim appointment in October, 2014, and, should she be elected, both the Provincial Executive and MTS members across Manitoba would continue to benefit from her skills, work ethic and passion for advocacy and engagement.

Looking Ahead

Next year represents the 50th Anniversary of the Winnipeg Teachers’ Association. We will reflect on the substantive improvements our organization has made to our members’ welfare. We will look ahead to continue to enhance working conditions by negotiating and advocating for proper implementation of the collective agreement, administering benefits, and leveraging our strength in numbers. I am excited to lead this process as the President and look forward to striving to create an environment where our members are informed, empowered and succeeding in healthy workplaces.

Respectfully submitted,
Nathan Martindale, WTA President

 

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING COMMITTEE

COMMITTEE MEMBERS:
Michelle Wolfe, Chairperson Kristy Frohwerk Amber Solinger
Chris Pammenter Iyvan Michalchyshyn Pat Lewicki
Stephanie Krawchuk Erin Arbuckle Carl Neumann
Donna Tugby Wayne Carrier

MEETINGS HELD: 5 full committee meetings, and one delegate preparation meeting

COMMITTEE PURPOSE:
The AGM Committee is responsible for organizing the WTA delegation to The Manitoba Teacher’s Society’s AGM. The Committee considers the MTS bylaw and policy handbooks and submits resolutions to be discussed and debated on the floor of the AGM. The AGM Committee also nominates individuals running for a position on the Society’s Provincial Executive.

ACHIEVEMENTS:
At the time of writing, the AGM had not yet taken place. This year, the Committee proposed a resolution seeking to strike a multi-level ad hoc committee examining technology’s access and availability and its impact on teacher workload. This resolution was supported by the WTA Council and included in the AGM binder for consideration. The Committee also endorsed Provincial Executive candidate Kristin Insull. The AGM Committee planned a hospitality suite, where AGM delegates from across Manitoba will gather to socialize and talk with our Provincial Executive candidate. The Committee hosted a delegate prep meeting to walk WTA delegates through the binder and AGM procedures. This meeting was also attended by the individuals running for Vice President of the Society.

Thank you to the Committee for your dedication, and to the delegates for your time and attention at AGM.

Respectfully submitted by
Michelle Wolfe, Chairperson, Annual General Meeting Committee

 

CREDENTIALS COMMITTEE

COMMITTEE MEMBERS:
Paulette Krovats, Chairperson Keith Barber

NUMBER OF MEETINGS: The Credentials Committee keeps attendance records and performs reception desk responsibilities at each Council meeting.

PURPOSE OF THE COMMITTEE:
The Committee registers Council representatives and/or alternates at Council meetings; reports to the presiding officer the names of electoral units not present at Council meetings; and perform other duties as may be determined by Council from time to time.

ACHIEVEMENTS:
The Committee recorded the following attendance at 2014-2015 WTA Council meetings:

September – absent: Adult EAL, Adolescent Parent Centre, Argyle, Diagnostic Learning Centre, Dufferin, Glen Elm, Meadows West, Montrose, Mulvey, Pinkham, River Elm and William Whyte.

October – absent: Adolescent Parent Centre, Children of the Earth, Clifton, College Churchill, Dufferin, Glen Elm, Fort Rouge, George V, General Wolfe, Hugh John McDonald, Isaac Brock, JB Mitchell, Lord Selkirk, Norquay, Pinkham, River Elm, Tec Voc, and Winnipeg Adult Education Centre; regrets were received from Cecil Rhodes, Wellington and Gregg Walker (Executive).

November – absent: Adolescent Parent Centre, Argyle, Churchill, Children of the Earth, Dufferin, George V, Lord Selkirk, Montcalm, Pinkham, RB Russell, River Elm, River Heights, Strathcona, William Whyte, WAEC (700 Elgin) and Wolseley; regrets: Kent Road, Machray, Montrose, Queenston, Iyvan Michalchyshyn (Executive) and Gregg Walker (Executive).

December – absent: Adolescent Parent Centre, Argyle, Andrew Mynarski, Children of the Earth, DLC, Dufferin, George V, Glen Elm, Kent, Montrose, Prairie Rose, Queenston, River Elm, Robert H. Smith, St. John’s, Strathcona, Tyndal Park, Victoria Albert, and William Whyte; regrets: Grosvenor, Montcalm, Luxton, King Edward, Shaghnessy, Kelvin and Wolseley.

