The strength of our Association continues to be the active participation of our membership. From our newest members, whom we welcomed at the SRTA Trivia Night in September, to our most experienced members, who might be considering retirement, the SRTA relies upon each and every one of our 360 members for support, direction and active involvement.

Last month I wrote of many different ways that SRTA members should be involved in their Association/Society and how this involvement would amount to a few minutes per week when spread out over the year. This month, I would like to highlight two of those ways members should be involved that occur over the next three months. Each way is very important and time sensitive.

At the end of February, the MTS Workload Survey will be distributed by Council Representatives to all SRTA members. This is a very important survey which occurs only once every 4 years. The information generated from the survey is invaluable to MTS and to the SRTA and, as a collective, we need each and every one of us to complete the survey.

The survey information provides MTS with an overview of the workloads/stressors/challenges of members provincially as well as other information your Society is unable to attain in other ways. To truly represent the concerns and needs of the 15000 members of MTS with government and other entities, all MTS members must complete and submit the survey.

For SRTA, the survey provides data which is useful in preparing the Association’s Collective Bargaining package. 2018 will see the expiration of the current Collective Agreement and the survey data can be used by the SRTA Bargaining Committee to create proposals to try and address the needs of our members. Everything in your current collective agreement, (Personal Days, Extra-curricular Recognition, Meal Period, Sick Leave, the Salary Schedule, Respectful Workplace as well as Maternity and Parental Leave, to name just a few) had to be bargained into the agreement. The data from the MTS Workload Survey can be used to try and address member needs and concerns here in SRTA. The survey is confidential and takes approximately 10 to 15 minutes to thoroughly complete. 360 surveys will be distributed in SRTA and we need to receive all 360 surveys back. Such a response rate will speak volumes on its own! A chain is only as strong as the weakest link! Please, don’t be the weak link in the membership.

The analogy of a “chain” applies to the provincial Society as well. For many years, the SRTA has been asking all members to support your colleagues in neighbouring rooms, in your school, in your Association and throughout the province by registering with the MTS “My Profile” site. If you haven’t done so already, please register from home, by visiting www.mbteach.org or click the link https://memberlink.mbteach.org/Register.aspx. The collective needs you to register. If challenges arise provincially and the Society needs to contact all members, “My Profile” will be the vehicle for communication. The majority of SRTA members have already registered but we need all 360 members registered so that your Society can work effectively on your behalf. Once again, complete the “My Profile” in March (or earlier) and please, don’t be the weak link!

The Association exists to serve its members and protect member rights and working conditions. In order to best represent and serve the members, all principals, clinicians, coordinators and teachers need to complete the MTS Workload Survey and register on “My Profile”. A chain is indeed only as strong as the weakest link!