Questions about retirement? Contact PARTA (Parkland Area Retired Teacher's Association) by clicking the logo!
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last updated June 5, 2014
DID YOU KNOW…that all members of Parkland Teachers’ Local 10 should spend some time over the next few days to become acquainted with the Minister’s Task Force for Teaching Excellence. I do not want you to read all 220 pages, but to concentrate on the 25 recommendations of the Task Force, and the rationale behind each.
It is important that the Minister and the Education Ministry hear our feedback about the Task Force, and their findings. There is a survey on the page that I am urging you to take part in. President Mark Ramsanker and Gary Hanna, as your Local President, urge all teachers to take a stand against this direct attack on our profession and our association. There is a limited time for your input, and all surveys must be completed by June 10, 2014. You are urged to contact your MLA to respond to the Task Force Report on Teaching Excellence released May 5th, 2014. This needs to be done by mid-June.
PRESIDENT’S REPORT to Annual General Meeting – Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - respectfully submitted by Gary Hanna.
Hello and welcome to Parkland Teachers’ Annual General Meeting. We take this time once a year to invite our colleagues together to discuss everything that our organization has accomplished this year, and help plan for the immediate future. I would like to take this opportunity to advise you on some of the more important and pressing issues facing teachers today.
I had the opportunity to participate in my first Annual Representative Assembly (ARA) this last weekend, and I was so impressed. It was exciting to be with 450 member teachers from across the province. These teachers help decide the future direction of our association. Many resolutions were either accepted or rejected, all with passing by majority vote of the delegates. You will be happy to know, that our organization is a bottom-up organization, and it is teachers that run the ATA. Democracy was in full view this weekend, and I was proud to represent Parkland Teachers’ along with Shauna Fleming, Jenny, Kulbir Daliwal, Matt Stelmaschuk, and Scott Onuczko.
At ARA, we had the chance to vote on an emergent resolution brought forward by PEC. This was a non-confidence vote against the Minister of Education Jeff Johnson, by the teachers of Alberta. It was passed unanimously. It made news across the province and nationally. It was amazing to see teachers from across the province let it be known how they feel about this Minister and his Task Force for Teaching Excellence. By letting our Teacher Voice be heard we have let this Minister and his Government know that teachers are tired of being attacked, and having their professionalism questioned. Jeff Johnson’s comments on CBC yesterday morning were indicative of this government’s ideology. He stated that the ATA represented its teachers and that he, the Minister, represented kids. This Minister has no pedagogical experience and has never stepped foot in a classroom, yet professes to know what’s best for teachers and students. Who better represent the students of this province than the teachers who work with them day in and day out in our classrooms?
This government continuously attacks our profession and association, but it is a game of smoke and mirrors. We are easy targets. While tactics such as the Task Force for Teaching Excellence are released to divert attention to real issues, the Government of Alberta continues to underfund education in this province. Classes are bursting in the urban centres and rural schools are falling apart. Supports are few, and more and more is being asked of us. Yesterday, Alberta’s biggest school district, Calgary Public, passed their 1.2 Billion dollar budget. In it is a 27.7 Million dollar shortfall. This means that on average, every person who has kids going to school in this district will have to pay on average $1000 of user fees. The intent of public education is that it is free and accessible to everyone. This Government is negligent in its responsibilities to properly fund and support public education in Alberta.
The Government’s continual underfunding of the public system opens the door to private for profit alternatives. Public Education is the last untapped market left in North America that corporations have not infiltrated. It is a market worth over 300 Billion dollars, and is regarded as the best new area for corporate expansion. Corporations such as Pearson are already changing their business model to try and take advantage of the short comings and failure in the public system in the United States. It has now become the savior of education by providing an alternative, at a profit. Our students are a commodity, to be used to pad the bottom line. This business model of education has already begun to make inroads in Canada. If we are not careful, Alberta’s World Class system will be seen to be failing, and in need of saving. Our parents will begin to look for alternatives in droves. It is already happening to some degree, as we have seen more and more charter and private schools appearing in Alberta over the last few years. These schools shockingly receive 70% of their funding from the public purse, money that should have been earmarked for the support of the public system instead.
Our association is working hard every day to protect public education in the province. Teachers must become more active in the ATA if Public Education is to survive and flourish. The previous five year deal that we signed was a huge bonus and a curse. It benefited members as the unfunded liability was put to bed, and our members had unprecedented salary increases. But it has also allowed teachers to become complacent. The demographics of our association has changed drastically over the last five years, and many of our teachers have never experienced a labour dispute or strike. The history of the struggle, hard work, and sacrifices that were required to get us to where we are today, are not known or forgotten by many of our younger colleagues.
I urge you to join your colleagues and become an active part of your association and your local. There are many roles that you can take part in. Become a school representative, join one of our many committees, join a specialist council (it’s free). I personally feel it is every teacher’s professional responsibility to be active in their association in some way. You must get involved to keep the profession strong, and have a voice. You have chosen to be a teacher, a remarkable and honorable profession. The best way to get involved is to actively participate in the association that represents you.
DEHR coffee-talk - The ATA Diversity Equity and Human Rights Committee is sponsoring casual coffee and chat on Thursday May 15th. 4:30 pm, at Perks Coffee House in Spruce Grove 9-420 King Street. You are invited to attend. Coffee and snacks provided,
Annual Representative Assembly May 17 - 19, 2014 thanks to all our delegates for their comprehensive work to prepare for this assembly, and their volunteer hours.
Annual General Meeting is to be held on Wednesday, May 21st. If Parkland Teachers are interested in letting their name stand for open positions, please contact Liz at our Local Office.
PRESIDENT’S REPORT – Wednesday, May 7, 2014 - Respectfully submitted by Gary Hanna
I would like to start off by saying that since this is education week, that you take the time to celebrate the excellence in teaching that is created within our classrooms on a daily basis. As teachers, we have dedicated our lives to the guidance, encouragement, and growth of our students under our care. Please congratulate yourself and your fellow colleagues on the tremendous job teachers across this district, and across the province do daily. Alberta teachers and the Association have helped create an education system that is the envy of Canada, and one that is recognized as a world leader. I salute you, and thank you for all you do.
With that being said, I had the opportunity to attend and participate in the long delayed, and highly anticipated release of the Minister’s Task Force for Teaching Excellence on Monday May 4. The ATA had been previously warned of some of the components of this document. We were hoping for the best, but anticipating the worst. The report did not disappoint in either respect.
I will not go into great detail of the report, other than to summarize that there were a total of 25 recommendations that the Task Force has put forward. You can read each of them, and their rationale at the following link: https://inspiring.education.alberta.ca/initiative/task-force-for-teaching-excellence Nearly a thousand people attended the symposium, and we had the ability to discuss in a group setting at our tables, each of the recommendations. Our feedback was encouraged and recorded by a Department of Education facilitator, seated at each table. We were asked to discuss the positives, negatives, what we liked or didn’t like about each, and the rationale behind our arguments. I truly hope that the minister takes this feedback to heart, and that many of the recommendations are not already set in stone. I found the experience generally positive, even though many of the recommendations we discussed were truly negative in tone, and confrontational to teachers and the profession.
The task force broke its recommendations into three distinct groupings: Teachers, Leaders, and System. The Teacher and Leader recommendations could, as a whole, be seen as positive. It is the System grouping of recommendations that were offensive to me, and should be to any teacher in this province. The Task Force directly attacked the ATA on many fronts. Especially its ability to fairly undertake its professional functions. Some of the highlights include: the removal of the conduct and competence review by the association, the removal of administrators from the ATA, merit pay (veiled in the term honorarium), letters of authority which allows for non-certified teachers to teach in Alberta classrooms, establishment of a College of Educators as the preferred choice of governance, etc.
The Associations response has been quick and strong. The following has been provided for release to all members:The three key messages for today’s Task Force release and the Association’s immediate reaction are:
1. Many of the recommendations contained within the report amount to a direct assault on teachers and the profession. 2. This is Jeff Johnson's task force; he has been very actively managing it since inception.
3. If implemented, this report would completely destabilize and destroy the very culture of education in this province, which has enabled us to become a world leader.
If you had followed the tweets on twitter with the hashtag #inspiringed, you would have found a chorus of teachers completely shocked and disappointed with the results of the Task Force.
It is important to remember that the Task Force’s recommendations are just that, recommendations.These are not going to be approved without further consultation with a larger spectrum of Albertans and educational stakeholders. We have over the next 40 days to have our voices heard.
To help teachers with the necessary background, the Association has posted more information and articles for teachers to familiarize themselves with. These have been posted on the ATA website, and will be printed in the next ATA News.
Teachers must mobilize across this province, and stand up to this direct attack on our association and our profession by this minister. If we do not, I strongly feel that our excellent education system will be fundamentally changed, and a flawed top-down managerial system put in its place. These systems have historically led to lower student achievement, and to greatly reduced teacher efficacy. We must do everything in our power to advocate and stop these draconian and flawed initiatives before it is too late.
Central North District Representative’s Report for Parkland Teachers’ Local 10 - Submitted by Paul McCann
Words of Thanks to Your EPC Committee I wanted to send out a huge thank you to all those members of the Economic Policy Committee who invested such long hours in working to reach a settlement with your local School Board Trustees. Your diligence over the last year, or so, is very much appreciated. All negotiations throughout the province have been completed.
Local ARA Delegations Preparing for Calgary This May long-weekend, about 450 Annual Representatives Assembly delegates will converge in Calgary to introduce, discuss, debate, and vote on about 150 resolutions. The ARA delegates are also responsible for setting the budget of the ATA each year. The ARA is the forum in which direction and policy is set for the ATA. Do you know who your ARA delegates are for this year? Are your delegates aware of where you stand on issues that are important to you?
Task Force Report on Teaching Excellence I was in attendance for the release of the report from the Task Force on Teaching Excellence on Monday, May 5, 2014. There have been twenty-five recommendations put forth from the Minister of Education, via the Task Force. All government information is available through the link provided.
While the single-sheet, abridged version of the report would pass public scrutiny, the detailed report is both confrontational and inflammatory. The “system” recommendations are an outright assault on the very foundation of the nature of teaching and the structure of the ATA. I encourage you to contact the Minister of Education. I encourage you to contact your MLA. Let them know what you think and how you feel.
ATA Spring Public Relations Campaign An “Our Teachers Inspire Students’ Futures” theme will be used on re-purposed ads for the spring media campaign (Global TV-urban districts, transit shelters, radio, newspapers, online, and some unique placements). The campaign has already begun and runs through June. The campaign may change focus, as the result of the recommendations arising from the Task Force Report on Teaching Excellence.