January – absent: Adult EAL, Adolescent Parent Centre, Children of the Earth, Diagnostic Learning Centre, Dufferin, George V, Glenelm, Kelvin, Lansdowne, Montrose, Pinkham, Queenston, River Elm, Rockwood, William Whyte and Wolseley; regrets: Daniel McIntyre, Wellington, and G. Walker (Executive).

February – absent: DLC, Dufferin, Garden Grove, George V, Glenelm, Hugh John MacDonald, Isaac Brock, JB Mitchell, Lord Selkirk, Meadows West, Norquay, Pinkham, Principal Sparling, River Elm, Wellington and William Whyte; regrets: Brock Corydon, Grosvenor, Prairie Rose, RB Russell; Dave Harack (Executive), Paulette Krovats (Executive) and Orysya Petryshyn (Executive).

March – absent: Adult Learning Centre, Andrew Mynarski, Carpathia, Children of the Earth, David Livingston, Dufferin, Garden Grove, George V, Glenelm, JB Mitchell, Kelvin, Lord Selkirk, Montrose, Pinkham, Principal Sparling, Strathcona, Queenston, River Elm, Rockwood, Victoria Albert, Wellington and William Whyte; regrets: General Wolfe, RB Russell and Sargent Park.

April – absent: Adolescent Parent Centre, Andrew Mynarski, Argyle, Diagnostic Learning Centre, College Churchill, Children of the Earth, Grosvenor, Montcalm, Pinkham, Principal Sparling, Robertson, Sargent Park, Strathcona, Substitutes and William Whyte.

The Committee also managed the distribution of several door prizes (WTA promotional materials) to School Representatives at each Council meeting.

Thank you to Keith Barber for his assistance at reception and Caroline Cantafio for stepping in when her assistance was required.

Respectfully submitted by
Paulette Krovats, Chairperson, Reception Committee

 

DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD COMMITTEE

COMMITTEE MEMBERS:
Terry Willerton, Chairperson Amber Solinger Kristy Frohwerk
Brenda Craig Matthew Jones

MEETINGS HELD: 1

ACHIEVEMENTS:
The Committee received and reviewed one application. A recommendation was brought forward to Executive that the nominee for this award be Iyvan Michalchyshyn.

At its meeting held April 20, 2015, Council accepted the Executive’s recommendation that Iyvan be awarded this distinction. The process continues and the award will be presented at the Council meeting to be held June 8, 2015.

Respectfully submitted by
Terry Willerton, Chairperson, Distinguished Service Award Committee

 

EXECUTIVE NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS COMMITTEE

ACHIEVEMENTS:
This was the first general election in several years. While member engagement became a topic of discussion over the past few years, this year we had a very successful election and I can report that it is wonderful to see so many new candidates volunteer their time and energy in the hope of being elected to the Executive. I wish to thank the slate of candidates in this year’s election. It has been a while since we have had so many fine people volunteer for this responsibility. Being an Executive member can be a challenging experience but it will be a rewarding one.

Elections are a democratic process meant to be fair and reflective of the desires of the members’ wishes. A democratic election also aims to include the voice of every eligible voter. It is felt by this chair that the process followed by the organization successfully achieves these aims.

RECOMMENDATIONS:
It is recommended that next year’s committee review these suggestions with the aim of making the electoral process even more successful.

