President's Message Week 6

You, the Union, and the Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) The Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) has both union and management members. The aim of the JHSC is to identify workplace hazards and find solutions to those hazards. The JHSC is able to recognize workplace hazards though such items as workplace inspections and data collected from paperwork such as the (online) Employee Incident Report. If you have a workplace accident, you must complete the Employee Incident Report. It is important that You, as the worker, check the boxes indicating that you consent to the report being shared with our Union president and the JHSC. This consent gives the Union, and the JHSC the ability to review the incident and to identify workplace hazards.  The information in the report remains confidential at all times. The union and the JHSC cannot proactively advocate for your health and safety if they do not know about the incident.  The union and the JHSC worker-members continually advocate for a positive proactive approach to health and safety.  We all have a role in promoting the Internal Responsibility System (IRS) which states that each worker is responsible for his/her own health and safety. It is your RIGHT to have a safe workplace! If you have any health and safety concerns, contact: Julie Wagner, Health and Safety Officer Email: Phone: 226-962-7508              Medical Grade Masks In the near future, the Board’s Health and Safety Department will be posting to UG Share a spreadsheet outlining the various masks provided to staff at schools along with pictures and detailed information as to the grade and quality of the masks. Presently, all masks provided to the Board are being sent by the government and are a level 2 quality which is higher than the required level 1 grade all of which will be outlined in the spreadsheet for members to review.  Your Principal asks you to meet for a chat…. Principals should not be discussing any disciplinary issues with you in the hall.  That should happen in the office of the Principal or Vice-Principal, with you and your union.  If you are asked to meet with your Principal, you should ask if the conversation is disciplinary in nature, if the answer is no then there is no cause for concern. If the answer is yes or becomes that way as the conversation progresses you can stop the conversation and let them know you would like a union representative to join you. We recommend calling us at this point as soon as possible. We are there to support you if you are ever worried or unsure of how to handle a conversation with your Principal. If you have been asked to come to the Principals office, or you are having difficulty with a situation that is occurring with regards to your job, give me a call. We are trained to ensure that you are being treated fairly and equitably,  that your Principal is following the Collective Agreement, and that they are not asking you any information that they are not allowed to ask. I can support you on how to proceed depending on the situation that is at hand. In some instances,  you may only need to take your school union representative, or another colleague to the office with you as a second pair of ears. Other situations may warrant someone from the District Office to attend the meeting with you instead.  You have the right to have your Union President or her designate there with you. You have the right to decent, fair, and calm treatment.  You have the right to not answer questions at the moment.   You have the right to further support from our Provincial Union if necessary.  Please remember that you don’t have to do this alone. You deserve a workplace that is free from harassment or bullying.  You are valued and you are not a doormat.  No one is allowed to treat you poorly. Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day October 22nd, 2020 October 22nd, 2020 is the 20th annual Child Care Worker & Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day. This year’s theme is Rising Up! This day recognizes the commitment, hard work, and education of Early Childhood Educators (ECEs) and all staff who work with young children. This year will look a little different from the previous years. Due to COVID, we are unable to host an appreciation event. This is unfortunate as we have looked forward to celebrating with you in person. Hopefully, next year will reflect a more normal year. We did order posters and pins for you and your schools and have those ready to go out in the mailbag early next week. The envelopes are made out to an ECE who is currently at the school. Please post the poster somewhere visible in the school, near Kindergarten classrooms, and in staff rooms.  There are buttons for each ECE and a couple of extra for the Principal/VP to wear.  Please give them out prior to October 22nd.   Remote school ECEs please connect with us individually if you want to arrange for a pin. Upper Grand Employee Assistance Program If you are finding yourself or a family member or a colleague is needing additional support or resources please refer to the board's employee and family assistance program. This service is free and confidential. The board is not given the names of members who are using the service. It has been a challenging year with COVID and many of us are dealing with other challenges unrelated to COVID. This resource may be of help to members who need it.

Access the Upper Grand District School Board’s Employee & Family Assistance Program 24/7 by phone, web or mobile app 1-800-387-4765  |

Yours in solidarity,


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