PRESIDENT'S Report - April 9,2014 - Respectfully submitted by Gary Hanna
I hope everyone had a great spring break, and you were able to spend some quality time for yourself to get yourself refreshed for the last part of the year. I was able to spend the week in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and had a great time.
March was again a busy month. I had the opportunity to attend the DEHR symposium at Barnett House, and came away with a better understanding of how diverse our schools are becoming. The pressures of inclusion can be a tremendous stress for many teachers, but the ability to include everyone, no matter their ethnic background, sexual orientation, or gender, is so very important. If you would like to join our DEHR committee, please let Liz, myself, or any table officer know.
I also had the pleasure to attend a retirement seminar, hosted by our local, and presented by our very own Sherry Constantin. Over 25 teachers and spouses attended this event. Guest speakers were provided time to go through the process of what to expect when it is time to make one of the biggest changes in your life…retirement. All of our attendees had a great day, and a lot of positive comments were exchanged about the day. Thanks again to Sherry for doing a wonderful job.
We were able to meet once again with MLA Lemke. Myself, Rick Kremp, and Miranda Niebergall sat down with Mr. Lemke, and went over both local and Provincial issues pertaining to education and teaching in Alberta. We addressed the need of the pressure being felt across the district, and in particular, Spruce Grove, in terms of growth. We discussed the issue of another new school for the district, and brought up the concern of the population bubble moving up and eventually moving into the high schools. Currently, we do not have the capacity at this level for all of these students.
We were also able to talk about the sudden change in leadership within government with the resignation of Premier Redford, and it’s implications for change in terms of education. I brought up the issue of the Minsters’ Task Force for Teachers’ Excellence, and brought up the five main points that were discussed at our last meeting. Mr. Lemke seemed generally interested in our point of view on the subject.
He also provided some interesting information about changes that had been made recently, as to how any private members bill must now go through a much tougher process before it can be brought to caucus. There are now multiple layers that any legislation must travel through. He admitted that government had learned a hard lesson from the mistakes made with the passing of Bill 45 and 46. He admitted to voting for this legislation but was against it philosophically. This was encouraging news for teachers, in order for any of the initiatives being pushed forward by the Task Force, they would have a difficult time being justified at each of these new levels. This is good news for teachers! I will still be asking for your help in pushing forward our concerns as we move forward.
We also have an upcoming meeting with MLA Horner at the end of the month, and we will continue to present teachers’ concerns to our local representatives of the Alberta government. If you have any suggestions that we can bring forward for you, please let Rick, Miranda, or myself know.
This weekend is the Stony Plain and District Chamber of Commerce Tri-Municipal Expo, and we are still in need of volunteers to man our booth. We have some openings on Saturday and Sunday. If you would like to put your name in to help, please let me or Liz know.
PARTA announces its new webpage - You can access the Parkland Alberta Retired Teachers' Association website at http://sites.google.com/site/partateachers
Professional Learning Grant Draft - Our Professional Learning Committee would like input into the draft copy of our new grant guidelines. Comments and suggestions from Parkland Teachers can be sent to our Local Office. This will be voted on at our next Local Council Meeting.
Provincial Outlook contains many Serious Threats to Teaching: March 15th is a date to tune into the report from the Minister's Task Force on Teacher Excellence.
Local Presidents encourage teachers to make themselves familiar with 5 potential areas of concern with the future of teaching in Alberta. We may soon need your voice.
- "Getting Rid of Bad Teachers"
- "Splitting the ATA"
- "Removing Administrators from the Association"
- "Implementing Merit Pay"
- "Abolishing the Board of Reference"
Interested in Serving on an ATA Committee? See Provincial website for details of a wide variety of choice. You must receive a Local nomination to qualify. Application Deadline is March 31, 2014
PRESIDENT’S Report – Wednesday, March 5, 2014 -Respectfully submitted by Gary Hanna
It seems like such a long time since our last local council meeting. I hope everyone enjoyed teachers’ convention, and that you found something interesting and enriching in your teacher practices.
February was a busy month for me. I had the pleasure to meet with many groups and attend some important events that will have a direct impact on the lives of our members.
Maternity Seminar Very Informative: I spend an evening with 23 pregnant or soon to be pregnant members at MCHS. Every few years, our local hosts a maternity seminar for our members. Our staff officer Peter Kalis presented information so that our teachers were fully informed about what to expect when they go on leave. It was both entertaining and enlightening, as this topic was much more complicated than I had first thought. Everyone left with a better understanding of their rights and what to expect when they being their maternity leave. We will also be hosting a pension seminar on March 15, presented by Sherry Constantin.
Learning Services has much to offer: I had the pleasure to meet with members of Learning Services at the Centre of Education. Shauna and Charlene accompanied me for this meeting. I had requested this meeting, as in my years of teaching I had never felt the need to use their services. I really didn’t know what exactly they did. The meeting was very informative, and I am happy to share with our members the wide range of services and support that teachers can request. This is especially true as some of our members are presently struggling with Inclusive Ed. Together with your school inclusive leaders, learning coaches, administrators, and hopefully learning services, teachers will be better equipped to handle these challenges in the classroom. Please do not feel that you cannot ask. I believe some teachers feel their classroom is an island, and they teach alone, and cannot see the help that is available. Supports are in place for you. Please seek out these services if you feel you need them.
Meetings with MLA: Our local requested and had the opportunity to meet with our local MLS’s. Rick Kremp and Miranda Niebergall, in their capacity as Political Engagement Officer and Communication Officer, met with MLA Lemke. The meeting was positive and he was very accommodating about answering our questions. All three of us met with MLA Horner, and again, found him open and accommodating. This is the first time in memory that our local was able to sit down with Mr. Horner. I look forward to building a relationship and having further discussions with them about the directions of education in Alberta, and the role of teachers’ in that conversation.
Attended Inspiring Education Symposium: I unfortunately missed the meeting with MLA Lemke, as I attended the Inspiring Education Symposium in Calgary, on February 19. I was asked to attend by Tim Monds, and went as a part of the PSD delegation. The symposium was attended by 1300 people of differing backgrounds and stakes in education in Alberta. The ideas and policies encompassed within the Inspiring Education document as introduced in 2009, by then Education Minister Hancock, provides the framework for building the future of education in Alberta. This vision is collaborative and inclusive, and brings all stakeholders together to build the best system possible.
However, under Minister Johnson, this vision has changed. Instead, the focus has now shifted to one of the industry and business, and the reduction of teachers’ voices, in the direction of educational policy in this province. The symposium placed a huge emphasis on the building of soft skills, such as problem solving and interpersonal relationship building within our students. This was stressed by all speakers as being the key to their, and Canada’s future success.
The hypocrisy of the symposium came from the use, over and over, by many of the falling PISA scores for Canada’s youth. This was used as evidence that our system is failing in Canada. And for the most part, teachers were seen as the most important reason to blame for the dropping test scores. The conclusion reached was that teachers are just not doing a good enough job. The underlying theme of the symposium was that we need better teachers, teaching better to our students, in order to increase our results on international standardized tests. Business and Industry would be there, to help guide educators, as they know how to get the best bang for the buck. Needless to say, I was very frustrated and un-inspired by the direction we are headed with Inspiring Education, at least und this Minister.
C2 Committees Reported: I also attended a weekend meeting of local presidents and C2 leads from all over the province at Barnett House. This meeting allowed all locals to report the progress of each C2 committee, and to share what is working and what could be used to help the process along. I am happy to report, our C2 committee is doing very well, and is one of the leaders in the province. Results of the latest survey will be released soon, and our participation rate so far has been very good. I think real change to teacher workload and efficacy will be apparent soon.
Provincial Outlook contains many Serious Threats to Teaching: At this meeting, local presidents were provided a brief of the provincial outlook for the association, and teachers in general going forward. The conclusion by Barnett House is that there are a number of serious threats to public education and the association. The Minister’s Task Force for Teacher Excellence was delayed in being released in January, but it is believed to be a veiled attempt to attack teachers and the union. I have provided for you five of the main communication points that we feel will be included within the Task Force report. The association has provided background on each and all members should be fully aware of the issue, and when necessary, be able to talk openly and honestly as to why these are not in the best interest of education, an our students.
The next two years will be a difficult time for teachers, and I will be calling on all members to begin to mobilize. We will need to use our collective power to elicit change and pressure the government to change the direction that they are choosing to proceed down. I will be asking you to get personally involved: to write, phone, make appointments, and to personally talk to, openly question our local MLAs. We need to stand up and challenge the initiatives that this government is looking to implement that would hurt our profession and kids. Change is a good thing, but we must questions how these changes are beneficial to education, and ultimately, are these changes good for our students?
Pension Seminar Saturday, March 15, 9:00 to 4:00 @ Board Room, Parkland School Division Centre for Excellence Parkland Teachers’ is hosting a pension seminar with Sherry Constantin, Pension Consultant, the Alberta Teachers’ Association, designed for teachers (and partners if applicable) who are thinking to retire in the next five years. ATRF and ASEBP representatives will provide needed information. Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security information will also be provided.
This seminar is open to all Parkland Teachers’ Local 10 members. Snacks and lunch will be provided. There is no cost for this session. To pre-register or for more information, contact Parkland Teachers’ Local 10 at 780 963 5898 or email email@example.com.
C2 Committees - Parkland Teachers are reminded that our Local C2 Committee is seeking your input. On January 10th, they are sending out a survey via email for you to complete. This two question survey is your chance to give feedback on your recent settlement and what you are experiencing in your teaching assignment. You are urged to complete this survey promptly, as the survey closes on January 17th. The results of the survey will be compiled and then you will be emailed another link asking you to rank the results. In addition, a generic information sheet on C2 Committees is being prepared and plans are in place to make it available at our upcoming teachers’ conventions. Provincial Executive Council of the ATA has been hearing from lots of colleagues asking about the purpose, composition and intended outcomes of the C2 committees across the province. Members are also encouraged to contact the local for additional information.
PRESIDENT’S REPORT – Wednesday, January 7, 2014 Respectfully submitted by Gary Hanna
Greetings – I would like to begin by wishing everyone a Happy New Year. May the coming year bring you health, wealth, and as much happiness as possible. I had the opportunity to visit Greystone Centennial School, as well as Duffield School before the holiday break. I enjoyed having a chance to introduce myself to our members, have lunch, and have some good discussions. I am looking forward to more visits to other schools in the near future. I also had the chance to visit every school in the district and drop off gifts of toques and scarves for school secretaries as a thank you for all their work in helping students and teachers throughout the year. This has been a tradition for our Local for many years, and I was delighted to play Santa for a day.
