General Comments/Activities

Meetings are being held in person when appropriate space available, including Presidents of locals, committees, AGM and Executive as well as by Zoom. (It was noted money saved due to Covid limitations was well spent on meeting face to face when participants felt comfortable as well as on other activities, including virtual and prizes to keep members engaged.)
Quebec continues to be concerned about minority rights in education and is working collaboratively with others.
Consideration needs be given to urban/rural differences and access
Some local branches still active to extent possible within Covid restrictions

Editorial Note: Items/observations under engaging members during Covid 19 may also be applicable/merit consideration in recruiting and keeping members and vice versa.

Engaging Members during Covid 19:

Virtual presentations held and planned – memoir and journal writing, card making, Christmas sing along
Zoom holiday gatherings/sing song
Provide for variety thus diverging interests of members
Video talks/presentations/meetings then share
Branch/provincial photo contest with significant prizes
Regular calls to those who might need help/drives etc
Virtual walking – take and submit pictures
Newsletters/emails – share activities from around the province
Encourage local branches/regions to connect, especially to those without email
Post important bulletins/information on website
Urge members to get flu shots, preferably high dose although not widely available
Provide for face to face gatherings in areas, especially more rural. where space allows for adhering to distancing

Substitute Teaching in the Pandemic: What’s Happening? Supply teachers are not readily available. Conditions vary from province to province relative to using retirees, the number of days they can work, where they can work and the remuneration. Active teachers are worried about their health, have a very heavy workload and in many ways are emotionally drained.

Non-teaching Members: Several associations accept members from the “education community” – school board personnel, bus drivers, university faculty etc. A drawing card for many is the stand - alone Insurance Plans offered by many of the Member organizations, an option ECRTO Members are not able to offer. A/C’s protocols do not preclude this as Member Associations determine eligibility.

Recruiting/Keeping Members: A key point made in the discussions was “be known/visible” to active teachers.

Go to/visit schools
Create posters for display in schools
Participate in/offer pre-retirement seminars, workshops and sessions on PD days
Allow joining pre-retirement – BC noted that wasn’t particularly productive
Prepare and circulate pre-retirement packages/information
NB sending information, in next few weeks, to all teachers on pension with cooperation from Vestcor, the pension management corporation
Connect with local active teacher associations
NB present at provincial retirement luncheon, greeting retirees as they arrive and gather in their branches and addressing during luncheon remarks
Consider stages of retirement – early, mid, late – then consider and plan activities to appeal to needs and interests of each group
Privacy issues limit access to contact information for those retiring, thus a challenge to identify and reach out to them
QPARSE can lose track of members as their fee is a one - time payment
Establish membership chairs/committees in each local
Branch incentive funds to encourage joining
Create contests for joining – significant prize to both “joiner” and “recruiter”
Deliver meals to those who may need them
Offer activities not easily available elsewhere – woodworking/carving, painting – and things not as easily accessed while active
Experience has shown fun things, unique experiences/outings meals bring out those who would not necessarily partake of lunches

ACER-CART Website: Albert Legge noted It provides ease of access on the home page to other associations. Visiting it was encouraged and in particular have a look at the newsletters, etc from each Member. Protocols for other links (eg Wellness) were reviewed and suggestions in accordance with them welcome. Roger Regimbault, who was the champion for a redesign, indicated if you do not have member access credentials to be in touch. Linda expressed appreciation French and English were released simultaneously.

NBSRT Request: Bob Fitzpatrick advised NBSRT is working on a 2 year strategic plan and will be in touch with questions such as plans going forward, what works/does not work etc. He did indicate that copies of any surveys would be welcome as NBSRT plans to survey members. It was suggested he contact Jim Grieve as Ontario had surveyed.

A/C Priorities/Health Issues: A/C priorities were verbally reviewed and Health issues are a significant concern – vaccines, pharmacy kickbacks, senior strategy, pharmacare, Covid impact. A memo from the Health Committee seeking information will be coming to each director in the near future.

High dose flu vaccine is not readily available. In discussion of kickbacks by pharmaceutical companies a caution was to consider that pharmacies might have to close in small communities. A pharmacist spouse indicated kickbacks would not seem to be an issue.

ACER-CART President Gerry Tiede: Pleased to be present, indicated much in common across the country, for example finding those willing to assume leadership roles locally as well as provincially. He noted

Quebec introduced legislation the previous day regarding target benefit pensions and Bob Fitzpatrick offered to share his experience relative to target benefit pensions.
Reminded Members to respond to the request from Martin Higgs, A/C Pension Chair.
A/C has increased “grass roots” involvement through committees
Hope June AGM will be a face to face

Another Zoom Meeting/Sharing: Agreed there are benefits to another meeting

Next A-C Executive Meeting – January 14th, Member Reports to EC Rep by Jan 8th

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