Newsletter February 2014

WSD 2014-2015 Budget

David

By: Dave Najduch, WTA President

The WSD is currently working on its Budget for the 2014-2015 school year. It released a number of budget related documents which provided the following highlights. I have spoken to the Division about these items and have included their responses.

The WSD is proposing a tax increase of 3.6 %
The total budget is estimated at $374 million. The dollar amount reflects a 2.5 % increase over the previous year’s budget.

The draft budget includes the following additions:

  • Resources to improve Math Learning ($241,000)
    The WSD will be hiring eight EA’s who will support “Math Learning” in grades 1 & 2 for six week blocks of time. The EA’s will move from school to school and be working under the direction of classroom teachers.
  • Additional supports for Science Labs ($140,000)
    The WSD will be hiring three full-time lab assistants who will be shared among the high schools.
  • A pilot in four schools ($225,000) for a full-time Nursery/Kindergarten program
    The program is being initiated by the Trustees and will see only four full-day Kindergarten classrooms created. The specific details for this program have yet to be determined at the Divisional level.

Reserve Funding Expenditures:

  • Wi-Fi Technology and Improvements in high schools to enhance student learning ($1.2 Million)
    The funds will be used to provide additional supports across a number of high schools in the WSD.
  • Installation of additional security systems in schools to improve safety ($300,000)
    The WSD will be providing camera systems for ten schools.

The budget will be finalized in the near future. Once this has occurred, the WTA will be looking for further clarification about the specific items outlined above.

WSD and IEP’s

The WTA office has received a number of questions regarding the use of IEP’s in the Division. The information below has been provided in response to the questions asked by the WTA of the WSD.

  1. Grades 1-8: If the student is in a “regular program” and your report card has already indicated strengths, challenges and next steps for a particular subject area, this can be copied and pasted into the IEP. No further comment is required by the WSD.
  2. Grades 9-12: If the student is in the “regular program” and appears to be functioning one year below grade level in a subject area, “the WSD is not mandating” an IEP be written for that student.

As always, if you have any comments, questions or concerns, please call me at 204-831-7104 or email me at pres@wta.mb.ca

Negotiations and Workplace Safety and Health Updates

By: Nathan Martindale, Vice-President

Negotiations Update

A Special Negotiations Meeting of Council was held before the February 19th meeting as per WTA Policy. At this time I presented the summary of Negotiations Proposals for the next round of Collective Bargaining on behalf of the WTA Negotiations Committee. Council Reps were asked to take the information back to their locations to share with WTA members. If you have any questions regarding the Negotiations proposals, please do not hesitate to contact me at the WTA Office phone at 204-831-7104 or email: vpres@wta.mb.ca .

Workplace Safety and Health Update

At the last meeting of the Central Workplace Safety and Health Committee the Division provided updates regarding the following:

  • New Incident Report Forms and Call-In System

    The Division is still working to implement a new inbound call system that will streamline the process of reporting both Workplace Safety and Health incidents as well as employee accidents. This new system will also include an new incident report form.

    The Division has developed this centralized system to make it easier for employees to report incidents. The WTA will continue to encourage members to report incidents of Violence or Harassment. If incidents go unreported, there will be no resolution and the incidents will continue.

  • Non-Violent Crisis Intervention Training for Educational Assistants

    The Division has trained four NVCI trainers and certification classes have begun for Educational Assistants. This program is being co-ordinated by the Division’s Special Education Department. According to the Division, substitute EAs will be trained first so that they can then provide coverage for permanent Level C or D EAs who need training in their current position. Following this, other staff will be trained to ensure there is immediate coverage for situations such as an EA going home sick.

    The training was initially a two year commitment, but will probably be an ongoing as new EAs enter the system. Teachers are working in situations where violent incidents are frequent and the lack of trained EAs (both permanent and substitute) were creating unsafe situations for our members.

Online Resources related to Workplace Safety and Health

The following website links were included in articles from November 2011 and October 2012. I am bringing them to your attention once again, as new information is available and new members need to be aware of the information that exists.

Please take the time to review the following information that can be found under the forms section of the WTA Website. Use the Division form and the WTA checklists to report any incidences of Violence or Harassment.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns related to Workplace Safety and Health please call the WTA Office at 204-831-7104 and speak with Dave Najduch, WTA President or myself.