I wish you all the best for the second half of the school year. And as always, I encourage to be an advocate for your students, and to be an advocate for teaching.
Minister’s Task Force for Teaching Excellence – Teachers are encouraged to pay close attention to the upcoming information on the Minister’s Task Force for Teaching Excellence. This task force has been tasked to look at the teaching profession to “ensure that every student benefits from an excellent teacher”. We wait to see the implications this task force has on the teaching profession. Please keep a look out in the media for the recommendations released by the provincial government. I’m sure Mark Ramsanker and Barnett House will have something to say about the suggested changes to our profession. http://education.alberta.ca/department/ipr/teachingexcellence.aspx
North Central Teachers’ Convention – Feb. 6 & 7, 2014 – As this is the last local council meeting until March due to Teachers’ Convention, I remind you to make sure that you have registered, and looked over the sessions that are available to you. Enjoy your time at convention and the ability to re-acquaint yourself with friends and colleagues from other schools and divisions. Convention is one of the few chances in our busy year to connect and network for our profession.
Digital Reporting and Digital assessment Tools – The Alberta Teachers’ Association, in collaboration with researchers from the University of Alberta, is conducting a provincial research survey on how digital reporting and digital assessment tools affect the work of teachers and principals, student learning and overall assessment practices. The survey, which should take between 15 and 20 minutes to complete, is voluntary and participants are free to skip questions. The study can be accessed at www.digreporting.com. All responses will be kept confidential, and only aggregate data will be reported. No data from open-ended questions that could identify individual respondents will be used without permission. Evaluative researchers from Evaluation & Research Services (ERS) at the Faculty of Extension U of A will analyze the data and provide a report to the ATA in the spring of 2014.
(supplemental information by Central North District Representative, Paul McCann – E-Assessment- Alberta Education is replacing its Provincial Achievement Tests with Student Learning Assessment (SLAs). Dr. Couture for the ATA has informed PEC that unfortunately cost cutting and adoption of technology are the two most influential drivers of change in education at this critical point in time. E-Assessment is currently being evaluated at Alberta Education. It is a technology where all online assessments are computer graded, including all written responses (essays). Apparently, software has been developed that is capable of matching human reliability at a fraction of the cost. In the proposed format, a student will submit an essay and it will be graded without any person ever actually reading the student’s submission. This concept has huge ethical and professional baggage attached to it – stay tuned. Resolutions are being developed by ATA staff for approval by PEC and to be presented at the 2014 ARA.)
North Central Teachers’ Convention – Feb. 6 & 7, 2014 – As this is the last local council meeting until March due to Teachers’ Convention, I remind you to make sure that you have registered, and looked over the sessions that are available to you. Enjoy your time at convention and the ability to re-acquaint yourself with friends and colleagues from other schools and divisions. Convention is one of the few chances in our busy year to connect and network for our profession.
PRESIDENT’S REPORT – Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Respectfully submitted by Gary Hanna
Happy Holidays!! It is hard to believe that we are only a few short weeks away from Christmas. Where has the year gone? It seems like only last month, we were all gathered together at Memorial to celebrate a new school year. I hope that you spend your time over the holidays relaxing with family and friends, or spending time away on a warm vacation. Take time to rest and be energized for the rest of the year. It will be spring before you know it!
TWAC (Teacher Welfare Area Conference) -On your behalf, myself and three of your colleagues attended the TWAC Conference on Nov. 22-23. Provincial updates, as well as an overview of what are emergent issues in other jurisdictions around the world were presented. Locals in the Central North District also had a chance to get together to discuss local issues. Break-out sessions on a number of topics were also presented. It was a good conference, and valuable information was shared by Barnett House, which will benefit members of our local.
Rally for ADLC I was able to attend the Rally at the Legislature on Sat. Nov 30th, in support of Pembina Hills Local 22. Local President Frank McCallum and his team put together an effective rally in support of Distance Learning in Alberta. ADLC falls within the scope of Pembina Hills local, and they are looking at a large drop in teachers within their local due to government cuts to Distance Learning. If you use distance learning products in your teaching, I would urge you to write a letter to your MLA, to challenge the cuts to ADLC, and the movement by government to private-for-profit alternatives. This is an important issue, and I am encouraging our membership to become informed and active in their support of this program. Their website is: www.stopDEcuts.org
Looking Ahead As we progress through the 2013/14 school year, I would ask each of you to affirm your commitment to making Parkland Teachers’ Local 10 a viable and attractive entity for all teachers working in Parkland School Division. Only through your dedication are we able to provide the quality of service to over 500 teachers under our Local’s umbrella. Our mandate to provide personal and professional services to our members requires many volunteers.
Professional Development chair needed - With that in mind, Parkland Teachers’ continues to search for talented colleagues who may be willing to serve in various leadership positions with the Local. Presently, the Professional Development chair is vacant and needs to be filled. If you are interested, please let Myself, Liz, or a Table Officer know.
I wish you all a wonderful Holiday Season and a prosperous and Happy New Year!
A message from EPC: Since we have a signed Collective Agreement, our present Economic Policy Committee has resigned. Elections for a new EPC will be held at our December local Council meeting. If you would like to let your name stand to be elected to the committee, please reply to this email. The committee usually meets once a month from 4:15 to 5:00, right before our Parkland Teachers’ Local Council meeting. The mandate for this committee in the coming years will be to ensure that the Collective Agreement is being followed, to participate in training sessions to become more informed and to prepare for the next round of negotiations. If you have any questions about the committee, please contact Charlene Daub, EPC Chair Charlenedaub@hotmail.com or at 780-238-8084.
Tell the ATA about your class size! Visit the ATA website and join the conversation.
PRESIDENT’S REPORT to Local Council – Wednesday, Nov. 6 2013 - Respectfully submitted by Gary Hanna
I would like to welcome some new members to the Parkland Teachers’ Local 10 leadership team. Shawn Ram, Principal of Seba Beach School has accepted the position of Treasurer, and I look forward to working with Shawn as a Table Officer. Rick Kremp has accepted the role of Political Engagement Officer, and Miranda Niebergall has accepted the role of Communications officer. Rick, Miranda, and myself will be visiting our local MLA’s offices next week to discuss provincial issues related to education and teaching.
At this time, I would like to thank the members of the NSC and EPC for their tireless work over the last three years. Our October local council meeting was used as a bargaining unit general meeting (BUGM). The BUGM resulted in the passing of the Memorandum of Agreement that was reached between the NSC and PSD 70. Scott Onuczko, Charlene Daub, Shauna Fleming, Norm Usiskin and Brad Langdale worked diligently to reach the best possible agreement under some very trying and uncertain circumstances. With the passing of the Legislated Settlement last spring, the NSC was left with little room to negotiate. They however did reach a good settlement that members should be happy with for the next three years.
I attended the Local President’s Meeting on the weekend of September 25-26. We covered many interesting topics and I found the meeting quite informative. One of the issues that we covered was the issue with the Ministers Task Force for Teaching Excellence. This task force is looking at the teaching profession to “ensure that every student benefits from an excellent teacher”. The problem with this task force is that your association is not involved in this process. As the ATA represents almost all teachers’ in this province, it would be reasonable to assume they would be consulted. This is not the case. I would like to ask teachers to participate in the online survey to let teacher’s voices be heard. The link to the survey is: http://legerweb.com/teachingexcellence/participation.asp.
Surveys must be completed by Nov. 15. By January 31, the task force will prepare a report to the minister. This report could have far reaching implications for teachers and our profession in this province. This is an important issue, so please get involved and tell your colleagues to get involved.
As we move closer to the new year, I would be remise not to remind our membership of the changes that have occurred with our ATRF fees. I am sending out a “Did You Know” to all schools to try to explain why your ATRF fees have increased substantially. This increase, which was approved at the ARA legislative assembly last spring, has raised your contribution a minimum of $170/month. As these CPP and UI fees are currently not being deducted on your pay stub, January’s paycheque may cause some members a problem. These deductions will be required to be started again come January 2014. Please read the “Did You Know” for an explanation for this increase to your pension deductions.
I encourage you to be an advocate for your profession and get involved.
Important Upcoming Dates
PRESIDENT’S REPORT to Local Council – Wednesday, Sept. 4 2013 - I would like to welcome everyone back for another school year. Hopefully everyone had an enjoyable summer and your batteries have been re-charged, so you’re ready to meet the challenges of the weeks and months ahead.
My summer was full, as I taught summer school until the end of July, and then had the opportunity to attend the ATA Summer Conference in Banff in Mid-August as your new president. I am proud to say that Parkland Local #10 had one of the largest contingents at the conference this year, with fifteen colleagues making the trip. Those that attended came back with new knowledge and relationships that will have a tremendous benefit for our local for many years to come.
This year’s Conference’s theme was on Advocacy, which I thought was highly appropriate, based on the work the ATA and Parkland Teachers’ is doing on behalf of our members. Parkland Teachers’ have been a strong advocate for teachers in the past, and will continue to be for many years to come. The formation of the new C2 committee and their work to enhance the working conditions of teachers, as well as the PD committee, which is helping to provide PD opportunities that would not have been possible without their assistance. These are just a few examples of what Parkland Teachers’ is doing to bring about positive change for our members.
So what does it mean to be an advocate? Advocacy is the action undertaken by a group to bring about positive change in people’s lives. So how do we as teachers continue to be advocates for public education, to improve the learning experience of our students, and make positive change in our communities? It is through our actions and behaviours that we undertake on a daily basis; in our classrooms; in our dealings with parents and community members; and how we respond to the challenges imposed by our government. Communication will be the key to good Advocacy. By letting the decision makers understand what is required in order for us to “Be Our Best” for our students.
- Respectfully submitted by Gary Hanna
Parkland Teachers' Local 10 has a new executive. Gary Hanna, President; Charlene Daub, Vice President; Shauna Fleming, Vice President; Jenny, Secretary; Bill Fraser, Past President.
Local Positions Available Parkland Teachers' presently has positions on that need to be filled as soon as possibly energetic and engaged individuals within our local . Our Treasurer's position is currently open. We are looking for chairpersons for Communications, Political Engagement and a Staff Representative Key Contact. We are also looking for members for some committees: Annual Representative Assembly (alternate member); Communications Committee; Economic Policy Committee; Diversity, Equity and Human Resources Committee; Professional Development Committee; Political Engagement Committee. If you are interested in any of the above committees, please contact the Local Office and we will be pleased to forward your names to the appropriate groups. email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 780 963 5898.
