President’s Message

Janet Bigham - PresidentPRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

As we experience the change of the seasons, we enjoy the new sites,
sounds and activities each season brings. However, during 2020, the one
thing we want to leave behind us, as the seasons change, is COVID-19. The start
of a school year usually brings a renewed enthusiasm for a new school year, a new
class, a fresh start. The start of the 2020-21 school year did begin with lots of new
things but it was not what we were expecting. I would like to personally commend
each SCETF Member for their on-going professionalism. As we are facing un –
certain times, each one of you exercises your professional judgement, each and every day, to provide the best possible educational experience for your students whether it be in a classroom, at a school, or through a virtual classroom.

Each one of us needs to remember to take time for our own personal well-being – physically, mentally and emotionally. We need to maintain balance between our professional lives and our personal lives. Although difficult to do, it is okay to
leave a work task for another day in order to take time for ourselves to ensure our overall well-being.

The SCETF Office re-opened on September 3rd for the 2020-21 school year. Your four released officers and SCETF Office staff are working on your behalf and are available by phone at 705-728-2888 or by email. The SCETF Office remains closed to visitors at this time. The SCETF Executive will continue to deliver a wide variety of services and activities for SCETF Members; however, it may just look a little different than in the past. At this
time, many events, workshop and activities will be held virtually. Continue to monitor the SCETF website at under On-Line Registration for Upcoming SCETF Events. As well, a SCETF Member Email is issued each Friday with upcoming events.

SCETF’s focus for 2020-21 will be on member health and safety, and on ensuring the new
2019-2020 Collective Agreement is followed. Mark Butt and Jennifer Klaassen, SCETF Health & Safety Representatives continue to ensure elementary teachers have a voice at the SCDSB JHSC (Joint Health & Safety Committee). They bring health and safety issues forward to ensure our schools and workplaces are healthy and safe for all workers. If you have a concern or question, please bring it forward. Mark can be reached at mark@scetf and Jennifer can be reached at

The 2019-2022 Collective Agreement – both the Central and Local – came into
effect when both SCETF and SCDSB ratified the local agreement on June 25th
and July 7th respectively. Each SCETF Member’s responsibility will be to
ensure this new Collective Agreement is followed. See the last page of Chalk
Talk, for complete details. At any time you believe there has been a violation of the
Collective Agreement, please reach out to your school Steward, and/or, the SCETF Office. The SCETF Released Officers need to be aware of the situation in order to assist.

SCETF Health Care Spending Accounts
2020-21 marks the fourth year for our SCETF Health Care Spending Accounts. Each SCETF Member has been registered for a single account and if a member requires a family account, they have followed the process to add their spouse and/or dependent(s). If your status changes (birth of a child/marriage/divorce/change in FTE/job status/etc.), you can add or delete names to your SCETF Health Care Spending Account through Green
Shield. Otherwise, the next open enrollment opportunity will be in June 2021 for two weeks. More details will be provided in late May or early June.

For 2019-2020, eligible medical expenses need to be submitted to Green Shield within 90 days of August 31st, for any expenses dated between September 1st, 2019, and August 31st, 2020. For 2020-2021, there has been a one-year increase to the SCETF Health Care Spending Accounts. A single account will be $1,000 and a family account will be
$2,000. Eligible medical expenses need to be dated between September 1, 2020, and August 31, 2021. Please reach out to me at the SCETF Office at 705-728-2888, or by email at, if you have a question that needs answered or a concern to
bring to my attention.

Wishing you and your family all the best! Be sure to take time for yourself and your family to stay healthy and happy!

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