A new school year and time to assure and assert your Health and Safety rights. First things first, however, does your school have an active health and safety committee? The committee should have fifty per cent representation from the employee groups of your school. This committee is a legislated requirement and therefore at least one GVTA member needs to be on the committee.
I don't wish to nag but it is important that we have representation on the committee. It is helpful if the name of the GVTA member on the JOHS committee is forwarded to the GVTA office. Carolina can then add it to the database. The health and safety email list is used to send pertinent information out to committee members.
In the coming month, the union will send out a report on the survey we asked teachers to fill out in June. There is some interesting information stemming from that survey already. While teachers are experiencing more violent behaviour, the number of Form 1 documents (Worker Statement of Incident) completed is considerably less. The need for more education for administrators and teachers is very evident.
The area of "violence in the workplace" will continue to be a major focus for me this year. The new regulations and policies on Bullying and Harassment are also a primary concern. There are clearer and more defined rules to protect workers and the education sector is quickly catching up. We are not trying to label students hazards, but you are entitled to a violence free workplace.
At an upcoming SURT (school union rep training) session, of which H&S reps will be invited, we will run a session on the Violence Prevention Protocol and Bullying and Harassment Policy. We will dissect the forms and processes to make the system less complicated or frightening.