  1. Consider an open invite to all members for the electoral forum and speeches.
  2. Advance polling.
  3. Campaigning – what should be allowed? Email addresses – personal or a @wta.mb.ca? Posters in schools? Develop some guidelines for these issues.
  4. Even if a candidate is acclaimed, a biography should be written. It will serve to inform members of who is performing the duties of the Executive.
  5. An election to be held over two days.
  6. Ballots mailed to teachers on leave and who would be eligible to vote. Ballots returned in self addressed, stamped envelopes.
  7. Schools to use a WTA paid courier if unable to return ballots to WTA office.
  8. Examine each electoral unit with the aim to determine if a more efficient way of distributing, collecting and returning ballots can be achieved. It should not require too much deviation from unit to unit.
  9. Examine the suggestion from membership of having an election every two years.
  10. Establish and publish a deadline for withdrawals by candidates (before the bios and ballots are prepared).
  11. Include the names of the school on the voters’ registration list.
  12. Review the decision to include photographs on the bios sheet.
  13. Do not distribute an interim slate of nominees.
  14. Start the delegates’ meeting before the forum (at 5:15pm when the Council meeting starts at 5:45pm). Will allow time for speeches and question periods.
  15. Clarify in the regulations that there is no question period for Executive Member-at-large candidates at the forum.
  16. Inform electoral units and voters that photocopied ballots will not be accepted when mailed in.
  17. A polling station be set up at the WTA office in order to accommodate substitutes and teachers on leave.
  18. The Committee examine the issue of how substitute teachers will prove their status, number of days worked and fees paid.
  19. Recounts should be done (when possible) by counters that did not do the first count (i.e. blue team counts yellow ballots, etc)
  20. Have a Deputy Returning Officer in place at every location before the election.

There are many suggestions to consider. The Council Policy and WTA Constitution can serve as resources for the Committee as well as inviting Chief Returning Officers of other Associations and representatives from Elections Manitoba and Elections Canada, if the Committee felt it would be useful.

I’d like to thank the following for the help during the election process; Deputy Returning Officers (those who ran the school and other electoral unit balloting), N. Martindale, K. Insull, G. Walker, K. Barber, T. Willerton, C. Buoncore, D. Harak, D. Baxter and I. Michalchyshyn.

I’d like to thank Michael Krauss whose help, organization and troubleshooting was invaluable to the success of this election.

Respectfully submitted by
Winston Blakey, Chairperson, Elections and Nominating Committee

 

FINANCE COMMITTEE

COMMITTEE MEMBERS:
Gregg Walker, Chairperson Rui Carvalho Terry Willerton
Carl Neumann Rueben Carr Lam Nguyen
Orysya Petryshyn

NUMBER OF MEETINGS: 3

ACHIEVEMENTS:
The Committee completed the following tasks this year:

  • Studied the Reserve Fund and reviewed options of reducing the Fund.
  • Made over-expenditure recommendations for the 2014-15 Budget.
  • Presented updated financial statements to Executive and Council.
  • Presented the audited financial statements to Executive and Council.
  • Prepared and presented the Draft WTA Budget for the 2015-2016 year to Executive and Council.

The WTA is in a healthy financial situation. By policy, the Reserve Fund has a cap of 125%. It has reached this threshold, and the Committee investigated ideas and initiatives to reduce the Reserve Fund. As a result of those discussions, the Committee has brought forth a recommendation to reduce membership fees and therefore return funds to the membership. The Committee also reviewed initiatives to expand or improve WTA services to the membership.

I would like to thank my Committee for their time and hard work this year. Many thanks to Michael Krauss for his hard work assisting this Committee, and David Tate of The Manitoba Teachers’ Society for his sage advice.

Respectfully submitted by
Gregg Walker, WTA Treasurer

 

GROUP BENEFITS COMMITTEE

COMMITTEE MEMBERS:
David Harack, Co-Chair Gregg Walker, Co-Chair Paulette Krovats
David Reece Terry Willerton Derek Lloyd
Colin Montgomery
Nancy Kerr, WTA Business Agent
Henry Shyka, Group Benefits Committee Consultant
Michael Krauss, WTA Administrative Assistant
Lori Mark, Aon
Kim Siddall, Aon
Dolores Schmidke, Aon

MEETINGS:
Manulife Service Meeting: 1 (2 hours, attended by Co-Chairs, Group Benefits Committee Consultant and the WTA Administrative Assistant)
Group Benefits Training Seminar: 1 (4 hours, attended by all Committee members)
Committee Meetings: 8 (average meeting duration was 1.5 hours)
MTS Benefits Seminars: 2 (attended by either Chair, 1 Saturday session (5 hours), and 1 evening session (2 hours))
Aon Benefits Summit: 1 (attended by the Co-Chair and Group Benefits Committee Consultant)
Pre-retirement Seminars: 2 (facilitated and presented by the Chair and Group Benefits Committee Consultant) 25 and 101 WTA members attended respectively.
Maternity/Adoptive/Parental Leave Seminar: 2 (17 and 18 WTA members attended respectively), presented by WTA Business Agent

ACHEIVEMENTS:

Dental Plan: The Plan has moved the 2015 Dental Fee Guide (January 1st, 2015), having a deductible holiday for this year.