New District Representative Our new District Representative for Parkland Local is Stony Plain Central teacher Paul McCann. He is our representative on ATA Provincial Executive Council. He invites you to contact him at CELL (780)293.244 or email@example.com with any ATA questions or concerns that he can help you with.
Unique Professional Learning Opportunities
•Specialist Council Membership – Did you know that there are 21 specialist councils? I invite you to consider joining at least one. [The first one is free.]
•ATA Workshops, Courses, and Presentations – Did you know that there are about 90 programs that the ATA will deliver to your school/local for a fee of only $100? •International Educational Exchange Programs – www.ieep.ca
June 10 2013 Bargaining unit update Pension Contributions Set to Rise - Starting in September, ATA members can expect their pension contributions to rise by an average of $150 per month. By law, our pension plan must collect enough funds to cover the cost of funds going out – that is the pensions to our retired members. Our pension funds are invested and earn interest to provide sufficient funds, and as such, are subject to changes in the economy. At the May, 2013 ARA, a review of the last five years indicated the downturn of the economy in 2007 and 2008 resulted in shortfall. This must be corrected by a 2.15% increase in contributions beginning this fall and carried on over the next few years. The exact amount of the deduction will depend upon the teachers’ salary. This may be less obvious in September as other deductions such as CPP may have been maxed out, and your take-home pay is larger. It will be more visible on teachers’ January earnings. The larger deductions will continue through the next two years and then is expected to decrease again as the economy began to strengthen in 2009. Further information on this can be obtained by contacting the Teacher Welfare program area at Barnett House, or visiting the ATRF website on Sustainability and contribution rates: http://www.atrf.com/lists/news/CustDispForm.aspx?ID=27. This 4 page document contains the facts and a great chart to give a visual description of contribution rate increases.
Parkland Teachers' Local 10 awards member with recognition of service to the Local. On June 3, Charlene Daub was presented with the Local's award selected by the executive once per year. Charlene was noted for her service many years of service on many committees, executive roles including secretary and vice-president, as well as currently serving on EPC, ARA and our Executive. Thank you for your dedication and diligence, Charlene! Our Local is richer as a result of your active service.
From the President's Report to Local Council June 5, 2013, Paul McCann gives his final President's Report. He will be taking up the position of District Rep for Central North in the fall.
Truly it has been both an honour and a privilege to have the opportunity to serve the membership of Parkland Teachers’ Local 10. I have experienced much personal growth during these past four years and I will take many ‘lessons learned’ with me, as I transition into my next elected position.
When you come to the end of your term working with with a group, it is natural to look back and reflect upon the high points and the regrets. With this in mind, there is one particular aspect in the character and reputation of being a Parkland Teacher that I believe makes us stand out from the crowd. This attribute is one of the reasons why Parkland Teachers’ garners so much respect when participating in decision-making. It is something tangible. It helps to define us within our peer group and I would like to share this quality with you.
As educators, we live and work within a sub-culture, one in which we are continually challenging our students, our colleagues, and our profession to set the bar just a little bit higher. In a climate where we encourage children and colleagues to be respectful to each other and to be socially responsible, taking the easy road can be tempting. Often situations are made less stressful if we could just be nice and ‘not rock the boat’. A common myth implies that if you don’t agree with what is being presented, you are not a team player and, therefore, you are a negative influence on others. Parkland teachers have the attitude that the road less travelled is often the best road. We know how to play hardball, but we also play respectfully. Parkland teachers are critical thinkers. Parkland teachers don’t readily accept the status quo. When and where others won’t, we are willing to challenge. Parkland teachers accept the opinions of others. We respect disagreement and we encourage discussion. Parkland teachers are leaders. We nurture opportunities to grow and to transform education.
As your next Central North District Representative on the Provincial Executive Council, I will be diligent in carrying forward this signature attribute of Parkland Teachers’.
- We are good and we will become better -
I wish you all a restful summer break and safe journeys. Thank you for everything.
Respectfully submitted by Paul McCann
Thanks to all our ARA Reps who spent the May long weekend at the Annual Representative Assembly. We appreciate the work you do for our Local and association.
(more information from Gary)
If you are interested in running for one of these positions, nomination forms can be obtained from you Local Office or by contacting Bill Fraser.
April 13 an invitation to share your stories:Inclusive Learning: How are we doing? Dear Fellow Teachers, Parkland Teachers’ Local 10 prides itself in trying to be proactive with respect to being knowledgeable about educational directives from Alberta Education that may influence the scope and focus of teachers in the classroom. The successful implementation of inclusive learning and differentiation is now an expectation for all Alberta teachers. With this in mind, Parkland Teachers’ Local 10 would appreciate your assistance in gathering data on how the Alberta Education inclusive learning initiative is impacting your own classroom experiences. (read more)
April 9 - ATA President Sends Video Message to Teachers
April 8 - Bargaining and Negotiation Updates - Scott Onuczko, Negotiation Sub Committee (NSC) Chairperson "Notes to Accompany Highlights of Framework Agreement." (for members only)
Inclusive Learning in Parkland School Division – What is Happening? Parkland Teachers' is interested in knowing about how the implementation of Inclusive Learning has impacted you in your classroom and in your professional growth. Do you have anecdotal stories you would like to share with us? We would be interested in hearing from you. Please write us, or call to arrange for a meeting if you or a group of colleagues want to talk.
Our regularly May 1st Local Council Meeting will be replaced by a BUGM - Bargaining Unit General Meeting to vote on the Provincial Proposal. For more information on this proposal, log in and access the Members Only pull down menu.
Thanks to all the Members who helped out to make our Trade Fair presence successful once again.
Diversity, Equity and Human Rights Development Conference – April 12th and 13th Inspiration into Action is the name of the ATA's first diversity, equity and human rights conference that will focus on establishing a group of teacher advocates within our Local. David Bouchard is the keynote speaker for the event. If you are interested in attending, please contact the Local office for registration information.
Leadership Opportunities with Parkland Teachers' Local 10 Our Local continues to be strong because of the wealth of human resources that we are blessed with. There are plenty of ways in which you can contribute to supporting and furthering the health and wellbeing of teachers, through leadership roles within our profession. And, if you know of a colleague that might fit the bill, recruiting by initiating personal contact with someone, is appreciated. (If you have made the decision to reduce your commitment as a leader within Parkland Teachers', we are grateful for the time you have afforded us. Please consider doing a bit of mentorship before stepping away from your current leadership position.) Here are just a few of the ways that we might serve our colleagues through various leadership roles:
FYI In our upcoming Provincial Association elections Paul McCann, our current President of Parkland Local is running for District Representative, and Robert Twerdoclib, our current District Representative, is running for Vice President. We offer them our support and encourage you to do so as well. Both have demonstrated excellent commitment to Parkland Local teachers and have strong leadership qualities. They put teachers first.
Financial Assistance for Professional Learning. If you have thought about professional development as one of your new year's resolutions, please be aware that Parkland Teachers' has set aside funds, specifically for professional development opportunities. Application forms are available through the Local's office.
Please make sure to let your colleagues know that they can obtain the entire slate of Teachers' Convention information, online at: http://www.mynctca.com The registration process for gaining full access to the potential of this site is very simple. You'll just need to click on the "Register" button, located in the top-right hand corner of the homepage, and enter your name and preferred email address. Remember to Login each time you visit the site after registering. You can build your own preferred sessions schedule online. Pre-registered sessions for the NCTCA Teachers' Convention are open and can be accessed through this site.
Your place of work on February 7th and 8th is at the Teachers' Convention. Alternate PD arrangements must be approved by the NCTCA. Submissions are due by Sunday, January 13, 2013. Requests for alternate activities can be completed online.
Have you been considering the opportunity to hone your leadership skills within your profession? The Alberta Teachers' Association is hosting their annual Summer Conference in Banff, from August 12 – 16, 2013. Parkland Teachers' is pleased to be able to support colleagues whom would like to attend. We do have a limited number of entitlements in various leadership areas and levels for the conference and we try to fill them all, each year. Contact the Local's office if you are interested in attending.
Negotiating Subcommittee Memorandum Dec. 21 (Members Only)
Induction-Retirement Dinner – October 29th It was my privilege to host Parkland Teachers' Induction-Retirement Dinner for the fourth time in my role as local president, on October 29th. Besides welcoming a talented group of young professionals into the teaching fraternity, attendees were very fortunate to be able to listen as ATA Vice President Mark Ramsankar gave a very motivational talk. In great form, was District Rep Robert Twerdoclib, who dazzled us with a trademark presentation to our guests. It was a fitting evening and a wonderful way to honour our retiring colleagues.
Professional Learning - Funding Available from Parkland Teachers' - On October 11th, Parkland Teachers' Professional Learning Committee, chaired by Myra Rybotycki, met to determine the parameters for financially supporting some of the professional learning opportunities of our colleagues. Information and applications will be made available through the Local office, on request.
Teacher Welfare – Contact Procedures -One of the services that Teacher Welfare provides to its members is individual advice, specific to the many facets of our collective agreement. While it may not be possible for members to speak with a specific staff officer during these busy times of contract negotiations, there is always someone on call to deal with time sensitive issues.
Teacher Welfare discourages the use of employer email for any Association communication. While simple questions about collective agreement entitlements may be answered through personal email service, advice on sensitive issues will not be provided by email. Teacher Welfare staff and/or services can be accessed by phone at 780.447.9400. Appointments are available upon request.
Meetings with Local MLAs - As a result of the discussion on political engagement at last month's local council meeting, I took it upon myself to try to meet with the three MLAs representing the Parkland School Division region, as well as the Minister for Education, who's constituency is in Athabasca. On October 12th, I met with Mr. Ken Lemke, in Stony Plain. Mr. George VanderBurg invited me to meet with him in Mayerthorpe, on October 26th. I found both of these MLAs to be very receptive of the message I brought on the working conditions of teachers and the need for the successful conclusion of Tripartite discussions. I was disappointed that Doug Horner and Jeff Johnson were too busy to meet with me. The constituency office of one of these men is apparently too busy to even return a phone call.
