Newsletter September 2014

New Year, New Faces

By: Nathan Martindale, WTA President

Welcome back to another school year!  After serving as Vice-President for the past three years I am excited to move into role of President.  I understand the great responsibilities of this position and will continue to work hard to represent all members of the Winnipeg Teachers’ Association.

It’s also exciting to welcome a brand new team to the WTA Office, Kristin Insull
(Vice-President), Michael Krauss (Administrative Assistant) and Nancy Kerr
(MTS Staff Officer).

Michael not only did a terrific job of running the office over the summer, but he also learned an enormous range of tasks, responsibilities and knowledge in a few short months.  I am confident he will have no problem adapting when the cycle of meetings start up next week.

Nancy Kerr has been incredibly helpful right from her first day as our Staff Officer.  She has already proven invaluable in terms of providing assistance to members and has also patiently answered several questions for me.  Nancy has also been involved in the preparations for the new round of collective bargaining.

Kristin Insull served on the WTA Executive for several years and will be a fantastic Vice-President.  I promised her I wouldn’t assign her any tasks that I wasn’t assigned when I had the job!  I have warned her that working in the WTA office is completely different from working in a classroom and she is up to the challenge!

The new WTA year kicked off at the MTS Summer Bargaining School in Hecla held August 21 to 23.  Kristin, Dave Najduch (Past President) and I were provided with the intense but beneficial experience of bargaining simulations.  We also renewed and strengthened connections with fellow bargainers across the province.  The rain even stopped long enough for a round of golf.

Kristin and I also attend MTS Presidents’ Training on August 25 and 26, where we  received beneficial information related to union leadership, MTS Services and our roles and responsibilities as local Presidents.

As you return to your classrooms, greet your students and catch up with colleagues, remember to stay connected with your Winnipeg Teachers’ Association.  Our website contains a great deal of useful and pertinent information and is updated regularly so remember to check back often!

I hope you have a rewarding school year!

Noon Hour Vote

By: Nathan Martindale, WTA President

Hello and Welcome Back!

By: Kristin Insull, WTA Vice-President

Workplace Safety and Health Update

By: Kristin Insull, WTA Vice-President

The Winnipeg Teachers’ Association is Now on Twitter!

BY: Kristin Insull, WTA Vice-President

What is Twitter?
Twitter is a real-time information network.  Users post text-based messages of up to 140 characters, called “tweets”.  Links and photos may also be shared.

Why use Twitter?
Twitter is a great way to share news, ideas, opinions and links in short, easily digestible bursts.  It is easy to find accounts of other users who may tweet on subjects of interest to you.  Associations can use Twitter to share their identity, promote events, and otherwise communicate with members in an informal way.
If you already have a Twitter account, follow @WinnipegTA.
No Twitter account?  No problem!  Visit

Teacher Welfare Committee

BY: terry Willerton, Chairperson, WTA Teacher Welfare Committee

2014/2015 Council Meetings

The following are the dates for the 2014/2015 Council Meetings.

September 15 Note: Council Hot Supper – 5:00 PM
October 14
November 19
December 11
January 19
February 17
March 18 Note: Election Forum
April 20
May 14 Note: WTA AGM
June 8 Note: WTA DSA Reception

Manulife Extended Health Care Benefits Booklet Online

A benefits summary booklet on the extended health care plan supplied by Manulife Financial to members of the Winnipeg Teachers Association, can be found on the WTA website at

The booklet outlines benefits for which you are eligible as an employee of the Winnipeg School Division including professional services provided by the following licensed practitioners:

  • Chiropractor – $500 per person per calendar year(s)
  • Osteopath – $500 per person per calendar year(s)
  • Podiatrist/Chiropodist – $500 per person per calendar year(s)
  • Massage Therapist – $600 per person per calendar year(s)
  • Naturopath – $500 per person per calendar year(s)
  • Speech Therapist – $500 per person per calendar year(s)
  • Dietician – $500 per person per calendar year(s)
  • Audiologist – $500 per person per calendar year(s)
  • Physiotherapist, Athletic and Occupational Therapist – combined maximum of $1,000 per person per calendar year(s)
  • Psychologist – $500 per calendar year(s)
  • Acupuncturist – $500 per calendar year(s)
  • Vision Care – eye exams, once per 2 calendar year(s)

Recommendation by a physician for Professional Services is not required.