Extended Health Benefits Plan: The Committee studied and reviewed financial data regarding the Manulife plan and has opted to maintain the status quo regarding premiums paid for both active and retirees in the next year. In addition to keeping the same fees, we have increased the coverage in many areas for the Active Teachers. These increases to services come at no increase to premiums. The plan currently is in solid shape and the Committee needs to continue to monitor trends and claims status to keep all affairs in good order. A major component to the GBC is to review members’ service requests which were roughly in the realm of 15 (at the Committee Level). Next year part of the focus should be to provide more services to WTA Retirees to continue to offer a competitive plan.

Other:

  1. The Committee has continued to help fund The Winnipeg School Division’s Pre-Retirement Seminar.
  2. Group Benefits Committee (GBC) ran two successful Maternity/Adoptive/Parental Leave Seminars.
  3. GBC ran two very successful Pre-retirement Seminars.
  4. On a daily basis WTA Administrative Assistant provides phone/email support to members on a variety of benefits issues (an average of 15 inquiries per week).
  5. The GBC has started to look into the possibility of a Short Term Disability Plan. More work is needed.
  6. GBC Consultant was readily available either by phone or email to provide support to GB Co-chair and WTA Administrative Assistant and to offer guidance in regards to service requests and other matters.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

  1. The GBC needs to continue to monitor plan usage for Manulife and Dental and act responsibly towards the Membership.
  2. In an effort to engage the WTA membership, the GBC should look to provide more services like the Mid-Career Planning Seminar that can provide valuable information. Continue to look at new ways to provide service to our membership.
  3. Continue to run/host/facilitate the Pre-Retirement and Parental Leave Seminars. Promote said events through newsletter articles, speaking at Council and notifications on the WTA website. When planning these events consider carefully the school calendar (i.e., staff meetings, parent teachers’ conferences) in order to be the most inclusive to our membership.
  4. Above all, seek to engage and educate our membership on all the services that are provided by our Association.
  5. Review the Association’s financial participation in the WSD Pre-Retirement Seminar.
  6. Continue to Act fairly and impartially when dealing with Members Service Requests.

The Group Benefits Committee would like to extend a special thanks to Henry Shyka and Michael Krauss for sharing their invaluable support, expertise and vast knowledge with the Committee. Also the Committee would also like to thank Lori Mark (Aon) for her many years of service to the WTA.

Respectfully submitted by,
David Harack and Gregg Walker, Co-Chairs, Group Benefits Committee

 

MONITORING COMMITTEE

The purpose of the Monitoring Committee is to ensure a WTA presence is in attendance at all meetings of the Winnipeg School Division Board of Trustees. Monitoring Committee members sit as a silent observers to the proceedings.

As of this writing there have been 17 WSD Board meetings with another 6 meetings scheduled to be held before the end of the school year.

Following each meeting a report was presented to the WTA office.

Respectfully submitted by,
David Harack, Chairperson, Monitoring Committee

 

NEGOTIATIONS COMMITTEE

COMMITTEE MEMBERS:
Nathan Martindale, Chair Pat Lewicki Kristin Insull
Dave Najduch David Harack Chris Pammenter
Nancy Kerr, MTS Staff Officer

NUMBER OF MEETINGS: 12 to date (includes Committee meetings and negotiations meetings with the WSD)

ACHIEVEMENTS:
Collective bargaining is arguably the most important function of our Association. The collective agreement impacts every aspect of our members’ relationship with their employer as well as their access to wages, rights and benefits. At the time that this report was written, negotiations between the WTA and WSD are ongoing.

Our preparation for this round of bargaining began when the last collective agreement was ratified in the Fall of 2011. The Committee developed the negotiations package, a process that extended over three years of committee meetings and membership consultations following WTA policy. As part of the preparation and training over the past three years, various members of the Committee joined me in attending:

  • monthly meetings with bargaining chairs from other metro associations;
  • bargaining seminars organized by The Manitoba Teachers’ Society each Spring and Fall;
  • the Society’s Summer Bargaining School each August where we received practical training and experience in bargaining simulations.

