Newsletter March 2011

The MTS Code
of professional practice!

By: Dave Najduch, WTA President

Over the last few months I have received a number of questions, comments and concerns related to the MTS Code of Professional Practice and how it applies to the membership across a number of different situations. The following information is an update to an article which appeared in the December 2009 WTA newsletter related to the MTS Code of Professional Practice.


Staff Room Chat:
Members need to be careful when sitting in the staff room. Being critical of another member around the staffroom table, at a staff meeting or even in the hallway without having first shared that concern in private with the member, can lead to a charge of unprofessional conduct.

Administrators as Agents of the Employer:
Many of the calls the Association receives are linked to the actions of WTA members who are also school administrators. As a school administrator individuals wear two hats. The first is an MTS/WTA member and the second is as an agent of the employer. As an agent of the employer the person is doing the job of school administrator on behalf of the WSD. This job includes such functions as teacher evaluation, classroom assignments (space and students), directing the assigning of student grades, calling of meetings, etc. etc. These functions reflect the authority of the school administrator as it exists in both legislation and policy.

The Code clearly indicates it is not unprofessional for a member to call the WTA or the Society to seek advice regarding the actions of any other member without first contacting that individual.

   8. A teacher shall not be considered in contravention of the Code in:
       a. consulting with the Society or the president of the member’s local association;
       b. reporting reasonable grounds for suspected child abuse according to
legal requirements

Who Decides:
We regularly get calls from members indicating others are telling them they are being unprofessional. It is not up to individuals to decide who is and is not being professional. Ultimately, the MTS makes that determination based on a lengthy internal process that begins with a member bringing forward a concern about another member.

This and That

By: Joan Fransen, WTA Vice-President



Workplace Safety & Health

On February 26, 2011 several members of the WTA Workplace Safety and Health (WS&H) committee attended the Manitoba Teachers’ Society WS&H Seminar.  This seminar provided a valuable opportunity for attendees to hear from Marty Danielson who is the Manitoba Labour and Immigration Safety and Health Officer assigned to Education.  Mr. Danielson provided an informative session regarding WS&H and how regulations pertain to schools.  I believe the overriding concern by members in attendance was enforcing regulations in the school context, especially with reference to violence in the workplace.  Mr. Danielson was very clear about workers’ rights to be in an environment free from violence and the employers’ obligation to provide a safe workplace for all employees. We need to get past the notion that being assaulted is part of the job.

The “proof is in the pudding.”  That is, when it comes down to it, how will regulations be enforced?  The WTA WS&H committee is in the process of examining the WS&H Act and school division policies and practices in order to provide members with strategies and support for making the work environment a safe place.

Collective Bargaining:  Describing the Arbitration Process

On the Negotiations front, following the report to Council in January, Council passed a motion to give the Table Team the ability to declare impasse and proceed to arbitration should it become necessary.

Members were notified at the beginning of February of the Table Teams’ decision to declare impasse and, indeed, proceed to arbitration. Since that time, the WTA has named John Collins as our nominee to the three-person arbitration board.  At a recent WSD meeting of the Board of Trustees, Denny Kells was named as their nominee.  The next step is for the two nominees to select a third person to chair the arbitration board.

After the arbitration board is in place, the parties will determine arbitration dates.  As there are many people involved it will take time to select dates in which everyone is available.  The parties will be attempting to find approximately ten days in common.

The arbitration hearings will involve testimony and entering evidence into the record.  Following this, a ruling will be made.  This written decision will take time to write.  When it is received, its contents will be binding on both parties.

All in all, the process will be lengthy.

