President's Report [membership]

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"In order to carry a positive action we must develop here a positive vision."` ~Dalai Lama

At the Executive meetings I try to have a positive quote to begin each meeting, sometimes they are less successful than other times. I think the other members of the Executive wait to hear them and then the kidding begins, I forget sometimes that lofty quotes are not always what has been needed in this past year. However, I really think that this quote from the Dalai Lama suits the following report, so here goes!

This has been a busy year for everyone. For me personally, it has been a time learning, and expanding my knowledge of the Association and a broader picture of what is happening in schools. Sometimes we get so caught up in our own schools that we forget the bigger picture and the challenges that exist in other classrooms and schools.

Nearing the end of this first year as your President many things have happened that make me want to thank you for the job that you do every day providing support to the students in your care. I have been very proud to represent you as a group and to hopefully raise the awareness of your skills and professional status in the schools, and the Board.

The Executive is working together really well, they are striving to create and foster an atmosphere that encourages members to speak their minds, realizing that we are not always going to agree on some issues. But, and there is always a but..... we can't do this alone, we need all of the membership to step up, to take part in and be involved in this union.

This is your UNION, it provides an income to help you and your families in the community, it provides you support when you are struggling in your job, it comforts you in times of loss, either personally or professionally. We are only as strong as you make us! We need you to come to meetings, provide agenda items, ask questions and share your concerns. Don't be afraid to let your voice be heard. We need your ideas and feedback if we are truly going to be able to do our jobs as your representatives to the best of our abilities.

We are having an Open House at the new office space, I hope that many of you will come, see and get to know the people who work for you and this is YOUR office as well. The Executive has tried to emphasis recognizing and celebrating the EAA and it's members when setting up the offices. Come and see what we have done, look at the photos from the past years, understand where we have to come from to get to this point. We have so much potential, come and share your thoughts.

The PD Day is coming up in April and the committee has working hard on your behalf to provide meaningful training both for your professional growth but also your personal growth.

The Spring Dinner committee has great plans in the works, come out, celebrate the milestones for the members and the recognize the contributions that our members have made in the lives of students in this Region. Their theme for the dinner is Choose to be Extraordinary and this is a message that we hope you will take to heart.

In closing, this has been an interesting, challenging year but also a time that I have tried to visit you in your schools when possible, and that time has been the most rewarding of all, you need to step back and see the changes that you provide daily to your students and celebrate their successes, they are your successes as well.

Kathryn Pittman
Educational Assistants Association

First Vice-President's Report


Happy Spring!

Norma Ballantyne Memorial Award:
The information and nomination forms for the Norma Ballantyne Memorial Award have been posted on our web site, please click here to view. If you know of a student who is deserving of this award, please fill out the application forms and send them to Colleen at the EAA office by Monday, May 2, 2016. The name of the winning recipient will be announced to the Membership at our May 18, 2016 Annual Meeting.

Charitable Funding:
If you are interested in your charitable organization being considered for our annual Charitable Funding, please check out the “Guidelines for Charitable Application and the “Request for Charitable Donation” forms posted on our web site. Please fill out the application form and send it to Colleen at the EAA office by Monday, May 2, 2016. You will be notified prior to the Annual Meeting if your organization is to be a possible recipient. Recommendations will be presented to the Membership at the May 18, 2016 Annual Meeting.

Hope to see you at the Spring Dinner,

Colleen Dietrich Sisson
First Vice-President
Educational Assistants Association

Negotiations Update:


Dear Members,

As you know, we have been in bargaining with the school board since the
beginning of February - most recently meeting for this purpose on March 10,
2016. We continue to make progress toward reaching an agreement -albeit
slowly. We are currently waiting for the school board to indicate their
availability for continued discussions.

We remain optimistic that we will be able to reach an agreement without
significant disruptions to our members. We will provide you with further
updates as bargaining unfolds.

Paul Bednarek
Negotiations Officer - EAA

Grievance Officer Report:

We have:
* 7 grievances we are presently working through
* One file that has been completed
* A second file that is nearing completion


We are STRONGER when we work TOGETHER!