Thank you to the members of the Committee who contributed to the writing of the opening negotiations package and to the members for their input over the phone, via email and during school visits. Thank you to those members who submitted formal proposals as well. And special thank you to former WTA Business Agent, Henry Shyka, for his assistance and guidance during the three years of package preparation.

A special thank you to Nancy Kerr, the new WTA Business Agent and MTS Staff Officer. From guiding the Committee through this stage of the bargaining process to speaking at the table, I want to thank Nancy Kerr for her ongoing support. Nancy’s negotiating skills are absolutely stellar – she brings many years of bargaining experience to the table.

As per WTA Policy, the Vice-President has struck a new Negotiations Committee that has met once this year and will continue to meet in 2015-16 to begin anew the entire negotiations process in preparation for the next round of collective bargaining.

Respectfully submitted,
Nathan Martindale, Chair, Negotiations Committee

 

PRESIDENT’S COMMITTEE

COMMITTEE MEMBERS:
WTA Members: WSD Members:
Nathan Martindale Pauline Clarke, Chief Superintendent
Kristin Insull Eric Barnaby, Director of Human Resources
Nancy Kerr

NUMBER OF MEETINGS: 8 to date and 2 more pending

PURPOSE OF THE COMMITTEE:
The WTA President, Vice-President and Business Agent meet monthly with Pauline Clarke, Chief Superintendent, and Eric Barnaby, Director of Human Resources.

ACHIEVEMENTS:
The following is a list of items discussed:

  • Year-end Report Cards
  • WTA/MTS/WSD Leadership Development
  • WSD Technology: Central Print Services, DocuTech, WebCRD.
  • Assessment
  • Training for Teachers
  • Nursery/Kindergarten Report Cards
  • Email and Telephone Support for Report Cards
  • Staff meetings
  • K-3 Class Size
  • School Visit Feedback
  • Influences on WSD decision-making
  • 2015/16 WSD Budget
  • Waterford Green Development – New School
  • WSD Restructuring

Thank you to the Chief Superintendent and the Director of Human Resources for taking the time to meet with us on a regular basis and enter into respectful conversations on a wide variety of topics.

Respectfully submitted by,
Nathan Martindale, President

 

PUBLIC RELATIONS COMMITTEE

COMMITTEE MEMBERS:
Kristin Insull, Chairperson Nathan Martindale Gregg Walker
David Harack Dave Najduch

NUMBER OF MEETINGS: 5

PURPOSE OF THE COMMITTEE: The mandate of the Public Relations Committee is:

  1. to publicize the forum for Executive candidates
  2. maintain liaison with the MTS Communications Department
  3. may distribute prizes to Council
  4. maintain a supply of goodwill gifts at the WTA office that bear the current WTA logo, to be distributed as the President sees fit.

ACHIEVEMENTS:
This year, the Winnipeg Teachers’ Association hired Changemakers to help re-think how we communicate with our members, what messages we are sending, and how we can continue to work to get more members involved in the activities of the Association. Members of the Changemakers team conducted stakeholder consultations at Council and the Executive, and created an open survey for all WTA members. Results were compiled into a research report, which then become a communications plan. Work with Changemakers will continue throughout the summer months, and we anticipate an exciting launch of the new WTA website prior to the start of school in September 2015.

The Public Relations Committee also provided pizza lunches to 10 schools as a thank you for their quick submission of member e-mail addresses, and took pizza to Elmwood High School to offer support after the passing of a colleague.

In May, names of Council Reps/Alternates that have missed no more than one meeting up to and including the May WTA AGM will be entered into a draw for an iPad mini. Entrants not winning the iPad mini will be given a small token of our appreciation for their dedicated attendance.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

  1. Increase the presence of the WTA both in the community and online;
  2. Continue to offer an attendance incentive to WTA Council Reps/Alternates;
  3. Continue to offer pizza lunches to 10 schools per year.

Respectfully submitted by,
Kristin Insull, Chairperson, Public Relations Committee

 

RECEPTION COMMITTEE

COMMITTEE MEMBERS:
Paulette Krovats, Chairperson Caroline Cantafio Fernando Batista
Terry Willerton Susan Harrison Connie Buoncoure

NUMBER OF MEETINGS:  3 to date and 1 to 2 more meetings pending.