Message on TriPartitie and Collective Barganing Negotiations (for Members Only)Parkland Local "encourages all teachers to participate in your
Local Political Engagement Officer's plan of action" and tell your story to your MLA. Need more information or a copy of "At Our Best for Students"? contact the Local Office. Documents were delivered to you by your Local Council Rep last week. Copies of the "Storytelling" and "MLAs" are found here. Members are required to log in to view.
Bargaining Update #5 was delivered to schools on Sept. 27th. This is a confidential document for members only and will require login to view.
Session Chairs Wanted - Members of the Local are urged to volunteer to Chair a session at our upcoming 2013 Convention. Information on the sessions we are offering and the Volunteer Chair Form can be obtained through our Local Office and at the next Local Council Meeting.
Emergent Bargaining Unit General Meeting Wednesday, September 26 at Grove Motor Inn at 4:30 - to read the attached documents, you are required to login to this site.
Parkland Teachers: Please log in to view the Bargaining Unit Memo dated Sept. 5, 2012 and a letter on the Tripartite Discusions. This was also delivered to your staff mailboxes at your school.
Teachers are reminded to sign up for their free Specialist Council Membership. You will need to log in through this site and indicate the council you wish to belong to. Our aim is all of Parkland Local's teachers to join the council of their choice.
At the September, 2012 Local Council meeting, a motion was passed to donate $200.00 on behalf of Parkland Teachers to Victim Services in the name of our former teacher Jolene Cote. Further plans to commemorate Jolene's untimely death are in the works.
Invitation to Parkland Teachers to attend a planning meeting for Parkland Local Professional Development on Thursday, Oct. 4 at Spruce Grove Comp Conference Room. The meeting will begin at 4:30.
Parkland Local is looking for leaders:(if you are a member and interested, contact Liz at the Local Office)
Members only: members will need your username and password to access these Did you know ...? Documents
Information for Substitute Teachers working with Parkland Local's teachers - thanks to Mary Ng-Norton and Russ Roskewich for compiling this.
Banff Summer Conference 2012– Report from Paul McCann
I would like to thank you for the opportunity to attend this year's conference, held from Monday, August 13th,to Thursday, August 16th. This was the 64th Summer Conference to be put on by the Alberta Teachers' Association. Parkland Teachers' was very fortunate to have eleven colleagues in attendance for the event. The attendance of seven of our delegates was funded directly by the Local. Four more Parkland teachers were in attendance representing the Provincial Executive, Teacher Welfare, Specialist Councils, and Convention Boards. As you can see by our numbers, the local runs deep in our teachers' commitment to work with other colleagues across the province. We have a long-standingtradition of working to improve the quality of our profession.
The conference is organized as a series ofsessions, workshops, and activities in which training is accomplished, group discussion is encouraged, guest speakers present, workshops are offered, awards are presented, and networking is nurtured.
The most significant part of my summer conference continues to be the opportunity to work with the delegates thatattend from our local. Over the courseof the week, we discuss what is happening in our own particular sessions, we share ideas, and we look for innovative and effective opportunities to makeParkland Teachers' an inclusive organization for all of its members.
There were two speakers who, in particular, stood out for me at the conference.
• Elizabeth Wingert is a teacher from Wisconsin who graciously agreed to present the story of the legislative changes that led to the stripping of the collective bargaining process in her state,during 2011. There is a video posted on YouTube [WisconsinCrisis: Why it matters to Alberta] that does a pretty good job of explainingthe crisis that caused an incredible public outcry against the unfair treatmentof Wisconsin teachers and the public education system. Elizabeth's experiences of being on the front-line captivated her audience.
• Stephen Carter totally entertained those of us who had the opportunity to hear him speak on an insider's view of the Alberta provincial Conservative Party. Stephen is the campaign strategist that was successful in getting Alison Redford and Naheed Nenshi elected. His humorous and insightful telling of the workings of the PC party during the selection of a new leader (the Banff Summer Conference in 2011, hosted one ofthe most significant forums in the PC leadership race) and the subsequent battle with the Wild Rose party in the elections was really interesting. His story of backing of an unknown [Nenshi] that captured the mayor's chair in Calgary was full of rich anecdotes. Mr. Carter did not shy away from offering personal observations on candidates and policies.
The conference was scaled back to four days, this year, due to budgeting. Acommittee of eight individuals (of which I have been selected) has been struck to undertake a complete review of Summer Conference. The committee will meet for the first time on September 17th. We have the mandate of looking at all aspects of Summer Conference – purpose, programming,time, location, budgets – and reporting back to the ATA with our recommendations. I am requesting that you contact me to discuss your thoughts or suggestions, so that I might be better able to represent your voice at the committee meetings.
July 9-13 Educational Leadership Academy - Banff Park Lodge
Aug 13-16 ATA Summer Conference - Banff Centre
Sept 27-29 Beginning Teachers' Conference
Oct 29 Parkland Teachers' INduction-Retirement Dinner
Iona selected as recipient
On June 6, Iona Robertson was presented with the Local's service award selected by the executive once per year. Iona was noted for her service since beginning at Memorial and Stony Junior 1988 where she was choir director. We thank Iona for her continued involvement on many committees. Her most recent service on ARA has provided the Local with her steadfast commitment to colleagues and the teaching profession - not to mention great laughter and shoes!. Congratulations, Iona!
Ernie retires – visits Local
Recently retired from long standing service with the ATA, Associate Executive Director Dr. Ernie Clintberg dropped in to our Local to say hi. He expressed his thanks to Robert Twerdoclib and our Local for their kind words at ARA honoring his service to Parkland Local before moving into a position at Barnett House. Ernie also extended his thanks for our donation to the ATA Educational Trust Fund in his name.
Annual Representatives Assembly (ARA): May Long-Weekend in Calgary - by Paul McCann
I had the pleasure of attending my third ARA over the May Long-Weekend, as one of your seven Parkland Teachers' delegates. While it may seem strange that I appreciate the opportunity to sit in a crowded, stuffy room for two full days (sometimes three), and vote on too many resolutions and amendments to resolutions, there are many rewards that come with the complete package. I am grateful for those former Parkland Teachers' who have moved on to take on larger leadership roles, on behalf of Alberta teachers. Ernie Clintberg (this year's ATA Honorary Membership recipient – retired Associate Executive Secretary for the ATA), Robert Twerdoclib (District Representative), and Lisa Everitt (Teacher Welfare) were front and center at this year's assembly. I am grateful for the six other Parkland delegates, all of whom sacrificed quality time with family to work so hard on your behalf, in being properly informed to make the best voting choices. Every time one of our delegates steps up to a microphone, the respect and integrity of Parkland Teachers' grows. I am grateful that our teaching profession supports the messy business of functioning in a real democracy. The process of the ARA is shining example of the absolute importance of the role of public education in a free society.
Economic Bargaining Unit - welcoming new members. For more information contact the Local office.
- welcoming new members. For more information contact the Local office.
BUGM (Bargaining Unit General Meeting) – April 18th What a wonderful feeling it was to see almost 200 colleagues join us at the Spruce Grove Motor Inn on Wednesday, April 18th, to ratify our opening proposal for contract talks. The number of teachers in attendance has given our Negotiating Sub-Committee a very strong negotiating position as they head to the table, on your behalf. We are very appreciative of your patience and participation during the meeting. It is important that those in attendance have the opportunity to seek clarification and suggest changes in the proposal. While democracy can be messy, your commitment to events like these is a great source of pride, as I serve as your local President.
Maternity (April 10th) and Pension (April 21st) Seminars A big thank you goes out to Peter Kalis and Sherry Constantin for taking the time during an extremely busy time of the year, to provide Parkland Teachers with very informative sessions. We are quite fortunate to have expert presenters available to work with our local teachers. Both sessions were well attended and well received.
Stony Plain and District Trade Show – April 20th to 22nd After a year's hiatus, Parkland Teachers' was back at full throttle for this year's trade show, at the Tri-Leisure Centre. We had a full complement of Parkland Teachers manning the booth. Thanks to everyone who worked a shift. This year, teachers from our sister local Evergreen Catholic, members of PSD's administrative team, and PSD trustees worked alongside us to promote public education. I would encourage any of you to get involved next year. It is a small time commitment, with great satisfaction.
The two winners of our free draw for an ATA watch were Wayne Wendell, from Spruce Grove, and Maryann Socholotuik, from Edmonton.
Parkland School Division Awards Dinner - May 4th On Friday, May 4th, Parkland School Division will be unveiling their newly formatted service awards dinner. On behalf of Parkland Teachers', I would like to congratulate the teachers and employees being recognized at this years', "Milestones and Merits" event. Your commitment to providing the best educational opportunities for our students does not go unnoticed.
Annual Representatives Assembly – May 18th to the 21st It is with mixed feelings that I inform you that we are in search of at least two teachers who would be willing to serve their colleagues, as members of Parkland Teachers' 2012-2013 ARA Committee. We wish to congratulate Kulbir Dhaliwal and Iona Robertson for their knowledge and statesmanship, in so honourably serving as the Local's delegates to the Annual Representatives' Assembly. Iona and Kulbir will be completing their commitment to the Local by attending this year's ARA, in Calgary, during the May long weekend.
While it is sad to see them leave, we wish them well in their decision to spend more time with their families. On behalf of committee members Shauna Fleming, Scott Onuczko, Bruce Kolody, and Matt Stelmaschuk, we are grateful for the pleasure of their company and the many hours invested in looking out for the welfare of Parkland
Parkland Teachers' Local 10 members: Bargaining Unit General Meeting 4:30 p.m Wednesday, April 18, 2012 Grove Motor Inn, Spruce Grove. Please plan to attend to hear our opening proposal and provide feedback.
PRESIDENT’S REPORT excerpts– Wednesday, April 4, 2012 - Respectfully submitted by Paul McCann
Thanks also to PSD’s Norm Usiskin, Forest Green, Marianne Rogers, High Park, Laurie Hawley and Myra Rybotycki (SGCH), who sat on the NCTCA’s Board for the 2012 Convention year. Further thanks to Laurie and Myra who were also part of the Executive Board and Program Planning Committee.
Excerpts From the DISTRICT REPRESENTATIVE REPORT to Local Council– Wednesday, March 7, 2012 – Robert Twerdoclib, Central North
No-Cost Specialist Council Memberships: A broken record: each teacher’s annual no-cost specialist council membership will continue from one year to the next or until the teacher uses the online system to change to a different specialist council. School representatives are asked to poll all staff members on special council membership and to assist each and every teacher who needs to join. Substitute teachers’ memberships roll over as long as they work at least one day in September – I not they must re-apply. (Membership to one specialist council is free each year to teachers actively teaching.)