  • Original claim receipts are always required.  Copies will not be accepted (other than when Manulife is the second payor.)
  • Prescription Drugs:  there is a $1200. threshold for drug expenses incurred in each Pharmacare benefit year (April to March) for an insured or familyunder age 65.  Reimbursement of drug claims will cease once Manulife has paid $1200.  At that point, the claim is returned and the insured must apply for Manitoba Pharmacare.  Once application has been made, resubmit the claim to Manulife with a copy of the Pharmacare application.  Your annual deductible will be entered on the system and future claims for the year will continue to be paid until the deductible is reached.  To avoid payment interruption it is suggested that everyone make application.
    • Threshold for insureds age 65 or over is $800 before they must forward their Pharmacare Form to ManuLife.
    • Pharmacare applications are available at any pharmacy.
  • For all Practitioners:  i.e. Physiotherapist, Athletic Therapist, Occupational Therapist, Speech Therapist, Massage Therapist, Audiologist, Psychologist, Chiropractor, Chiropodist/Podiatrist, Osteopath, Naturopath and Dietician.  Be sure that the receipt clearly indicates the Practitioner’s Provincial registration number and their designation:
    • eg. Chiropractor – D.C. (Doctor of Chiropractry)
             Massage Therapist – R.M.T. (Registered Massage Therapist
             Psychologist – (Ph.D. in Psychology)
    • Some generic receipts do not always indicate this information.
    • This information will be necessary on each claim.
  • For Chiropractic services incurred prior to reaching the maximum under Manitoba Health (first 12 visits in a year), ensure that the Chiropractor’s receipt clearly specifies that the charges are for services not covered by Manitoba Health, i.e. ‘non-insured services.’  These may include x-rays, examinations, pre- and post-treatment evaluations, instrumentation and adjunctive therapies.
  • Orthotics ($400. per three (3) calendar years):  due to fraudulent practices by some suppliers in recent years, Manulife has been forced to tighten the requirements for reimbursement of this benefit.  The following documentation is required with each claim:

       From the physician/practitioner:

      1. A copy of the recommendation or referral from the prescribing physician, podiatrist or chiropodist,which includes the medical condition(s) necessitating the use of orthotic appliances.

From the supplier:

2. Copies of the biomechanical examination and gait analysis performed.

3. Complete description of the process used to create the orthotics, including the casting technique and the raw materials used.

4. Confirmation that the orthotics have been paid in full (supporting receipt) or confirmation that the patient has received the appliances.

Out-of-Country Travel/ManuAssist [9505] (for active members only-not retirees):

For medical expenses in excess of $200:
In the event you or your dependents incur over $200. in expenses, contact ManuAssist via the toll-free number on the reverse of your blue card (active members only.)

  • The caller provides ManuAssist with the Employee’s name, policy, certificate number and the imprinted ID number on the card (9505).
  • ManuAssist will confirm your group coverage with Manulife and arrange for the payment of medical expenses (provided they were contacted before the expense was incurred.)
  • You will be asked to sign an authorization form, allowing them to coordinate payment of the claim on your behalf through Manitoba Health and your
    Manulife plan.

For medical expenses under $200:

  • Pay for the expense and obtain receipt.
  • When you return home, submit claim to Manitoba Health.
  • Once reimbursement is received from the Provincial plan, submit ‘Out-of-Province/Out-of-Canada Health Claim’ form to Manulife, accompanied with copies of receipts and the statement from Manitoba Health.  Manulife will pay the remaining balance of eligible expenses.

Please refer to the ManuAssist brochure that you received with your card for further details on this benefit.

As of March 1st, 2005 eye examinations, every two years, have been added to the Manulife Extended Benefit Health plan for active members only.

    • Athletic, Occupational, Physio Therapy – combined maximum $750 per person,
      per calendar year for both practitioners combined
    • Audiologist – $500. per person, per calendar year
    • Chiropractor – $500. per person, per calendar year
    • Dietician – $500. per person, per calendar year
    • Massage Therapist – $500. per person, per calendar year
    • Naturopath – $500. per person, per calendar year
    • Osteopath – $500. per person, per calendar year
    • Podiatrist or Chiropodist – $500. per person, per calendar year
    • Psychologist – $500. per person, per calendar year
    • Speech Therapist – $500. per person, per calendar year


    • Surgical brassieres and breast prostheses, $400. per single prosthesis or bra, per calendar year
    • Expenses associated with the purchase and installation of hearing aids$1000. every 5 calendar years.

General Information

Electoral Units not represented at the February Council meeting:

Andrew Mynarski, Children of the Earth, College Churchill, Elmwood, Glenelm, Isaac Brock, J.B. Mitchell, Montrose, Mulvey, River Heights, Strathcona, Sisler and Wolseley.


The Winnipeg Teacher’s Association Social Event

Kyle LeBlanc
Kyle Photo

At Academy Bowling Lanes
394 Academy Rd.
Tuesday, March 22nd, 2010
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Registration begins at 6:30 PM
Only 119 Spots available!
Cost: Free for WTA members.

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