NLTA Policy and Procedures Statements
The meaning of the word “policy” as used within the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers’ Association is confined to a declaration of the role, the philosophy, or the long-term goals of the NLTA, or of its stance or attitude in relation to matters whose resolution is beyond the legislative power of the Association. Policy is further limited to such declarations as are formally approved in accordance with the by-laws and in the form of “policy resolutions”. In order to serve as a framework and guide for the Provincial Executive and Staff to follow, policy should be kept up to date, should be both concise and comprehensive, and should not be confused with procedure or an habitual mode of action.
The Policy Handbook for the Association has been expanded over the years to include a combination of both policy and procedures in that some “policy statements” are technically “procedure statements” which contain specific procedures to be followed in certain areas.
The Handbook is divided into five sections: Operations; Communications; Professional Development; Benefits and Economic Services; and Employee Assistance Program. The majority of items contained within the Operations section are actual procedures. The policy on Expense Claims, for example, contains specific guidelines regarding the reimbursement of expenses. In contrast, the policy on Teacher Evaluation, which is contained within the Professional Development section, is an overall policy statement within the strict definition of “policy” as stated above. Such statements of policy are used as guidelines for Association representatives when meeting with the provincial government officials in the Department of Education and with school board officials.
Generally, policies are developed by standing committees of the Provincial Executive which consist of a Provincial Executive member as the chair, up to six teachers from the field, and a consultant from the staff of the Association. The draft policies are referred to the Provincial Executive Council and Joint Council for approval and then on to our Biennial General Meeting (BGM) where delegates will give final approval. At all stages of the development, additions/deletions may be made to the original draft. After final approval by the BGM, the policy is then added to the Policy Handbook. Policy/procedures may also result from resolutions which are sent by our local branches to the Biennial General Meeting for discussion and debate or those approved in accordance with the by-laws.
It was decided at the 1985 Convention to have all policies returned to Convention every five years (every six years since the introduction of biennial conventions) for reconfirmation. In the intervening years only changes which have occurred in policy statements since the previous Convention are presented.
At BGM 2015 all policies in the handbook were reconfirmed.