Grants in Support of Social Justice Learning: The Aspen Foundation works to educate young Albertans about the social and economic issues affecting workers and societies, promotes cooperative action and seeks to develop engaged citizens. Grants of up to $1500 are available for student projects that promote student engagement in social justice activities. Application deadline is April 30, 2012. See www.afle.ca for more information.
Student Vote: The Association has partnered with Student Vote to facilitate and promote a parallel election for students in conjunction with the provincial general election. Please see the recent addition of the ATA News (for more information).
Did You Know? Feb 2012 …..The five year Collective Agreement that teachers in Parkland and the rest of the province have been working under will expire on August 31 of this year. More information ...
PRESIDENT’S REPORT – Wednesday, February 1, 2012 Respectfully submitted by Paul McCann
I would like to congratulate our high school teachers on the conclusion of their first semester. I’m sure that it has been a busy time winding up curriculum, prepping students for exams, assessing, final assessments, and then starting all over again. It seems like a daunting task, and all in the span of three weeks! For myself, well, the New Year has come in with a bang. Hopefully, the Mayans have it all wrong about 2012 going out the same way.
A recent field service meeting only served to highlite all of the things that are currently happening in the teaching profession and helped put things in perspective for me. As I took in sessions and listened to speaker’s present information on all aspects of how the ATA can improve the quality of teaching and the quality of a teacher’s life, the realities of what it means to be a teacher were evident: you need to be informed; you need to be prepared; you need to be a bit of a fortune teller; you need to be a listener; you need to be a leader; you need to be a social worker; a mediator. Over the next few months, between provincial elections, contract negotiations, the introduction of a new School Act, and most importantly, balancing your commitments as a teacher with your personal lives, please remember all of the great work that each of us does each day. We are an honorable profession and we deserve the respect and appreciation of our students, our families, our communities, and our elected officials.
ATA Educational Trust Fund – The Next Application Deadline Is May 1st: If you have exhausted your allotment of professional development funds at your school, and there is still one more objective you would like to accomplish in your professional growth plans, then this is a reminder that the ATA Educational Trust Fund may have some finances waiting for you. Applications received by the deadline are then drawn, with the recipients receiving either $600 (May 1st) or $400 (September 30th). Unique bursaries are also available to teachers for larger amounts.
PRESIDENT’S REPORT – Wednesday, December 11, 2012 - respectfully submitted by Paul McCann
Collective Agreement Expiring in 2012 - Message to Parkland Local 10 Teachers
While it is pretty much business as usual for the Local, we head into a new year expecting Parkland Teachers’ are fully aware that a high priority has been placed on preparations for the negotiation of a new collective agreement. The current five-year contract expires on August 31st, 2012. As of January 3rd, either party [Parkland School Division and Parkland Teachers’ Local 10] can serve notice, in writing, of its intention to commence collective bargaining. Ultimately, the decision as to when the talks will begin is going to be heavily influenced by external factors such as the progress of the current Tripartite discussions, an expected spring provincial election, and the parallel preparation for contract talks by Parkland School Division’s negotiating committee.
Your Local bargaining representatives will endeavor to keep you involved and fully informed during every step of the process. In return, the EPC and the NSC expect you and your colleagues to proactively interact with your negotiating team members. Our Negotiating Sub-Committee, consisting of Scott Onuczko (NSC Chair), Shauna Fleming, and Charlene Daub, will be your local representatives at the negotiation table. Peter Kalis (ATA) will serve as our bargaining agent.
Charlene Daub (Economic Policy Committee Chair) and her team have been diligent in making sure that you and your colleagues have been given an opportunity to share your thoughts and ideas about what should be included in our upcoming negotiations. They have also been collecting group data in many forms (current vs. historical data, and local vs. provincial data).
Prior to voting on any proposals, whenever that may be, I am asking you to please consider taking the time to engage your colleagues in conversation. Talk to, call, or email (use their home email addresses) any of the committee members if you have questions. Most importantly, plan to attend the meetings. Be involved, whether you are new to the profession, or at the top of the salary grid.
Jolene Côté Night of Comedy Fundraiser - Greystone Centenial Middle School isWe are hosting two nights of comedy on Monday, December 19 and Tuesday, December 20, 2011, at the Horizon Stage in Spruce Grove, Alberta. Host. Graham Neil (CTV), and headliner, Kenny Valgardson, have graciously volunteered their talents. In conjunction with each of these comedy shows, a silent auction will be hosted. All funds raised from the two evenings will go directly to the Jolene Côté Memorial Trust Fund.
Tickets are available at Ticketmaster or at the Spruce Grove City Hall. We encourage you to support this event.
Tragically, on October 13, 2011, a teacher at Greystone, Jolene Côté’s life was ended. She was the victim of homicide at age 36, leaving her family, including her husband and two small children, many friends, students, colleagues, and teammates, devastated and overwhelmed with the loss.
Jolene’s two small children always came first in her life; she was a kind and gentle mother, a loving and adored wife, a cherished daughter, sister and friend to so many. Mrs. Côté was a dedicated and popular teacher at Greystone Centennial Middle School. Prior to that, she taught at Mayerthorpe Junior High School for many years. Jolene had a love for sports; she coached several athletic teams, such as basketball and golf, and played on many teams over the years including slowpitch, curling, team handball, and soccer. Jolene dedicated her life to helping others and enriching the community she lived in, and now it is our turn to give back to her.
Facing Our Future Together: Calgary Public has just published a video called "Facing Our Future Together" to help their members understand the nature of collective bargaining, the history of collective bargaining in Local 38, the important role the Local and the Association plays in advocating for education in Calgary and Alberta, and the value teachers place on their Association. While the video is originally intended for Local 38 members, it may indeed be relevant in all Alberta locals! I encourage you to take a look (the video is 16 minutes in length).
PRESIDENT’S REPORT – to Local Council Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Local President's Meeting Tidbits
PRESIDENT’S REPORT – to Local Council Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Happy World Teachers’ Day – October 5, 2011 In 1994, UNESCO inaugurated October 5 as World Teachers’ Day to commemorate the joint UNESCO and International Labour Organization’s (ILO) signing of the Recommendations Concerning the Status of Teachers.
World Teachers’ Day represents a significant token of the awareness, understanding and appreciation displayed for the vital contribution that teachers make to education and development. On October 5th, along with more than 30 million teachers, in over 100 countries around the world, the Canadian Teachers’ Federation and its Member organizations across the country celebrate World Teachers’ Day through a public awareness campaign that highlights the contributions of the teaching profession. This year’s theme is - Teachers for Gender Equality. UNESCO or Time and Date.
Fall Education Transformation Meeting (Thursday, September 22nd) I would like to thank Marianne Rogers and Randy Hetherington for the distinct privilege of partnering with them in representing Parkland Teachers’ at the Fall Education Transformation Meeting, held on September 22, 2011. The day was productive, as representatives from Alberta Education, Parkland School Division, and our Local sat around a table and openly discussed the potential for moving forward, as the Alberta Government continues its mandate to transform education and prepare students, parents, and communities for these systemic changes.
Our day began with the facilitators of the event providing us with the opportunity to listen to high-level representatives from the three stakeholder groups (Alberta Education, Alberta School Boards, and the Alberta Teachers’ Association) discuss their respective positions on the direction that transformational talks should take. This ‘fireside’ chat was the jumping off point for local representatives to share, discuss, and make recommendations to the Alberta government on transformation for the remainder of the day. Three separate, one hour sessions, focused upon three general topics:
My impression of the day is that Parkland School Division has much respect for their teachers and that there is a shared willingness to work, in partnership, in establishing foundational goals in education, from which we can best serve our students, our profession, and our communities.
Respectfully submitted by Paul McCann
For Parkland Teachers (members only) Collecting Pension while Continuing to Work - Oct 13 and How to read your paycheque.
PRESIDENT’S REPORT – to Local Council Wednesday, September 6, 2011
Banff Summer Conference - 2011 - This years’ conference was held from August 8th to August 12th. Parkland Teachers’ had a very strong contingent of representatives in attendance, including Robert Twerdoclib as our District Representative and Sherry Constantin in her role as Pension Consultant. Charlene Daub attended the Local Programs Course and Shauna Fleming was enrolled in the Professional Development program. Gary Hanna and Garth Sloane were first-time attendees and took courses in Initiatives in Leadership and Local Programs, respectively.
Scott Onuczko represented Parkland Teachers’ at the Teacher Welfare sessions, in preparation for his very important role as the Economic Policy Committee Chair for the upcoming collective bargaining negotiations. On your behalf, I participated in the Local Presidents’ Program. A highlite of the week was the opportunity to listen to and speak with both Progressive Conservative and Liberal candidates in the upcoming party leadership races. There are some very clear choices in how these candidates support public education. You are encouraged to get out and vote. I certainly am appreciative of the time and effort that Summer Conference delegates give to the Local and to their teaching profession. On behalf of all of us, thank you for the privilege of representing you at the 2011 Summer Conference.
Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Effort “Alberta students work together in times of crisis.”
High Park School would like to thank all those individuals and schools who participated. We sold over 1000 bandanas. We are sending out your orders as we receive payment. We will be forwarding a cheque to Red Cross as soon as all payments are received.
For a $10 donation, participants in the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Effort will receive a bandana - $2.50 will go to cover the cost of the bandana, with the remaining $7.50 going to the Canadian Red Cross. For links to the order form go to http://schools.psd70.ab.ca/highpark/.
Parkland Teachers Local 10 is partnering with Parkland School Division to solicit your assistance in an effort to initiate a province-wide fundraising campaign, lead by Alberta students and teachers. The Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Effort is the brainchild of a number of students and staff members at High Park School, in Stony Plain, Alberta. They’ve come up with a simple, but unique way of showing concern and support for the citizens of Japan and the crisis they are currently living. What they would like to do is invite all students, across the province, to join them in a joint campaign to raise funds for the Canadian Red Cross. They are aware that many schools have already begun the process of collecting donations. However, this initiative is a way to bring all students together, throughout the province. Students, whom have studied Japan as required by the Alberta Program of Studies, know that the Japanese culture is heavily identified with having one of the strongest ‘collective’ social consciences in the world. Speaking collectively, Alberta students will send a powerful message to Japan and the rest of the world.
