Newsletter November 2010

School PD and traveling
outside the city

By: Dave Najduch, WTA President

  • First, members are being asked to spend their own money for travel costs,
    meals and a hotel room. It has been stated by the WSD that in all cases this
    portion of the activity is optional. The problem with the optional statement is
    that members have felt pressured to participate in the overnight portion so that
    they are seen as a “team player”.
  • The second problem is linked to the distance members have to drive to the
    activity. In most cases, the activity will follow the regular instructional day from
    9:00 AM-3:30 PM. In some cases individuals are being asked to travel 1 to 1.5 hours each way. If members have child care, elder care or other responsibilities before and after the instructional day it makes the driving time and juggling these responsibilities very difficult.
  • The WSD has indicated that members not wishing to participate have the option
    of staying in the city and arranging other PD activities. This statement leads to the question of how important is the PD session being offered? My assumption is that the PD is important for all staff and that is why it has been scheduled. If I can opt
    out and stay in the city then why is the session being offered at all?
  • There is also the issue of how approval for such an activity has occurred in each
    of the buildings. The Superintendents’ Department has stated that PD is a
    school-based decision. Some schools have arranged for a vote to take place.
    I am reasonably sure the question asked members did not include an option
    of the school or the division paying for the travel, meals and accommodations.
    Even if the majority of the staff supported the event, it is not reasonable to assume that they should be able to mandate those who do not want to attend their own
    time and money to participate in the activity.
  • Beyond the concerns outlined above, there is also the issue of adding one more thing to your teaching load that is required outside of the instructional day. This
    year and maybe next year the activity is optional and occurs after a vote, but in a
    few years members paying the costs and PD outside the city becomes another compulsory expectation.

    The issue of PD outside the city has been discussed with the WSD Human Resources Department and the Superintendents’ Department. The issue will be further pursued with the employer and I look forward to the official response from the WSD as it relates to this matter.

    If your school is involved in this type of PD activity or you have any comments, questions or concerns, please call me at the WTA office at 831-7104 or e-mail
    me at pres@wta.mb.ca

 

Joan

By: Joan Fransen, WTA Vice-President

By: Dave Najduch, WTA President

General Information

What’s in a name?

Information Directory

Winnipeg Teachers’ Association Office: 831-7104

Henry Shyka, WTA Business Agent: 888-7961
(Help in dealing with administration, personnel issues, grievances, EI, etc.)

Legal Assistance Programme (Myers Weinberg   LLP): 942-0501(Free ½ hour initial consultation and reduced rates for WTA members)

WTA Counsellors (Keystone Counseling Associates) : 338-3339
(Ten hours free for WTA members)

Teachers’ Retirement Allowance Fund (TRAF): 949-0048
(Located at The Forks)

Teacher Certification and Records (Russell, Manitoba): 1-800-667-2378
(Classification and years of teaching experience.)

Electoral Units not represented at the October 2010
Council Meeting:

Ray Stoyko Memorial Scholarship

Autobiography – I am currently enrolled in my final year of education at the
University of Manitoba. As I was nearing the completion of my Arts degree,
I was unsure of what field of study I would pursue.  After two years of volunteering
at elementary schools in The Winnipeg School Division my decision was clear.
The field of education seemed to be both rewarding and challenging. Today, my academic journey has come full circle. The doors I entered as an excited kindergarten student are the same doors I will enter to complete my last year of teaching practicum. The people in the building may have changed but I will feel the same sense of excitement as I did on my first day of school.  I look forward to becoming part of this profession that touches the lives of so many.

WTA/TRAF Pre-Retirement Seminars

BY: Glenda L. Shepherd, WTA Administrative Assistant/EHB Plan Administrator-Retirees

Please be advised that ALL WTA teachers 48 years of age and older should have received a letter regarding the up-coming WTA/TRAF Pre-Retirement Seminars in
January 2011 and March 2011.  The NEW system of registration will be done
on-line with each individual who receives the letter having an individual authorization number that they will have to use to register for their chosen Pre-Retirement Seminar.  There are approximately 75 spots open for each of the seminars and registrations
are dealt with on a first-come first-served basis.  TRAF will send each of the first
75 registrant a confirmation that they are enrolled in the seminar. If you have questions regarding the seminars please contact gshepherd@wta.mb.caor call the WTA office – 831-7104.