Earlier this year, the Thompson Teachers’ Association settled grievances on the non-payment of maternity top-up benefits during non-teaching periods. This means that, as of July 1, 2015, any teacher member of the TTA will receive the full amount of top-up benefits regardless of when her baby is born. Benefits are still not payable during break periods, but will be paid in full once the break is over. This is an important and historic achievement for those teachers, and special thanks go to the teachers who were willing to file grievances to support their Association in achieving this breakthrough.
Subsequent to the Thompson settlement, eleven other teacher associations have been able to successfully negotiate the Thompson language into their collective agreements. Including Thompson, nearly one third of teacher associations in Manitoba now have language guaranteeing 135 days of top-up benefits to any teacher who takes maternity and parental leave, regardless of when the baby is born.
There is still work to do, however, as teachers in the remaining associations, including Winnipeg, do not yet have access to full top-up benefits. The Winnipeg Teachers’ Association is committed to trying to achieve full top-up benefits for its members. To this end, we would like any teacher who will be on maternity leave for any portion of this summer to contact either the WTA office (204-831-7104) or Nancy Kerr at The Manitoba Teachers’ Society (204-831-3086).