Refer to the booklet for details on coverage through the Manulife plan for other benefits such as a drug plan, coverage for medical emergency travel insurance, ambulance, medical equipment, non-dental prostheses, supports and hearing aids.

WTA members receive 100% for Hospital Care and Ambulance Services.  80% is received for Medical Services & Supplies; Professional Services, Drugs and Vision.

Claims forms are available on-line at or by calling the Benefits Section at The Winnipeg School Division at (204) 775-0231. When you have submitted a new claim for payment, Manulife will return a new claim form along with your processed claim.

If you have questions about your claims, your coverage or if you require a replacement wallet ID card, please contact Manulife at 1-800-268-6195. Detail coverage information is available on Manulife’s Plan Member site at

If you have questions about eligibility, enrolment, termination or general plan provisions that Manulife is unable to assist with, please contact the Benefits Section at The Winnipeg School Division at (204) 775-0231.

General Information

WTA Fees/MTS Fees

Please be advised that for the 2014/2015 school year the WTA fee will be $100.00 per year and the MTS fee will be $939.00 per year.

For your information, your WTA fee for the year ($100.00) will be deducted off your September pay cheques.  Fees deducted from your pay cheques for the rest of the year (October to June) are MTS fees.


WSD Parking Fees for 2014/2015

$225.00+ $11.25 GST = $236.25 with electrical outlet

$200.00 + $10.00 GST = $210.00 without electrical outlet


WSD Courier

The WTA receives courier service from the Winnipeg School Division once a week on Mondays.  The information sent is from the Administration Building only.  Individuals/schools should not use this courier service to send information to the Association unless the Association advises otherwise, i.e. during elections, negotiations.  Remember:  individuals should not send personal materials through the division courier.


When you upgrade your classification

When you upgrade your classification you must inform Manitoba Education & Certification in Russell (1-800-667-2378) as soon as you have your documentation from the university.  Manitoba Education & Certification will process the documentation and forward information to the Division so that you may be paid at your upgraded classification.

Please make sure when you receive any information from Manitoba Education & Certification that they have your correct classification.  The onus is upon you to make sure your classification (and therefore your salary) is correct.


WTA Counselling Services

Counselling services are available to all WTA members.  Keystone Counselling Associates are the WTA’s counsellors.  They can be reached at 204-338-3339.

Contracted teachers within the WTA may also access The Manitoba Teachers’ Society’s Educators’ Assistance Program (EAP) at 204-888-7961 or 204-837-5801.

The views expressed in all articles in this newsletter are not necessarily those of the Association.



Teachers shall not absent themselves from duty for reasons of religious holy days without first securing permission from the Superintendent. All requests for such approval shall be made through the principal on the form prescribed.

  • No deduction from salary shall be made when teachers are absent for observance of religious holy days, up to a maximum of three (3) days per school year.
  • When teachers are absent for observance of religious holy days in excess of three (3) days per school year a teacher may receive regular salary less the rate for a substitute in the teacher’s salary classification.
  • The following notification period will apply:
    • For teachers requiring religious holy leaves prior to October 15th, ten (10) working days notice in writing shall be given to the Division, for teachers requiring religious holy days October 15th or later, notice in writing of leave required for that school year shall be given by September 30th.
    • For those teachers commencing employment with the Division at a time other than the start of the school year and who require religious holy leave, notice in writing, shall be given to the Division within ten (10) working days of active employment.
  • Where the appropriate notice has not been given to the Division, the Division shall provide religious holy days and that leave, at the Division’s discretion, may be with pay or at regular salary less the rate for a substitute in the teacher’s salary classification, or with one two-hundredths (1/200) salary deduction per day. The Division shall act reasonably and fairly having regard to all circumstances.
  • Religious Holy Leave shall be extended to include individuals in the Adult EAL Program.

It is agreed for the purposes of this Article, Religious Holy Days shall be defined as “major religious holy days observed by the teacher and designated as a day of obligation by the teacher’s religion.”

19.10 In the event that an employee is requesting a short term leave of absence which is not otherwise set forth in this Agreement, the Division may grant such leave with or without pay in accordance with its policy, a copy of which is attached hereto as Appendix “A” to this Agreement. This clause is only for the information of the Association membership and an employee should see the Division policy manual for details.