EAA office updates, health and safety, celebrating members, benefit info, mindfulness retreat
It is hard to believe that this is the last week of school. Please take a look at the following information before you head out for your summer break.
SUMMER “OFFICE” HOURS:
I am looking forward to kayaking into the sunset in the upcoming weeks. Before that happens though, Lisa and I will be working up to and including Friday, July 10, 2020. After that date we will be on our summer vacation. We will be returning to the office on Thursday, August 20, 2020. Rest assured, we will be attending all negotiation meetings and other important meetings as they arise over our vacation.
RETURN TO THE 2020/2021 SCHOOL YEAR:
The unofficial start date of the 2020/2021 School Year is Wednesday, September 2, 2020. This is a PD Day. Thursday, September 3, 2020 is also a PD Day. Friday September 4, 2020 is a summer vacation day. I say unofficial because the Board and Trustees have approved these days, but the Ministry has not. Once we have the “official” approval, we will let you know. So unofficially, please plan to be back to work on September 2-3, 2020.
LOCAL BARGAINING UPDATE:
We met with the Board last Tuesday, June 23, 2020 and had a full day of bargaining. Our next bargaining date is Thursday, July 2, 2020. We will continue to bargain over the summer. Once we come to a Tentative Agreement, we will reach out to the Membership. The 1% pay increase will come into effect once we have ratified our Local Agreement.
T2200: (Allows Employees to claim expenses incurred to work from home)
At this time, I have received information that the Board is unfortunately unable to provide T2200s for Employees. Given that the stay and work from home directive was driven by both Federal and Provincial Governments, there has been and continues to be discussions with advocacy groups and all levels of government as to how individual tax credits can be accessed for the 2020 year while minimizing the hardship for Employers across Canada to generate the T2200 form. The Board is not aware of any revised protocols from the CRA yet but are hopeful they will be able to provide something in the near future.
The Ford Government should immediately Repeal Bill 124, after Manitoba Court strikes down similar wage restraint legislation as unconditional. Please click http://ofl.ca/ford-government-should-immediately-repeal-bill-124-after-manitoba-court-strikes-down-similar-wage-restraint-legislation-as-unconstitutional/ to review the Memo sent out by the Ontario Federation of Labour.
After speaking with the Payroll Officer at the Board, I have the following information to share about the ROEs. The Board is maintaining their existing board practice, procedure and timing around ROE generation for the end of school year as they would normally. This means ROEs will be generated the week of July 13, 2020 and sent electronically to Service Canada during that week. It will be in the process cue of Service Canada as to the timing to assess and assign ROEs to individual EI applications. If after July 24, 2020 someone does not see their ROE on their Service Canada account, please reach out (via Board email) to your Payroll Representative to confirm your ROE has been completed and sent.
(last name begins with)
A - E - Chris White
F - L - Gabby Rodriguez
M - Z - Joanna Medeiros
I would like to wish everyone a safe, peaceful and restful summer vacation. We will continue to provide you with updates over the summer, as they come to our attention.
Colleen Dietrich Sisson
President - Educational Assistants Association
Joint Health and Safety Committee Update
The Health and Safety of our EAA members is my main concern. I am sure that all of you have a lot of questions about what school is going to look like in the Fall. The short answer is we don’t know yet.
I have been attending virtual meetings with the Joint Health and Safety Committee during the past few months that we have been away from school.
The committee is working with ROW Public Health and following their safety protocols. We will continue to look at them for our guidelines and best practices.
The WRDSB is looking closely at our special education students' needs. They realize that we are unable to maintain a 2 metre distance from our students as we do our job. The WRDSB has created a supply system of medical and non medical face masks. A delivery system will be put in place for the Fall. We are also looking at face shields or goggles for those members who will require that level of protection.
Our jobs are unique, we do a lot of things that people don’t realize. I am working hard at getting all aspects of our jobs across to Public Health so that they understand the scope of everything we are involved in.
There is an on-line Covid -19 awareness program being developed, that should be available for you to take before school starts in September.
There is a Covid-19 information page on the WRDSB staff intranet https://staff.wrdsb.ca/hr/health-safety-and-security/health-safety/infectious-diseases-illnesses-and-public-health-resources/covid-19-coronavirus/ You can find answers to frequently asked questions here.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any concerns. Remember that we don’t have a plan in place yet. We just got some direction from the Minister Of Education on Friday and the WRDSB team is hard at work sorting out what school will look like in the Fall. I will hopefully have a better idea of the plans later on in the summer.
I hope you all can try to relax and enjoy your well deserved break starting on Friday.
Take care and stay safe,
Health and Safety Officer
Benefit Information for July and August
An EAA Member who has an FTE of 35 Permanent hours does not pay any benefit premiums over July and August.
Monthly withdrawals will continue coming out of your bank account if your Permanent hours are less than 35.
If you are solely in a Term position, then your benefits cease when your Term contract ends regardless of your job situation in September.
If you have a combination of Term and Perm hours, you will see an increase in your monthly withdrawals in July and August if the loss of those term hours puts you under the 35 hr FTE qualification.
Our new ELHT benefit plan went into effect on March 1, 2018. There were some glitches and miscommunications during this process. As a result, the Plan agreed to continue Term member benefits through the summer of 2018 only. This was a one time exception without precedent or prejudice. This may be the reason some of our members recall having Term benefits over the summer.
We encourage you to contact OTIP directly with questions about your benefit plan.
Shout out to some Fantastic EAA Members who were acknowledged for their hard work and dedication in helping create success in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters school- initiated programs!
Outstanding School: Margaret Ave P.S (ISM and Game On! Program)
Outstanding School: Central P.S (ISM Program)
Winston Churchill P.S
Outstanding Liaisons/School Staff
Kat Katsambrokas- Winston Churchill P.S
Darryl Woodfield- Lincoln Heights P.S
Melissa Cockburn-Coronation P.S/Centennial P.S
Charlene Scharlach- Forest Hill P.s
Stacey Kuenzler- AR Kaufman P.S
Erin Miller-Groh P.S/Jean Steckle P.S
Kendra Britt- Queen Elizabeth P.S
The Educational Assistants Association is pleased to share with our Members that David Voigt has been chosen as this year's Recipient for The Umbrella Project Mental Health Award and Scholarship. This Award was created for Students and Educators who model positive coping skills to life’s challenges and benefit the community in which they are part of.
David, is an Educational Assistant at Laurelwood P.S. Dr. Jen Forristal, a Naturopathic Doctor and CEO of The Umbrella Project said, “David is a true example of a person living his life in a positive way.”
The nomination came from a parent whose child attends Laurelwood Public School. His nomination was further supported with many letters from his Colleagues.
David has been an Educational Assistant for 18 years and at Laurelwood Public School for 12 years. He is an active Member in his school community, helping coordinate a bake sale with the proceeds going to UNICEF. He also takes the time to get staff involved in donating for the United Way. David takes the time to build relationships with the students he supports both in his Core day and in the Extended day program. He stated,”The most special part of all of this, is the impact we have on the students we support.”
Mindfulness for Educators & Helping Professionals
Join Mindfulness Facilitator, Carla Waites, for an online summer Mindfulness program.
SMART™ (Stress Management And Resiliency Techniques) Education is a
9-session, 20-hour evidence-based program designed to address the needs
of all those in “helping professions”, including educators, professional support staff, mental health and health professionals.
In recognition of the extra efforts demanded of EAs and CYWs, there is a subsidy available to EAA members!
Please click on the link below for more details.