Parkland Teachers are asking all local presidents to pass along this information to key contacts within your schools. The members of the Alberta Teachers Association have the means to support the future leaders of Alberta. Their proactive efforts can pave the path to peace and good will, in a better world. Please help us in getting the word out, in support of students taking action. Talk to your local teachers about this project and encourage them to get on board. Regards, Paul McCann
From the Local Council Reports Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Professional Development Opportunities
Thank you for the opportunity to attend the March 17th evening lecture on, Learning Our Way as Aspiring Albertans: A Public Lecture. Parkland Teachers’ was one of the locals that sponsored this event and it was sold out. Two authors gave talks, based on their own publications. Jean Twenge spoke about narcissism in current generations and Michael Adams filled us in on the results of his Environics research on baby boomer trends. While there were a lot of statistics and graphs thrown our way (death by PowerPoint), the information generated quite a bit of table discussion. The Alberta Teachers’ Association put on a great evening for those who attended.
Thanks to Marianne Rogers for attending the Symposium on Educational Futures - International Perspectives on Innovation from the Inside Out March 18 and 19, 2011. Her written report was submitted at Local Council.
The next public lecture, sponsored by the ATA (and Parkland Teachers’) will be held on Monday, May 30th. MIT professor Sherry Turkle will be in Edmonton to present a lecture entitled, Alone Together: Digital Technologies and Human Relationships. A limited number of tickets are available through the local office on a first come, first served basis. (contact our Local Office) This lecture is already sold out.
Parkland Teachers’ Local 10 Elections – Wednesday, May 18th Nomination forms are available through the local office. Elections will be held at the Annual General Meeting in May. You are encouraged to become active within the local by choosing to serve in a leadership position.
PSD - Service Awards Dinner – Friday, April 29th
Congratulations to those of you who will be recognized for your many years of service to Parkland School Division on April 29th. Your professionalism and dedication to teaching is much appreciated.
Parkland Teachers' Local 10 is planning a Maternity/Paternity Leave Seminar for Parkland Teachers. This one hour session is scheduled for Tuesday, May 10th, 2011. If you are interested, please contact Liz at our Local Office.
As of April 6th, we are please to announce this session is fully subscribed.
Pension Seminar presented by Sherry Constantin - ATA Pension Consultant Saturday, April 16, 2011, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Centre for Education, Stony Plain - Board Room.
ATRF and ASEBP representatives will be on hand. You’ll go home with a planning binder. Lunch and snacks are provided. An information poster has been placed in your school’s staff room. Call Liz or Paul [780-963-5898 ] or email [ParklandTeachers@shaw.ca] to register or get further information. Register by Friday, April 8, 2011.
Substitute Teacher Appreciation Week - March 14th to 18th - Parkland Teachers will once again extend an invitation to our wonderful Substitute Teachers to join us for dinner at our March Local Council meeting. The gesture is a small token of appreciation for out colleagues who take such good care of our students during our absences from the classroom. - Paul McCann, President
From Local Council – Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Pension Workshop Planned for Parkland Teachers - Thanks to Sherry Constantin and Norm Usiskin, Parkland Teachers are in the early planning stages of hosting a Pension Workshop. The date has been tentatively set for Saturday, April 16. If you are planning to retire in the next few years, call or email the Local Office for more details.
From January 17th to 25th, High Park students and staff recently "Kandahar: Through Afghan Eyes". This photojournalism display available from CIDA is a series of 31 posters created by Afghani high school students to foster another perspective of Afghanistan - the peaceful and rich culture is different from the war torn culture. It proved to be a wonderful learning experience and a great way to foster Peace Jams peaceful objectives. (More information on the poster series). Muir Lake will host the series from Jan 26 to Feb 4th, when it will move to another location somewhere in Canada.
C congratulations to Kerri Kenwell, Graminia School, as the recipient of an ATA Educational Trust Bursary. Kerri will be using her $500 award toward her Masters in Elementary Education: Music program at the University of Alberta. A Simple But Effective Plan - Brookwood Goes Garbageless - At Brookwood School Lesley Jeanes (kindergarten) and Jodie Ewasiuk (Grade 1/Mat Leave), with support from both administration and teachers, have planned and implemented a garbage free school program which began in September 2009 and is ongoing and strong. Jodie and Lesley came up with a plan to eliminate as much garbage production and consumption as possible. It is simple: children and staff are to take home all garbage from their lunches. Some teachers, parents, custodians and students thought this idea was not going to work. Well, we are very proud to say that in a very short time, students, staff and parents saw a very quick and dramatic change in garbage consumption and production. Brookwood’s custodial staff noted that our daily garbage bag count went from 15 big bags to approximately 4 big bags of garbage per day. Parents were able to see what was and wasn’t being eaten. Parents began and continue sending lunches in plastic reusable containers versus plastic bags. Many parents started packing more or less food depending on their child’s needs. Students have taken responsibility for their garbage; even Brookwood kindergarten students can be seen washing yogurt containers and placing orange peels back into their lunch boxes. We are very proud of our students, parents and staff for taking such great time and effort to eliminate garbage in our school, community and world! - School Report to Local Council – Wednesday, January 5, 2011 -
The Board of Trustees has initiated a system-wide review of school boundaries due to their concerns about the unprecedented changing demographics within Parkland School Division #70. They will be seeking public input during a series of advertised open houses (locations to be determined) on January 24th, 25th, and 26th
Happy New Year to everyone! May 2011 be everything you wish it to be. - Paul McCann
2011 Curriculum Seminar: Informed Transformation from the inside Out: International Perspectives on the Fourth Way in Action - is planned for March 18 & 19, 2011. As this event planned by Association Staff is much anticipated, each Local will be assigned spaces for the symposium. - Robert Twerdoclib, District Representative
Your North Central Teachers' Convention Association ID Cards have been distributed to you the first week of January. They replace the previous convention planning booklet as your "ticket" to convention sessions on February 10th and 11th of 2011. See your staff rep after the Local Council meeting on January 5th. if they have not arrived in your school mailbox. Planning your convention sessions can be facilitated by visiting the NCTCA website http://nctca.ab.ca to select the sessions and writing them on with the inside of your ID insert. Pre-Registration for sessions closes on January 28th.
updated January 11, 2011
Update on Miok Scholarship - with the kind permission of the editor of the "Western Sentinal", we reprint an article Nov. 25, 2010 Vol 12 No. 22 pg. 2) that outlines how education students can apply for the Miok Scholarship.
Notes on Workboard - Notes on Booking Substitute Teachers - Substitute Teacher Group representatives Mary Ng Notton and Russ Roskewich met with Margret Jacobs to discuss the procedures for booking substitute teachers. Their detailed report can be viewed in our Members Only section by logging in.
A sample of our teachers engaged in PD - Jen Poon from Seba Beach School at Inside Education's Electricity Tour (Keephills Power Plant) in July.
Excerpts from PRESIDENT’S REPORT to Local Council – Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Respectfully submitted by Paul McCann
Welcome New Trustees - Two new trustees and five incumbents will form the Board of Trustees in Parkland School Division for the next three-year term. As the Board makes their way around the schools over the next couple of weeks, please take the time to introduce yourselves to them: Ron Heinrichs, Kathleen Linder, Richard Gilchrist, Irene Goebel, Eric Cameron,Dorcas Kilduff and Elsie Kinsey. Municipal Election Results for Town of Stony Plain, City of Spruce Grove, and County of Parkland including Parkland School Division
Thank you to Marie Gauthier for successfully organizing two candidates’ forums in which the voting public was given an opportunity to come out to hear each candidate speak on their platform and answer questions from those in attendance.
Marianne Rogers hosted her regular election-year forum on October 14th, where candidates for public education trustee and Stony Plain council spent the morning being "grilled" by students on various topics and election issues. Students at High Park School then went to ‘their own’ polls on October 18th to determine whom they thought should be elected. It is an event that gives students an incredible hands-on experience with the democratic process.
And Candidate #6 Is… - On behalf of Parkland Teachers’ Local 10, I congratulated Mr. Tim Monds on his appointment as the next superintendent of Parkland School Division. I wished him well in his new position and told him that we were looking forward to forging a productive working relationship.
Induction/Retirement Dinner – October 25th - Parkland Teachers’ payed tribute to our colleagues who retired in the 2009-2010 school year and welcomed first year teachers to our profession during the annual dinner, which was held for the first time at the Stony Plain Golf Course. In the tradition of our local, it was a wonderful evening. Ernie Clintberg, associate executive secretary for the ATA and former Parkland teacher, shared a few thoughts with those in attendance. Highlites of the evening include the kind words offered through the introduction of each new teacher and the gracious comments of the retirees.
PD Day used for Planning Comprehensive Reporting - On October 8th, 2010 High Park, Stony Plain Central, Meridian Heights, Seba Beach, Entwistle, Tomahawk and Duffield Schools joined staffs to plan for Comprehensive Reporting. Each professional learning group spent the day looking at the curricular big ideas and writing "I Can... " statements for students. More photos available in the Photo Gallery.
Habitat for Humanity We met with the volunteer coordinator for Habitat for Humanity, Louise Fairley, who is extremely pleased and excited that Parkland teachers are going to assist them with this most worthy project. This is the official call for volunteers. If you haven’t already contacted the Local office (Liz Taylor), please do so at your earliest convenience. Details of Commitment:Saturday, October 16th, is the date;8:3 0 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. is your time commitment; .The location is the Habitat for Humanity project, located on the south end of Stony Plain, on 48th Street, across the street from John Paul II School, behind George Hennig Place.
You need to be at least 16 years of age to be on the worksite. For teachers who would like to get their students involved in volunteering for this worthwhile project, there are a number of jobs that could be done to help out. For instance, cookies can be baked or lunches made for the workers – it doesn’t even have to be for October 16 – it can be for any group that is volunteering.
You will need to complete an information form and sign a waiver (Liz Taylor will coordinate by phone, email, fax, or just stop off at the Local’s office) prior to the work date.
You will need to view a 10 minute orientation/safety video before October 16th, as well. Details on the video will follow.
Lunch is provided. Safety/jobsite equipment is provided.
The first part of Saturday morning will involve skills training; the rest of the day is working.
We are committed to providing Habitat for Humanity with a crew of 25 workers. [If the interest is there, we have tentatively been offered a second Saturday at the end of October [the 30th] or into November [we’ll be inside by that time]. Right now, we have 12 volunteers.
We urge you to become involved. What a fantastic opportunity to make a positive contribution to the community.