~Mother Teresa

Jaime Eveleigh
Grievance Officer-EAA

CYW Rep Report


Happy Spring everyone, I hope you all had a relaxing break and are looking forward to continuing to do amazing work with all of the young people you impact everyday!

I want to remind each of you to continue to familiarize yourselves with the following Protocols and Procedures.

AP1290- Response to Suicidal Ideation, Self-Injury, Suicide Attempt of Students

If you are unclear about this, please have conversations with your Administration.

Safe Schools Incident Reporting (Bill 157)

These forms can be found in the sidebar (Quick References) of the CYW Conference. It is important that you continue to fill these out.

AP2240- Absenteeism: Temporary Student Withdrawal on Short Term Basis
4.4.1 The Child and Youth Worker (CYW) assigned to the school shall initiate contact with these pupils once each semester and extend an invitation to register at the school.

This is a new addition to our role and I encourage each of you to read the Procedure and discuss this with your Administration. It is important that you have a clear understanding of how this information will be relayed to you and what is expected of you at your site. Example: Who will provide you with the names of the students you are to contact? Will there be a specific time in the semester when you are to contact the student(s)? Who are you to direct the student to contact at the school? Where will your documentation be sent and kept?

In addition, please take time to read over our Association’s Document on Paraprofessional Boundaries and Responsible Use of Social Media as well as the OACYC Code of Ethics, Principles and Standards.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

Blazing trails with all of you!

Kim Wilson,

EA Rep Report

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I am pleased to announce that to date, we have received 377 responses to our survey. It is not too late to fill in the survey. The more responses we get, the better our information for negotiations will be. Lynn and Penny will be compiling the information and we hope to be able to share the results with members as soon as possible.

I would also like to thank those of you who have taken on the position of Key EA/CYW this year. It is a very important role in our organization, and I am hoping that we can implement some changes in the future that will see the position grow in responsibility.

The Executive has approved the formation of an Elections Committee for which I am Chair. This committee is looking at the process of our elections, and will make recommendations to the Executive. Please consider joining our group. If you are interested, just email me and I will ensure you are invited to the next meeting.

Have a wonderful Easter Break,

Iris Cloutier
EA Representative-EAA
Chair, Elections Committee

Communications Update

social media

Greetings Members!!

Our Executive Strives hard to keep our members informed. We have done this in five different ways to bring you up to date information in a timely and accurate fashion!! They are:

1. This eNewsletter
2. Our EAA Website
3. Twitter (follow us @wrdsbeaa)
4. Facebook (follow us
5. EAA Meetings

Information is the key to make our Association STRONG. BUT... what will make us STRONGER is for Members to attend our Meetings! Our five means of communication is only the tip of the iceberg. To get all the details and answer your questions be sure to come to all of our EAA Meetings. These dates are always posted on our Website calendar along with other important dates.

If you are having issues viewing any of our social media or the website, please let me know by clicking here or via WaterWorks.
Penny Penticost
First Officer At Large-EAA

Health and Safety Report



It continues to be busy with regard to health and safety for Educational Assistants and Child and Youth Workers. I recommend EAA members get familiar with Board Policy 2330 – Management Process For Student Behaviours Causing A Risk Of Injury As well, continue to complete HR-05-770 incident/accident reports for all injuries and near miss incidents.

I am looking forward to our April 22, 2016 PD Day. The focus is on safety and we have some excellent speakers lined up. Your Health and Safety Committee continues to meet monthly and are looking into ways of providing meaningful health and safety training to our members. Stay tuned!

Finally, a reminder to bring any health and safety concerns forward to your principal in writing. Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act it is your duty to report these concerns, just as it is the duty of your principal to take all reasonable precautions to protect the health and safety of their staff.

I encourage you to contact me with your health and safety questions, concerns and requests for more information on your rights, roles and responsibilities.

Stay Safe Everyone!