ACHIEVEMENTS:
The Committee met three times between November and February with a focus on brainstorming and researching social ideas for this year and into the future. It was determined to host an evening at Rumours Comedy Club once again. The event took place on April 14, 2015, and ninety-one WTA members and their guests attended the evening.

The Committee is presently considering a Texas scramble golf tournament as a future event, to possibly be held in the late summer or early Fall.

The Committee will meet again prior to June to discuss plans and preparations for the Distinguished Service Award to be presented at the Council meeting on June 8, 2015, as well as the annual WTA Retirement Reception to be held at the Shaarey Zedek Synagogue on June 10, 2015.

Respectfully submitted by,
Paulette Krovats, Chairperson, Reception Committee

 

SUBSTITUTES COMMITTEE

COMMITTEE MEMBERS:
Orysya Petryshyn, Chairperson Tomasz Glowacki Ruxandra Dobrev
Jackie Martin Carl Neumann Oksana Panchyshyn
Linda Kirkwood Gurinder Bajwa

NUMBER OF MEETINGS: 4 meetings and 2 PD Seminars

ACHIEVEMENTS:
The Substitute Committee is an opportunity for substitute teachers and the WTA to meet and discuss issues and share matters of concern.

The following reflects some of the issues discussed by the Committee this year:

  • WTA Policy
  • Salary
  • Professional Development
  • Pension Contribution
  • WSD Issues
  • Hiring Information
  • Retired Teachers Subbing.

The Committee hosted a general meeting of substitute teachers on October 21, 2014, in the MTS auditorium. This meeting was very open and a lot of good discussion occurred.

The Committee completed the following tasks this year:

  • Seminar on Classroom Management by Pat Harrison (September 24, 2014)
  • Hosted a General Meeting of Substitutes (October 21, 2014)
  • Seminar on Cyber Defence and Computer Technology by Charles Bazilewich and Robert Esposito (April 21, 2015)

I would like to extend a special thanks to Michael Krauss, Nathan Martindale, Kristin Insull, Nancy Kerr, Dave Najduch, Chris Pammenter, David Harack and Gregg Walker for sharing their support, expertise and vast knowledge.

Respectfully submitted by,
Orysya Petryshyn, Chairperson, Substitute Committee

 

TABLE OFFICERS

COMMITTEE MEMBERS:
Nathan Martindale, President Kristin Insull, Vice-President Gregg Walker, Treasurer
David Harack, Secretary Dave Najduch, Past-President Nancy Kerr, Business Agent

NUMBER OF MEETINGS: 10 to date and 2 more pending

COMMITTEE PURPOSE:
The Table Officers consist of the President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary and WTA Business Agent. The job of the Table Officers is to review issues and help provide direction to Executive and/or Council as required.

ACHIEVEMENTS:
The following topics were discussed at Table Officers this year:

  • Ray Stoyko Memorial Scholarship
  • Office Update/Start of the Year
  • Changes to Credentials System
  • New Council Representative Workshop
  • Council Representative Handbook
  • WTA By-election
  • Public Relations
  • Council Electoral Unit Change
  • WSD Trustee Election
  • Executive PD/Travel Budget Line
  • Council PD/Group Benefits
  • Member Engagement
  • DSA and Executive Nominating and Elections Committees
  • School Visits
  • Committee Chairs
  • WTA Budget
  • WTA 50th Anniversary
  • Member Engagement
  • WTA Personnel Committee
  • WTA Committee Chair Intention Forms
  • School Visits/Pizza Lunches
  • WP/VPA

Respectfully submitted by,
Nathan Martindale, President

 

TEACHER WELFARE COMMITTEE

COMMITTEE MEMBERS:
Terry Willerton, Chairperson Sam Zurzolo Erin Arbuckle
Victoria McMahon Connie Buoncore Stephanie Krawchuk
Lacey Collins Crystal Stein

NUMBER OF MEETINGS: 9 meetings and 2 more pending

COMMITTEE PURPOSE:
The purpose of the TWC is to promote wellness to all members of the WTA through grants that enable all electoral units to hold Teacher Wellness days. We provide funding for almost any wellness activity as well as provide the tools and equipment (in some cases) to enable our members to have wellness as an ongoing practice.