Reception Committee Info

By: Terry Willerton, Reception Committee Chair

First of all let me thank my Committee members for all their work in putting together the Rumour’s Comedy Night Event. Which took place on Tuesday, February 18th, 2014. It was a great night. The comedian was very funny. If you did not go I highly recommend that you attend next year.The food was awesome and I believe from the feedback I have received, everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

The next event will be the Retirement Reception. Keep your eyes posted on the Newsletter for all the information. Have a GREAT Spring Break.

Manulife Extended Health Benefits Plan

The following are the rates for the Manulife Extended Health Benefits Plan that are effective March 1st, 2014:

Active Single: No change – $51.00
Active Family: No change – $106.00
Retiree Single: No Change – $61.68 plus $0.35 TRAF admin fee to – $62.03
Retiree Family: No change – $128.71 plus $0.35 TRAF admin fee to – $129.06

Improvements to the Manulife Extended Health Benefits Plan:

  1. Increases to Physio/Occupational/Athletic Therapy – increased to $1000.00 calendar year, effective March 1st, 2014 (Actives & Retirees).
  2. Increase in hearing aid coverage from $1000.00 to $2000.00 every five (5) years, effective January 1st, 2014 (Actives & Retirees).
  3. Increase to Massage Therapy from $500.00 to $600.00 per calendar year for Active members only; effective March 1st, 2014.

WTA Counselling Program

As a WTA member you, or a family member, are entitled to up to 10 hours of free counselling services. The nature of the appointments can be for work, family or other issues. All counselling sessions are strictly confidential and no information is shared with the WTA office or the Winnipeg School Division. For further information on the counselling program, please contact Ms. Monique Raimbault at the number listed below.

The following counsellors are available to assist you at different locations across the city:

Ms. Monique Raimbault
(Wolseley/West End)

18-595 Clifton St.
Winnipeg, MB R3G 2X5
Phone: (204) 774-4269
Web link: www.moniqueraimbault.com

Mr. Jake Schmidt
(West Kildonan)

Keystone Counselling Associates
615-1630 Henderson Hwy
Winnipeg, MB R2G 2B9
Phone: (204) 338-3339
Fax: (204) 338-7906
Email: jakekca@shaw.ca
Service available: Tues, Weds, Thurs –day time and evening. Call for appointment times.

Ms. Janet Bergsgaard
(Downtown between Assiniboine and Broadway)

611 – 77 Edmonton Street
Winnipeg, MB R3C 4H8
Phone: (204) 417-1203
Web link: www.janetbergsgaard.com

Ms. Lorrie Brubacher
(Downtown between Assiniboine and Broadway)

77 Edmonton St. Ste 611
Winnipeg, MB R3C 4H8
Phone: (204) 221-4776
Web link: www.lbrubacher.com

General Information

WTA Dental Plan

As of January 1st, 2014 the following changes have been made to the WTA Dental Plan:

  • As of January 1st, 2014, the 2013 Dental Fee Guide is in effect.
  • There is NO deductible holiday for 2014. REMINDER: Change in amount of Deductible: members will be required to pay the following annual deductible effective January 1st, 2013: $30.00 individual/$50.00 family.

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Electoral Units not represented at the January Council meeting:
Absent: APC, Andrew Mynarski, Argyle, COTE, DLC, Dufferin, George V, Grant Park, Isaac Brock, J.B. Mitchell, Lord Selkirk, Norquay, Pinkham, Ralph Brown, St. John’s, Sister MacNamara, Strathcona, William Whyte, WAEC – 700 Elgin Ave.

Reminders…

  1. Ray Stoyko Memorial Scholarship—please go to the WTA Website—wta.mb.ca to find an application form for the above scholarship.
  2. Please send your original receipts to Manulife and make a photocopy of the documents for your records. When filling out your ManuLife claim forms please include your home address on the form. Failure to do so will result in Manulife forwarding your claim/cheque to the Payroll Department of The Winnipeg School.
  3. Disability Benefits Plan (Long Term Disability) Please be aware that your dental plan ends with the exhaustion of your sick leave.
  4. Retiring…resigning? Please do not send in your intention to retire/resign unless you are positive that you will be doing so, as requests to rescind intentions to resign or retire have been refused in the past.

The views expressed in articles in the Newsletter are not necessarily those of the Association.
Deadline for submissions for the March WTA Newsletter is: March 11th, 2014.