Newsletter April 2011

WSD and Staffing

By: Dave Najduch, WTA President

Apply for Posted Positions:
Any member who is under permanent contract with the WSD is free to apply for positions which have been posted.  It is important to note that you do not have to
send a letter to the WSD indicating you are interested in applying for work prior to actually sending in your covering letter and resume.


Employee Connect:
The staffing bulletins will be available online for all members and a paper copy will be provided to schools. Check the afternoon prior to the dates indicated below for the electronic postings. When you apply for positions, you can do so electronically through Employee Connect or submit a paper version.


Ad in Schools Deadline for Applications
1st Round – Thursday, May 5,  2011 Monday, May 9, 2011 – 12:00 PM
2nd Round – Tuesday, May 24, 2011 Thursday, May 26, 2011 –12:00 PM
3rd Round – Tuesday, June 7, 2011 Wednesday, June 8, 2011 – 4:00 PM

When was the last time you were interviewed for a position? For most of the membership, it has been a very long time.  If you have been called to an interview spend a little time preparing.  The best thing to do is have a friend or colleague conduct a practice interview.  Basic questions like: “Why did you apply? and What skills training and background do you bring to the position?”  are usually a good place to start.

Workplace Safety & Health 101

By: Joan Fransen, WTA Vice-President


One thing that has come to concern me over the last little while relates to when some schools are holding meetings.The Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Act states,

A member of a committee is entitled to take time off from his or her regular work duties in order to carry out his or her duties as a committee member under this Act and the regulations.  The member shall be paid by his or her employer at the member’s regular or premium pay, as applicable, for all time spent carrying out his or her duties as a committee member under this Act and the regulations.
from Members paid while carrying out committee duties 40(11)

In other words, meetings should be held during the instructional day.  An exception occurs in the case where a meeting is held during the meal period, the WTA/WSD Collective Agreement meal period provision applies; that is,

Melinda Guenther-Balodis, Substitute Teachers’ Committee Chair

How many subs are currently employed by the WSD?     
1037 substitutes, 211 on term contracts

How can subs better access professional development opportunities, and how do subs request access to PD?                   

What are the benefits of paying WTA fees?                          

What is TRAF?             

How can better communication be facilitated with the division?
Dave encouraged members to contact WTA with any concerns through the WTA website and by phone.  Dave added that he and Joan meet regularly, with human resource personnel for WSD, and raise concerns with the division at these meetings.

Why were only some subs given information regarding WSD orientation?             

Could subs be e-mailed information?             
The WSD does not provide substitute e-mails.

What percentage of substitutes are retired teachers?  
243 retired teachers are retired teachers, which is approx. 30% of substitutes.

Do administrators have a list of substitutes?             

What is the process for teachers/schools to contact substitutes?             
Some schools might have a priority list of people the school has experience with.  This can be generated by staff or administration.

Is the process different for each school?             

After the questions were answered, attending members enjoyed dinner. Then Dave entertained questions and comments. The following is a brief outline of the attendees concerns and discussion.

    • term contracts are not posted internally, as other division post
      them internally
    • Help-line not available to subs at 6:00am.  Subs are getting voice mail.
    • conflict of interest if a substitute’s child is in the class they are called to  (division policy, that a teacher cannot teach his/her own child)
    • cancelled jobs  Subs should call WTA when this happens and give specific information
    • fewer calls to subs  sub list has been growing over last several years and is now capped
    • subs not being given teachers’ scheduled preps  subs should receive timetable of teacher you are working for.  Call WTA with specific incidents.
    • Subs that decline for a time period are taken off list.  What is the time
      period for this? 
      Dave encouraged subs to call with specifics, if this
      happens.  Subs should be able to call and give reasons for declining
      and then be placed back on.
    • no information given as to grade level being called for, only gr. 1-3 or 4-6
    • lack of access to computers in school, for subs  WTA talking to HR, but
      so far no solution

Dave encouraged substitute members to contact WTA with concerns, through
e-mail or phone. 

The meeting provided substitute teachers to meet with one another, ask questions, and raise concerns for WTA to address.

Thank-you to Dave Najduch and Joan Fransen for attending the meeting, and
for responding to the questions and concerns, from our substitute members.

General Information

Re:  Manulife EHB Travel

Manulife for active WTA members – “As long as the insured, i.e. an active teacher, is under age 65 – the spouse’s age is not relevant.” (i.e. they may be over age 65)  “The coverage in place as a ‘Class A’ employee applies to all eligible dependents too.  It is only the ‘insured’s’ age that matters as far as the coverage goes.”  This means that active teachers’ spouses/partners over the age of 65 have unlimited travel if the active teacher is under 65 years of age.


Electoral Units not represented at the March Council meeting:

Garden Grove, Glenelm, Greenway, J. B. Mitchell, King Edward, Kent Road, Luxton, Montrose, Mulvey, Niji Mahkwa, R. B. Russell, Ralph Brown and Wellington


Benefits Update

A. Dental Plan:
There have been improvements made to the Dental Plan provided by Great-West Life Assurance Co.

  1.  The Orthodontic amount has been increased to $1250.00 per person per calendar year (effective January 1/09). Please note that all Orthodontic treatment must first be submitted to Great-West Life.
  2. Dental implants have been added to the Major Coverage (60%) (effective March 1/08). Routine and Major benefits coverage has a maximum of $2500.00 per person per calendar year.Please note that Routine or Major treatment expected to cost over $300.00 must first be submitted to Great-West Life.

 B. Extended Health Benefit Plan:
The Extended Health Benefit (EHB) Plan provided by Manulife has offered Plan Administrators of the EHB plan a Dedicated Service Representative (DSR).  The DSR
is the Plan Administrator’s contact for inquiries and issues relating to the general administration of the plan.  This includes:  claims, eligibility, Internet support, billing, general coverage information, etc.

ONLY the Plan Administrator may access the DSR, however, if you have concerns/issues arising from a claim and the 1-800-268-6195  representative cannot assist you, please contact the following Plan

Administrators and inform them of your issue.  They, in turn, will contact the DSR with your concern and get back to you.

Plan Administrator for Active Teachers – Sue Lee
The Winnipeg School Division

Plan Administrator for Retired Teachers Glenda Shepherd
The Winnipeg Teachers’ Association



The Winnipeg Teacher’s Association Retirement

Retirees will receive invitations in the mail.

The Winnipeg Teachers’ Association Substitute Committee

Melinda Guenther-Balodis
Melinda Photo

WTA Substitute Teacher Members
to a General Meeting of
WTA Substitute Teachers’
@ McMaster House
191 Harcourt Street
Monday, February 28, 2011
Registration will take place at 4:30 pm