Regards, Marie Gauthier & Paul McCann
ATA Summer Conference – President’s Report by Paul McCann
On behalf of all Local delegates, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to represent Parkland Teachers’ Local 10 at the 62nd Annual ATA Summer Conference, held at the Banff Centre, from August 9th to the 13th. We are very fortunate to have had seven teachers represent you at the conference. Laurie Hawley (SGCHS) was involved in the Convention seminar. Shauna Fleming (Duffield) and Charlene Daub (Muir Lake) participated in the Teacher Welfare course. Marie Gauthier (no fixed address) took in the Local Political Engagement program. Ivon Prefontaine (Stony Creek) represented us in the Professional Development Course, and Scott Onuczko (SGCHS) completed the Initiatives in Leadership course.
It was a good conference this year. All delegates found value in the many hours of plenary sessions, presentations, and workshops they attended. I participated in the second year of the Local Program Course and received my certificate in Local Leadership. Keynote speakers that I had the opportunity to hear included Dr. Joel Wertheim, Ken Chapman, and Dr. Stephen Murgatroyd.
A few of the topics of discussion during the 2010 Summer Conference included the revision of the Alberta School Act in 2011, the framework for extending the current collective bargaining agreement, Bill 44’s implementation on September 1st, and Diversity, Equity, and Human Rights in the teaching profession.
The setting of Banff National Park surrounding the Banff Centre is a spectacular backdrop for learning. The evening social programming for delegates and their families was much appreciated. The focus of the week was preparing educators for a paradigm shift in Alberta Education.
The complex challenges of being a teacher are not declining, however, the tools and resources for adapting to changes are available to all and ours for the taking.
Scholarship will honour teacher and soldier: As of May 6, the George Miok Scholarship Fund has raised approximately $13 000 from 26 locals. Along with the $25 000 raised by the family and the amounts directly from other locals, the fund stands at approx. $50 000 and represents two yearly $1000 scholarships for future education students.
Parkland Teachers’ Local 10 invited all locals across Alberta to contribute to a scholarship fund honouring the memory of teacher colleague and soldier Sergeant George Miok, who was killed in Afghanistan on December 30, 2009.
Trade Fair Successful Once Again - many thanks to all those members who helped out at the Trade Fair. We had many visitors to our booth, some interesting conversations and a great interest in the draw for the watches. What a great way to stay in touch with our community leading into Education Week.
April 19 to 25th is 2010 Global Action Week -- 1Goal: Education for All campaign rallies Canadian students and teachers. We encourage everyone to get involved to help promote worldwide literacy. More information is available on the CTF Web site, www.ctf-fce.ca, under NEWSROOM.
Opportunity for increased membership involvement
Our Local wishes to thank the many dedicated and active volunteers that help our Local run so successfully. We still have a few opportunities for those members wishing to be more actively involved.
Our second Vice President position would provide a detailed look at the Local's operations and involvement and alternate representatives are being sought for our EPC Committee. In addition we will be designating one member in each school as EPC Contact to help disseminate information in our upcoming Collective Agreement negotiations. For more involvement in our professional development activities, you could put your name forward as our PD Chair.We also have a new position as Diversity Education Chair. For more information or to get more involved, please contact Liz at our Local Office, parkATA@telus.net or 780 963 5898.
School Board Elections - Monday, September 20th is the filing day for School Board Trustee nominations. It is important to have elections ineach of the six trustee zones within Parkland School Division. If you know of a worhty candidate, please consider making a personal invitation to encourage them to run for office. Capable candidates mean a strong school board. Nomination papers are available at the Centre for Education. Elections take place on October 18, 2010. Please vote.
Teaching Gold Medalists: Three Olympic Women’s Hockey Team Champions Talk about Their Favourite Teachers - ATA Summer Series Lectures
Eric loved his daughters above all else. He was an avid English Literature fan and teaching to to others was his passion. His other interests were soccer, hiking, canoeing and his love of a good joke. It is with great sadness that we mourn the passing of fellow Parkland teacher Eric Johnson. Eric was a father of two of our students, brother to Wendy Grant and a husband to Cheryl Johnson, two of our colleagues. A popular staff member, Eric was an inspiration to many of his students at Memorial Composite High. He had earned a reputation as a quality teacher and will be truly missed by all of Parkland. We extend our condolences to Eric’s entire family. Special thanks to Sandy Adamson for his touching remembrance at the service, speaking with eloquence and humour to honour Eric.
Induction/Retirement Celebration Successful
Parkland Teachers’ Local 10 hosted its annual Induction and Retirement Dinner at the Spruce Grove Motor Inn on Monday, October 26th. Parkland administrators, Local teachers, friends, spouses, and family had the privilege of recognizing and thanking eight retirees. Their pride in being a teacher and their inspirational words were the highlite of the evening. It is quite fitting that nine new teachers were inducted into the Alberta Teachers’ Association at the same function. At times it can be a struggle to fathom how difficult it is to replace key educators in our schools, especially when they are respected and recognized at the highest levels of education. It is very clear, however, that the inductees are enthusiastic and more than capable of taking up their new roles as leaders of students.
October 5, 2009
ATA Summer Conference Report
Paul McCann, President Parkland Teachers' Local 10
Thank you for the opportunity to attend the ATA Summer Conference as your Local President. The conference was conducted in Banff from Monday, August 10th, to Friday, August 14th. Three other teacher colleagues were in attendance representing Parkland Teachers’ Local 10 (Shauna Fleming, Charlene Daub, Lisa Clements). I was in attendance for about a dozen sessions – some good, some excellent, some not so good.
The keynote speaker for the week was Dr. Linda Duxbury. I very much enjoyed her presentation and her topic. She shared with the audience current and projected trends in the changing demographics of teachers in our province. She presented some possible strategies for meeting the evolving needs of teachers over length of their career. A strong theme that was particularly emphasized was the desire for younger generations to pursue a different work-life balance than preceding generations.
Among the sessions I attended were information seminars geared towards how I can effectively carry out my role as a Local President.
Thursday’s plenary session on Real Learning First had lots of good discussion. Real Learning First is a long-term strategy for education in Alberta. It is not a catch phrase to oppose provincial achievement testing.
Overall, the week was full. It was a positive experience. - Paul
Summer Conference Thoughts: PD Session: Lisa Clements
I attended in the PD Session with a focus on Real Learning First. This opportunity was great and an energizing week. Staying in the excellent setting with beautiful accomodations, we met many important, entertaining people including ATA staff members. It was a great chance to met and share with other Locals to see what they are doing and where their successes lie. It was a chance to make contacts with others for possibilities of sharing resources, speakers and other initiatives. - Lisa
Teachers call on premier to remove provisions in Bill 44 dealing with education
(reprinted from www.teachers.ab.ca) Alberta teachers are calling on Premier Ed Stelmach to intervene in the Bill 44 debacle. The creation of a new human right to prior notification of any instruction, materials, or exercises that a parent might construe as relating to religion, sexuality or sexual orientation will have a chilling effect on classroom discussions and only invites abuse. The School Act and the Guide to Education regulation already address any concerns that parents and the public might have. The ATA's submission to the premier (.pdf). Teachers are encouraged to write, email or call theri MLAs at their constituency offices to express concerns about Bill 44, The Human Rights, Citizenship and Multiculturalism Amendment Ac t, 2009. (For assistance indentifying MLAs and obtaining their contact information, go to http://www.assembly.ab.ca/lao/mla/mla_help.htm )
Longtime Parkland teacher and active member of our association Bill Fraser is retiring. He is well known for sporting his colorful theme vests while acting as our (past) local president, on ARA and EPC and many more offices. As a fund-raiser for th e ATA Education Trust, Bill is auctioning off these vests at our Annual General Meeting - May 27th. We invite you to peruse the patterns and themes, and bid on these colorful vests when you come to the General Meeting to be held at Spruce Grove Motor Inn. (information on sizes)
Our delegates will be attended our Annual Representative Assembly May 15th to 17th to discuss important policies and resolutions for our Association. Thanks to all delegates for their time and commitment.
Passionate? Knowledgeable? - NCTCA Needs YOU!! If you have a convention session topic you would be prepared to share with colleagues at our Feb. 2010 convention, North Central Teachers' Convention Association is currently taking applications from teacher members. If you are interested in helping to make Convention 2010 the BEST ever, email Laurie Hawley at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Parkland Teachers' Local 10 encourages members to participate in Alberta Education's Inspiring Education: A Dialogue with Albertans.
Friday, May 30 - Front Page Stony Plain Reporter, Arbitrator agrees with teachers and from the editorial page
Parkland Teachers will have an hours of work clause in place for the 2008 - 2009 school year. Full details were made available at the Annual General Meeting. The decision will be posted to the website in the near future. (Members - see additonal links below. )
Parkland Local 10's Annual General Meeting was held on Wednesday, May 28th at Spruce Grove Motor Inn beginning at 4:30. This meeting was a closed meeting for members only. 2008AGMMayPoster.jpg
The ARA held over the long weekend, attended by seven members of our local, can best be described as democracy in action. There was extensive debate over most issues, and extended and contentious debate over three particular resolutions: redistricting the District Representative’s areas, the Real Learning issue (about 31/2 hours), and the age limits revolving around kindergarten and grade one entrance ages. The provincial president best summarized the debate and I paraphrase “that it is too bad that budget debates are closed because it would be good for the public to see some 450 teachers working at 11:30 PM on the Sunday of the May Long Weekend.” The assembly adjourned at about 12:30 on Monday and a good and interesting time was had by all.
Photo: Our ARA Delegates put their heads together to determine the best way to represent our Local with their votes. Featured are Robert Twerdoclib, President, and Dave Hardman, Vice President.
Escuela Una de Octobre:
For the past two years, Parkland Teachers’ Local 10 has contributed financially to the Children Of Ecuador Fund. This local charity, steered by Parkland teacher David Oldham of Spruce Grove Composite High School, serves to enrich the lives and education of children in this South American country. Future plans hope to see the funding of a new school. Additional pictures that show the reality of schooling three years ago and changes as a result of recent construction can be found in our photo gallery.
Meeting dates for the Voluntary Interest Arbitration have been set. The panel will meet on May 9 and 19th, July 3 and 19th, August 20, 23 and 28 to 31. In addition, the ruling from the December 2006 Arbitration Hearing on our Health Spending Account Grievances, has yet to be issued.
Our Local’s booth at the Tri-Municipal Trade Fair, April 13-15, 2007 was the place to be. Political Engagement Officer Marie Gauthier organized the booth at the TransAlta Tri-Leisure Centre in Spruce Grove. Over a dozen teachers volunteered to meet and greet a multitude of members of our community over the three day event. This years' attendance surpassed the 15 000 who attended last year.