Newsletter – September 2019

20190924 Newsletter Picture

// After-School Meetings

Are teachers required to attend meetings after the hours of instruction?

Section 25(1)(j) under Regulations 97-150 of the Education Act whereby teachers are required to attend meetings called by Principals or Superintendents. Teachers are required to attend staff meetings that deal with administrative issues such as scheduling, school policies, school discipline, promotion, or other issues related to the general operation of the school.

The New Brunswick Teachers’ Federation (NBTF) has advised teachers that the activities involved in parent-teacher meetings fall within the general description of Article 18.02 of the Collective Agreement, and has accepted that there is an obligation for teachers to attend such meetings if their duration and frequency are reasonable as stated in Article 18.03.

The NBTF would also agree that a meet the teacher meeting at the beginning of a school year requires teachers to be present. A calendar of the scheduled meetings should normally be distributed to teachers at the beginning of the school year. Teachers should plan ahead and make arrangements in order to attend these meetings.  However, the NBTF has always taken the position that other scheduled meetings, such as PL sessions, math nights, fundraisers, book clubs, etc., called after the hours of instruction are left to the discretion of the teacher.

Article 18 – Hours of Instruction

18.02 The teachers recognize that their responsibility to their pupils and their profession requires the performance of duties that may involve time beyond the hours of instruction described in Clause 18.01.

18.03 Meetings that are held after the hours of instruction shall be kept to a minimum and be reasonable in length.

If you have any question on this topic, please contact your Labour Relations Officer at 1-888-679-7044.

// Managing Money in Schools

During the school year, teachers are solicited to collect money for various purposes such as school activities, fundraising activities and school supplies. This task is often necessary, but not mandatory.

Here is what the Collective Agreement stipulates with regards to fundraising:

Article 22 (B) – Solicitation of Funds

22.01   Any solicitation of funds, or sale, or distribution of materials for the benefit of outside organizations, and collection of monies shall not be the responsibility of teachers. The teachers in the NBTF local branch may agree with the Superintendent or delegated designate the extent to which they shall cooperate in the solicitation of funds, or sale, or distribution of materials for the benefit or outside organizations.

22.02   Clause .01 does not prohibit the teacher from collecting money for educationally-related activities.

The NBTF is sensitive to the fact that, to ensure the smooth functioning of school activities and for practical reasons, teachers are asked to help with this task. However, this task involves some risks since the teacher becomes responsible for the funds they have raised. Here are some tips to ensure the proper management of these funds:

– Make sure you keep a record of transactions
– Issue receipts as much as possible
– Do not keep money in your office and above all do not bring the money home
– Hand over the money yourself as soon as possible to the office and make sure you receive a written confirmation that the money has indeed been handed over with the exact amount

When there is doubt about the managing of the funds at the school level, the Office of the Comptroller may be involved and an investigation may be conducted. It is important to be very vigilant and have the necessary documentation to demonstrate where the money was deposited and how it was used.

If you have any question on this topic, please contact your Labour Relations Officer at 1-888-679-7044.

// Violent Incident Report

In order to make sure that our data reflects the current reality in schools, the NBTF is still looking to gather information on all violent incidents that teachers are facing on a daily basis. Therefore, all teachers are asked to take a few minutes to fill out our Violent Incident Report each time they are confronted with such an incident. This information is highly confidential and is for the exclusive use of the NBTF. This information is not shared with the district unless it is requested by the teacher through the Violent Incident Form.

Examples of incidents include:

  • Verbal harassment – being subjected to derogatory comments and student profanity
  • Threats or physical assault – students engaging in actual physical attacks against teachers (kicking, hitting, spitting, scratching, biting, throwing objects…)
  • Damage to school or personal teacher property
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