NTA Mission Statement
The Nunavut Teachers’ Association is dedicated to advocating for teacher well-being, professional growth, and culturally relevant public education.
Happy New Year
Welcome back after a well-deserved holiday break. I hope that all of you had an opportunity to rest and take part in the holiday festivities. I am sure that teachers are recharged and again delivering wonderful programs to our students in Nunavut. All the best for 2017.
As you are aware, we are in the last year of our four-year contract. Central Executive has appointed a Collective Bargaining Team and authorized the release of an Economic Welfare Survey. The survey was prepared with support from the Canadian Teachers’ Federation and completed by members in late November. The Team held one meeting in the fall and plans to meet after the Christmas holidays to finalize an opening bargaining package for the GN. The bargaining team will use the survey results to guide them in their preparation of the opening package for the GN. A letter has been prepared for the Minister Responsible for the Public Service Act requesting that we set up a time to commence bargaining.
The two-year term for our territorial executive is over at the end of June 2017. A call for nominations has been sent out to members for the positions of President, Vice President, Secretary Treasurer and Inuit Member at Large. Voting will take place in late January.
As most of you are aware, Peter Pitseolak School in Cape Dorset burned down in September 2015. For the balance of the 2015-2016 school year, students of Peter Pitseolak and Sam Pudlat schools shared the classrooms at Sam Pudlat School on a rotating shift. In October 2016, portables were added to Sam Pudlat school allowing both schools to operate at the same time while sharing common facilities such as the gym and washrooms. Emile Hatch and I visited the schools in late November. Things are far from ideal but much better that they were since the tragic fire.
Our PD week is February 17-23. During this week, our teachers have an opportunity to study topics that will help them deliver new and stronger programs to their students. Our big Professional Development event for this year is the Kivalliq conference. I would like to thank Craig MacGregor and the planning committee for the work being done on behalf of the NTA members of the Kivalliq. I hope that all our members throughout the territory have a very rewarding PD week.
I would like to remind members that deadlines are approaching for specific PD funding for various programs. The deadlines are as follows:
- Educational Leave – midnight February 5th
- Secondary applications for unused PD funds – April 1st
- Summer and Inter Sessional Credit Courses – May 30th
- Conference Symposiums or Institutes – May 30th
I am pleased that Learning Coaches are finally in place in our schools. With the many challenges that we face, we can use all the resources that we can get.
The GN has agreed to work with the NTA on all new curriculum initiatives. We expect to be informed when new curriculum is being considered and that our Curriculum Committee will be able to inquire directly to the Department when they need answers regarding curriculum issues. Resources for our Inuit teachers remains a major issue. The Department promised significant improvements on this issue.
Our Annual Meeting of Central Council (AMCC) will be held on April 1-2 in Iqaluit. A call for resolutions has been sent out to members. If you would like to propose changes to the NTA By-Laws & Policies, make sure to submit your resolutions to Heather Campbell at the NTA office by January 30th.
Our regional elections are held yearly. These include president, vice-president, secretary-treasurer and member at large positions. We will be asking for elections for all regional positions to be held before March 24th.
One of the most important events at our AMCC is the conclusion of the ‘Thank You For Making A Difference’ (TYFMAD) Campaign. All students have an opportunity to thank a teacher in writing for the difference that they have made in their lives. The TYFMAD Campaign recognizes the positive impact that teachers make in the lives of students. Draws will be made at the banquet on the AMCC weekend.
We continue to receive positive feedback on the new Certificate on Educational Leadership in Nunavut (CELN) program. NTA was consulted during the development of this program and we supported and lobbied for the changes to the administrator certification model.
NTA continues to have a close professional relationship with the Canadian Teachers’ Federation, the Council of Atlantic Provinces Teacher Organization and the Northern Teachers’ Council. We work with all the groups and discuss common issues at various times throughout the year.
As part of the new NTA awards program, the NTA runs a campaign for The Distinguished Teacher award. Please consider nominating a teacher in your region. The recipient of the award will be announced at the AMCC.
I would like to thank our School Reps, PD Liaisons, NTA Committee members and NTA elected officials for the work they do on our behalf. Without their support, we would be unable to serve our members as effectively as we do.
Thanks again for your support of the NTA.