It has been another busy and exciting year as your Vice-President. Although I felt more settled than I was in my first year as vice-president, this year brought new challenges, particularly regarding Collective Bargaining and Workplace Safety and Health.
These are unprecedented times. Our profession, members, and students are facing challenges on many fronts. As you all know, public education – and all public services – are being underfunded by our government due to a nonexistent fiscal crisis. A fiscal crisis of political convenience. There is no better time than now to be involved in our work and I encourage all of you to encourage others to stand up for what is right and help preserve public education.
And it was with that in mind that I put my name forward for election to the MTS Provincial Executive. On May 26th I was elected as a Member-at-Large and will have an opportunity to spend the next two years representing the nearly 15,000 teachers of Manitoba. I look forward to taking on this additional responsibility while continuing to work for our RETTA members.
Remember, you are the best advocate for yourself and for teachers. While I encourage you to rest and relax over the next two months, keep your ear to the ground and be aware of what’s happening in our province. Have those conversations with friends and family about this apparent “fiscal crisis” we are in. Don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions; Are we really in a crisis? How do our finances compare to other provinces? Are there other ways for the province to save money other than cutting salaries of public sector workers? Where does the province generate revenue?
And with that, I will close by saying that it has been a pleasure working for the members of the River East Transcona Teachers’ Association this year as your Vice President. I thank Tim and Janice for their ongoing support and advice. The upcoming year will once again pose several significant challenges that we are not used to. Together, we are stronger. I encourage you all to get involved and stay informed. There is no better time to be active in your union. But for now, take a well-deserved break, rest, and recharge those batteries. We will need to be fully charged up this fall.