ACHIEVEMENTS:

  1. Teacher wellness applications from almost 30 electoral units (schools) were received and reviewed.
  2. 24 teacher wellness applications were approved.
  3. We are seeing more and more applications than in any other year.
  4. As of April 14th we have paid out almost half of the requests and are awaiting evaluation forms and receipts from the remaining half.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

  1. The forms are readily accessible to all members and we hope to have them so that they are simple yet well written and understandable.
  2. More work has to be done so that all applicants know what the criteria is and understand that these funds are for Teacher Wellness and should not be combined with Professional Development Days.
  3. Although this year’s committee has not done any work around on-line applications we hope that the next committee will take this on and make it a reality to better facilitate the grant application procedure.
  4. We hope the new TWC will continue to use the newsletter and our website to keep all members informed about the grants available to them through their WTA.

Respectfully submitted by,
Terry Willerton Chairperson, Teacher Welfare Committee

 

WSD / WTA JOINT COMMITTEE

COMMITTEE MEMBERS:
WTA Members: WSD Members:
Nathan Martindale Sherri Rollins
Kristin Insull Lisa Naylor
Dave Harack Dean Koshelanyk
Gregg Walker

NUMBER OF MEETINGS: 3 to date and 1 more pending

COMMITTEE PURPOSE:
This Committee exists as a result of the negotiations process. It provides a direct link between the WTA and the Board of Trustees. The purpose of the Committee is to discuss issues which are of mutual interest.

ACHIEVEMENTS:
Some of the items discussed this year included:

  • 2015/16 Budget
  • WSD Restructuring
  • Elementary Assessment
  • Technology
  • Provincial Report Cards
  • Workplace Safety and Health

Respectfully submitted by,
Nathan Martindale, President

 

WORKPLACE SAFETY AND HEALTH

COMMITTEE MEMBERS:
Kristin Insull, Chairperson Nathan Martindale Chris Pammenter
Orysya Petryshyn Jackie Cleave

NUMBER OF MEETINGS: 3 to date and 1 more pending

COMMITTEE PURPOSE:
The mandate of the Committee was updated this year, and is as follows:

The role of the Committee shall include, but not be limited to:

  1. Monitoring the implementation and application of applicable workplace safety and health policy and legislation;
  2. Participating in the development, implementation and delivery of workplace safety and health training to WTA members;
  3. Making recommendations for action to the WTA Executive.

ACHIEVEMENTS:
This year was the first year the Association has had its own Workplace Safety and Health Committee in a few years. Therefore, much of the discussion revolved around the purpose and work of the Committee.

The Committee undertook a small survey of the membership in order to assess the awareness of the Winnipeg School Division’s Harassment and Violence Prevention Policies. The results were compiled and will continue to direct the work of the Committee in 2015-2016.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

  1. Encourage participation on MTS Workplace Safety and Health Standing Committee and attendance of all WTA Committee members at MTS seminars.
  2. Use survey results to generate opportunities for educating members.
  3. Continue to find opportunities for the Committee to participate meaningfully in WPSH.

Respectfully submitted,
Kristin Insull, Chairperson, Workplace Safety and Health Committee

 

WTA / WINNIPEG PRINCIPALS & VICE-PRINCIPALS ASSOCATION LIAISON COMMITTEE

COMMITTEE MEMBERS:
WTA WP/VPA
Nathan Martindale Pat Lewicki
Kristin Insull Doug Taylor
Nancy Kerr Cree Crowchild
Dan Turner Cinzia Caputo
Nancy McTavish

NUMBER OF MEETINGS: 1 and 1 more pending

COMMITTEE PURPOSE:
The Committee is an opportunity for the Association and the WP&VPA to discuss issues of mutual concern and share information in an informal manner.

ACHIEVEMENTS:
The following reflects some of the issues discussed by the Committee this year:

  • MTS Code of Professional Practice
  • Term Teachers Contracts
  • Human Resources Conversations
  • New Administrators Group
  • Negotiations Proposals
  • WSD Leadership Development.

Respectfully submitted by,
Nathan Martindale, President