Bill 2: The Public Services Sustainability Amendment Act

On October 7th, the Manitoba government announced it had introduced new legislation, Bill 2; The Public Services Sustainability Amendment Act. Finance Minister Scott Fielding suggests Bill 2 “would help make collective bargaining more flexible and responsive to the priorities of public sector employers and their employees”. Recall, Bill 28 has not been proclaimed. It would hold public sector employees to increases of 0% in years one and two, 0.75% in year three and 1.5% in year four.

Bill 2 (LINK) would alter Bill 28 (LINK) in areas such as the “sustainability period”, i.e. the four year time period (Section 12), amounts of potential increases, (Section 13) which states the minister may — in the minister’s sole discretion — approve a collective agreement…” The fate of each collective agreement could be decided by one individual, who with the Act in hand and in council with the Lieutenant Governor, could over-ride legal agreements that had been reached through arbitration, (Section 26). Teachers in Manitoba gave up the ability to strike for binding arbitration. One person in the entire province would decide which public sector unions gets raises and which do not.

Bill 28: The Public Services Sustainability Act

At this writing (October 16, 2017), Bill 28, has been passed by the Manitoba Legislature, but has not been proclaimed and therefore is not legally in force. Nevertheless, it contemplates a restriction on teachers’ salary increases of up to a maximum of 0% in 2018/2019, 0% in 2019/2020, 0.75% in 2020/2021, and 1.0% in 2021/2022. The Manitoba Teachers’ Society has joined other public sector unions in the province in challenging Bill 28 in the Court of Queen’s Bench.

The MTS Website contains more information.

Any questions on this matter are to be directed to James Bedford: jbedford@mbteach.org.

Resources for Reconciliation

MTS Workshop: Understanding the Impact of Residential Schools
The Circle and the Box

Based on the work of Jann Derrick, The Circle and the Box is an interactive, experiential learning activity that explores the impact of residential schools on Indigenous families and communities. In addition, participants will have the opportunity to learn and talk about resources and initiatives that support the teaching of Residential schools and reconciliation in our classrooms and schools.   Fee: $75. Register through MyProfile.

Orange Shirt Day Lesson Plans are on the MTS Website

The BC First Nations Education Steering Committee (http://www.fnesc.ca) has many resources.

Some News from the Teachers’ Retirement Allowance Fund (TRAF)

Book your appointment through the Pre-Retirement Seminars link on the MTS website. To get to the Seminar/Appointment Registration Login, you must click on “Continue”. If you do not remember your UserID, please contact our office at 204-949-0048. 

Please note, if you are age 48 or older, you may attend a Retirement Seminar and if you are age 52 or older, you may book a Retirement Appointment.

Visit TRAF’s Online Services.  Only members registered for Online Services will have access to their webinars. Please note that TRAF Online Services is different from MTS MyProfile online services. You must register for TRAF Online Services on the TRAF website.

Maternity Leave News and Information

Regional Maternity/Parental Leave Seminar is October 21

The annual Lakewood Region Maternity and Parental Leave Seminar will be held on Monday, October 21, in Selkirk. The presentation will take place at the Lord Selkirk Regional Secondary School from 5:30pm to 7:00pm. A meal will be provided starting at 5:00pm. The seminar is free for any member of the Interlake Teachers’ Association. Guests and significant others are welcome. To register, email to president@interlaketeachers.ca.

Maternity Leave and Pension Buy Back

TRAF has a new online maternity/parental/adoption leave cost calculator, accessible through TRAF Online Services.  This calculator provides a quicker and smoother application, tracking, and calculation process for members and school divisions.  This calculator is for maternity/parental and adoption leaves that are purchased during the leave and within 18 months after the end of the leave.

Project Overseas

Each year about 50 Canadian teachers spend their summers working with colleagues in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. Based on requests from overseas partners of the CTF, teams are formed in January with service taking place the following July or August. This year, MTS, in conjunction with The Canadian Teachers’ Federation, will be sponsoring five MTS members. Criteria include appropriate teacher’s certificate, five full years teaching experience in Canada, Canadian citizenship, and excellent health. English and French-speaking teachers at all levels are required.
Application deadline is October 30.

For more information and application forms, contact MTS at:

The Manitoba Teachers’ Society
191 Harcourt Street
Winnipeg, MB R3J 3H2
204-831-3086, 1-866-494-5747

New Rules Around Benefit Changes

One of the topics discussed at our ITA AGM was the rules surrounding changes in benefits. Our past practice has been to require a vote among all members when contemplating a change in benefits. In addition, a 2/3 majority of votes cast was required to effect the change. At its June executive meeting, the ITA Executive approved a change in this practice. Any change in benefits will still require an association-wide vote; however, the margin required to adopt the change is now 50% + 1. Any ITA member wishing more information regarding this change is invited to contact the ITA president, John Bock. There are two benefits enjoyed by many of our colleagues which are not part of the Interlake benefits package: vision care and short-term disability. The ITA executive will be exploring these in the upcoming school year.

#MyTeacherMyStory:

The Manitoba Minister of Education, speaking at the MTS AGM, posited that we should think about the children when dealing with the fiscal challenges that lie ahead. Mary Cathryn Riker, the Executive Vice President of the American Federation of Teachers, spoke soon after the Minister, and noted that we teachers think about the children so much, we made it our day job – and, as noted earlier, it is sometimes our evening and weekend occupation as well. The Manitoba Teachers’ Society believes that, once in a while, we should also think about the teacher. We should pause and remember the positive experiences from the time when we were in school, under the supervision of great and caring teachers who made it their day job to think about us. That is what the My Teacher My Story project is about. In the June 6 newsletter, I introduced you to the My Teacher My Story campaign which is now in full swing and accepting submissions. My Teacher My Story celebrates that which is good and excellent about our profession. It celebrates a course we loved because of the teacher, a sport or club that came alive due to its leader, or that one special comment made by a caring teacher at just the right time in our lives. Anyone may make a submission to My Teacher My Story; submissions may be in video or written form. For complete instructions on how to submit your story, or to view what has already been submitted, head over to the MTS website and check it out.

Teacher Tweets

The Manitoba Teachers’ Society has launched a social media
campaign allowing Manitobans to relate positive stories of teachers.
Citizens of Manitoba are encouraged to use the hashtag #myteachermystory
to relate memories of their days in public school and the public-school teachers
that made that time rewarding. Everyone has a favourite teacher; let’s hear about yours.