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March/April 2020

I can no other answer make but thanks, and thanks, and ever thanks.” ~ William Shakespeare

Most of us end up with no more than five or six people who remember us.
Teachers have thousands of people who remember them for the rest of their lives.” ~ Andy Rooney

The past few weeks have been extraordinarily challenging. If we were not aware previously, we are all patently aware that this world is an extraordinarily small community. A virus that first surfaced half way across the globe has had a dramatic and profound effect across the entire planet. Our schools, our members, the entire province has been dramatically altered as we all have to come to grips with the reality of COVID-19.

I do want to offer my thanks and gratitude for the support shown to the Association. Since the pandemic struck our shores there has been a tremendous level of stress placed on all of you. The situation has changed rapidly and measures that were in place in the morning may have changed by that afternoon. The Association has endeavoured to ensure that all information that is available is distributed as soon as possible. At times it has been challenging to keep pace with the rapidly shifting sands. Staff are staying on top of this to the best of their abilities and I am very grateful for their efforts to continue to service our members.

As we move forward the most important step that we can take is to follow the suggestions of the healthcare professionals. We all need to treat these suggestions as being directives. Follow social distancing practices, adhere to hygiene practices. Most importantly, look after ourselves and our families. We need to be vigilant but not panicked. We need to be cautious but not terrified. We will all get through this. The more closely we all adhere to the advice of our healthcare experts, the quicker we will get through this. The faster we can return to our normal circumstances, the sooner we can resume doing what we do best – provide our students with the education they need and deserve.

We all know there are those amongst us who are concerned not only with their health safety, but also with their economic safety. Our teachers who are in partial positions, our substitute teachers, our members who depend on EI supplementation are exposed. The State of Emergency created challenges. The suspension of classes, while it was the appropriate decision, has added to these challenges. The Association is acutely aware of this. There will be communication with all levels of government and agencies to explore and advocate for steps to address these concerns. Adjusting EI regulations would be an appropriate starting place.

As we move forward I urge all of you to please stay safe. Look after yourselves. Look after each other.

Until next time