Lisa Weiler Haskins
Second Officer at Large-EAA
Certified Joint Health and Safety Representative

Social/Special Events Report

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Hi Everyone,

The Spring Dinner committee and I have been busy planning for our May 10,2016 event. All recognition for years of service letters have been put in the mailbag and should be delivered this week. If you think you should be recognized under the new protocols and haven't received a letter by April 4th please email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by clicking here and I will look into it. All letters for retirees will be sent out as I receive notification.

Please mark May 10th on your calendars and plan on coming out for a night of celebration and cheer with your fellow EAs. Hope to see you there.

Lynn Wilson
Third Officer At Large-EAA

Flower and Gift Fund Report


Flowers and Gifts - Jan.- Feb. 2016

In January:

6 members had surgery or were ill for more than 10 consecutive days (flowers)
5 members mourned the loss of a spouse/partner, child, parent or grandchild (flowers or donation)
2 members celebrated the birth/adoption of a child or grandchild (card)
1 member mourned the loss of a grandparent, sibling or in-law (card)

In February:

3 members had surgery or were ill for more than 10 consecutive days (flowers)
6 members mourned the loss of a spouse/partner, child, parent or grandchild (flowers or donation)
3 members celebrated the birth/adoption of a child or grandchild (card)
3 members mourned the loss of a grandparent, sibling or in-law (card)

Ruth Anne Bowman
Fourth Officer At Large-EAA


dates to rememberMarch 23rd Executive Meeting
March 25th Good Friday
March 28th Easter Monday
March 29th Management Meeting
April 4th Constitution Committee Meeting
April 5th EAA Health and Safety Committee Meeting
April 6th and 20th Executive Meeting
Friday April 22nd - PD Day
Thursday April 28th - EAA office open house
Tuesday May 10th Spring Dinner


Committee Updates


Elections Committee

Dear Members,

At our Annual Meeting on May 18, 2016, the position of Secretary on the EA Executive will be elected. Anyone wishing to be considered for the position must have their campaign material to the Executive, Attention Colleen Dietrich Sisson, by midnight April 17, 2016.

According to section 4.5 of our constitution, a vacancy in an office may be filled by a majority vote of the Membership. A person so elected shall serve the unexpired term of the predecessor in office.

Also, according to section 4.7, in order to be eligible to run for a position on the Executive, a Member must inform the Secretary at least thirty (30) days prior to the Annual Meeting by written notice of his/her intent to run for a specific Executive position. Members cannot be nominated by others to run for an Executive position. A member may run for only one position at the Annual Meeting. All Executive Officers must be a permanent employee of the Board in order to serve on the Executive.
The following is the job description for the position of Secretary. Please note, Executive Minutes are being recorded in Google Docs, so familiarity with the program is an asset.

5.6 The Secretary shall:

(i) attend all meetings as requested by the President;
(ii) record the minutes of all Executive, Staff Management, General, Annual and Special Meetings of the Association;
(iii) preserve on permanent file, all documents pertaining to the Association;
(iv) carry on all correspondence of the Association, under the direction of the President;
(v) provide prompt, complete and accurate minutes of meetings listed above;
(vi) arrange for the typing of the newsletter;
(vii) compile the Annual Reports;
(viii) under the direction of the President/Executive Committee, the Secretary will perform other secretarial duties.

All candidates must obey the following protocols.

4.8 During the campaign/election process, the candidates shall:
(i) provide his/her campaign material to the Executive for approval first at least thirty (30) days before the election vote takes place;
(ii) the campaign material shall be limited to one sheet (8½ by 11) double-sided;
(iii) the campaign material shall be posted electronically on the Association Website by the Association;
(iv) campaigning shall stop twenty-four (24) hours before the meeting at which the election vote takes place.

4.9 The candidates campaigning shall not do any of the following:

(i) campaign during the Countywide PD Day and any other Association functions;
(ii) use Association or Board resources to campaign;
(iii) use WaterWorks to campaign;
(iv) use inter-office courier to campaign.

Good luck to all.

Iris Cloutier
EA Representative
Chair, Elections Committee[/membership]

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