The end of the school year is fast approaching, and after all the necessary end of June tasks have been completed, teachers often start thinking about next year. Similarly, as the business of the WTA winds down for the 2014/15 year, the WTA Office has already started mapping out plans for next year. For a more in-depth look at this past year, please review my President’s Report in the 2014/15 Annual Reports.
I would like to thank the following outgoing Executive members for their commitment of time, energy, skills and ideas: Winston Blakey, Matthew Jones, Iyvan Michalchyshyn, Carl Neumann and Orysya Petryshyn. I know that some of you will continue to stay involved with the organization as Council Representatives or members of committees.
I would also like to welcome the incoming Executive members: Rui Carvalho, Kristen Fallis, Cheryl Ottenbreit, Paul Shiaro, and Sam Zurzolo. I look forward to working with each of you in the upcoming year, and I commend you for increasing your level of involvement in the WTA.
Several times this year I was asked “How are you enjoying your new position at the WTA?” Most of the time I indicated that “enjoy” isn’t exactly the right word to describe the feeling I have for serving as WTA President. I used the analogy of being a new parent. I do not “enjoy” changing diapers or getting a mere two hours of sleep, but those are part of the responsibilities that an individual takes on when they become a parent. Similarly, I do not necessarily “enjoy” the endless schedule of meetings or constant barrage of phone calls on issues the employer can’t always address, but these are just a sample of the many responsibilities that I knew I would be taking on when I put my name forward for the position of President. On the other hand, I do enjoy advocating for a member, addressing a member’s concern, or even simply answering a quick question. In short, I enjoy this job when I am able to provide assistance and guidance to members.
Another enjoyable part of this job is the school visits to informally meet members during their lunch hour. This year the Vice-President and I visited 67 locations and met with over 800 members. A wide range of topics were discussed and I appreciate those members who took the time from their lunch hour to meet with us.
Looking ahead to next year, there are several exciting initiatives on the horizon. Stay tuned to wta.mb.ca for more information. In particular June 1, 2016 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the amalgamation of Mens’ local and Womens’ local of the Winnipeg Division. The Winnipeg Division Association changed its name to the Winnipeg Teachers’ Association in 1967. Our Association has a long history of providing service to members, and we look forward to celebrating our achievements.
As the school year winds down, I would like to wish you all an enjoyable and restful summer. Spend some time outdoors, stay active and engage in activities that are important to you. The time will pass quickly, so make the most of it!