Sep 012017

#1 Your timetable is a legal document. Once you have signed it, you must follow it. That means arriving at school before you are scheduled to start and staying until the end of your WPN, unless you have an agreement to the contrary with your principal.

#2 It is up to you to choose where you place your, Work of a Personal Nature (WPN) on your timetable. Sometimes your principal needs to place some during the school day, because you can’t have any empty spaces during the day. You can place your WPN before and after school, or at lunchtime if your lunch is longer than 50 minutes. If your principal has already placed your WPN on your timetable, you may ask to move it.

#3 When you look at your timetable, do your best to have the total number of minutes each day be as close as possible to 384. This will ensure that if you are sick or take a Personal day you will not be deducted more than a full day.

#4  Always make sure that you check your schedule before signing it. Make sure that you are not teaching more than the maximum number of minutes per cycle, see below.

Maximum number of Teaching minutes per cycle:

5 day cycle 1380 minutes
6 day cycle 1656 minutes
9 day cycle 2484 minutes

5 day cycle 1200 minutes
6 day cycle 1440 minutes
9 day cycle 2160 minutes

#5  Assigned Presence (ct) is time where you are assigned to be in the building, but are NOT with students. Your administrator chooses when this time is and can assign you tasks which are related to your teaching duties.

#6 Maximum class sizes range depending on both the grade level that you teach, the school you teach in and the number of special needs students that you have with codes, for full details on the weighting of coded students check with your school’s union representative. Certain schools have lower maximum class sizes because they are a disadvantaged school, these schools are Belle Anse, SPDS, Riverview, Grosse Ile, Gaspe Elementary, Escuminac, St. Pat’s and Flemming. The maximum numbers for each grade level are on the ESTA website.

#7 Supervision of students is a necessary part of your workload, even if it’s not your favourite thing! You cannot be assigned more than 100 minutes per day, unless you request to do so. Overall the total number of minutes for the cycle depends on the number of minutes your have assigned to teaching, remediation and home room.

#8 Take some time to get to know your coworkers right now. They can be a great sounding board, a friendly shoulder to cry on or a wonderful person to vent with. There will be ups and downs throughout the year and a good support system makes those rough days easier. It also never hurts to have someone’s ideas to “steal”!

#9 Teaching is an amazing profession, full of people who are extremely dedicated to learning and of course our students. Many people give far more than what is required. However, in order to give your students your best, you need to be at your best. Work/life balance is extremely important! Make sure you take time for yourself, eat right, exercise and get a goodnight’s sleep. This will enable you to be at your best!

#10 In order to help things run smoothly in schools, committees are part of our professional responsibilities. Consider joining School Council, Governing Board or your school Special Education Parity Committee (SEPC.) This is a great opportunity to have your voice heard and make some of the decisions about how the school runs.

Have a wonderful year!

Aug 262017

Maximum class sizes range depending on both the grade level that you teach, the school you teach in and the number of special needs students that you have with codes, for full details on the weighting of coded students check with your school’s union representative. Certain schools have lower maximum class sizes because they are a disadvantaged school, these schools are Belle Anse, SPDS, Riverview, Grosse Ile, Gaspe Elementary, Escuminac, St. Pat’s and Flemming.

Grade Level Maximum/Average Maximum/Average

Disadvantaged school

PreK 17/14 17/14
Kindergarten 19/17 19/17
Grade 1 22/20 20/18
Grade 2 24/22 20/18
Grade 3 26/24 20/18
Grade 4 26/24 20/18
Grade 5 26/24 20/18
Grade 6 26/24 20/18
Secondary 1 28/26
Secondary 2 29/27
Secondary 3 32/30
Secondary 4 32/30
Secondary 5 32/30

***Note the maximums for PreKindergarten and Kindergarten change when they are combined and PreKindergarten are there all day.  Contact your union for more information.

***In a combined class use the average (the second number) as the maximum.

Aug 162016

The Federal Liberal Government introduced a tax deduction for the purchase of school materials by teachers. So this year, remember to keep copies of receipts for any items that you purchase in connection with teaching and preparing your classroom for the new school year — they may be useful when you file your annual income tax!

For more information concerning eligible, tax-deductable expenses, please visit the Canada Revenue Agency’s website:


Oct 052015

Dear teachers, colleagues and union delegates:

In 1994, UNESCO inaugurated October 5 as World Teachers’ Day. World Teachers’ Day represents an opportunity to express an awareness, understanding and appreciation displayed for the vital contribution that teachers make to education and development.

Today, October 5, I celebrate World Teachers’ Day with you and over 100 other countries  through a public awareness campaign that highlights the contributions of the teaching profession.

I know that it may seem a paradox to celebrate during the difficult, ongoing provincial negotiations that we’re facing in Quebec. Nevertheless, it’s important to take time to celebrate our contributions and the positive impact that they have on our students and communities.

Have a good union day,

Ray Venables

Eastern Shores Teachers Association
Association des enseignants(es) Eastern Shores

Nov 282014

Screen Shot 2014-11-28 at 10.57.05 PMJoin me at the Refuse Austerity! demonstration on Saturday, November 29th

Only in large numbers can we show the Government our determination to reject its austerity measures, reforms and laws that threaten the quality and accessibility of our public services. Specifically as teachers, these measures have an impact on our upcoming contract negotiations.

I encourage you to come join me tomorrow. The quality of our public services are at stake.

Here are the details:

Start: Place du Canada @1:00 pm
End: Close to 2001 McGill College, office of the Premier

QPAT members will meet at Dorchester Square on the corner of René-Lévesque and Peel between 12 and 1 p.m. There will be several groups present, so make sure to look out for the QPAT flags near this area. The march begins at 1 p.m.

For more info, visit

Looking forward to seeing you there!

In solidarity,

Ray Venables
ESTA President


Joignez-vous à moi lors de la manifestation Refusons l’austérité!, demain le samedi 29 novembre

Ce n’est qu’en nous unissant en grand nombre que nous pourrons montrer au gouvernement notre détermination à rejeter ses mesures, réformes et loi d’austérité qui menacent la qualité et l’accessibilité de nos services publics. Plus particulièrement, à titre d’enseignantes et d’enseignants, ces mesures ont un impact sur les négociations imminentes de la convention collective.

Je vous encourageons à vous joindre à moi demain. La qualité de nos services publics est en jeu.

Voici les détails :

Départ : Place du Canada à 13 h
Arrivée : Près du 2001, avenue McGill College, bureau du premier ministre

Les membres de l’APEQ se rencontreront au square Dorchester, à l’angle de René-Lévesque et de Peel (voir la carte ci-jointe) entre 12 h et 13 h. Comme il y aura plusieurs groupes présents, repérez les drapeaux de l’APEQ pour nous retrouver. La marche débutera à 13 h.

Pour en savoir plus, visitez le site

J’espère vous y voir!


Ray Venables

Oct 052014

Today is an important day day for education. World Teachers’ Day’s aim is to mobilize support for teachers an to ensure that future generations continue to benefit from a quality education delivered by teachers. On behalf of ESTA, we wish to thank all teachers for their contributions.

Jun 192014

keep-calm-teachers-summer-break-is-onDear teachers,

I would like to wish you the very best this summer vacation and hope that you take advantage of the upcoming break to rest so that you’re ready for another school year.

Meanwhile, the ESTA office will be closed during the summer break but in case of an emergency you can contact Ray Venables by email.

Enjoy your well-earned summer break,

Ray Venables
ESTA President

Feb 042014

Dear Teachers:

Each year, the first week of February is a time to take a moment to express our gratitude to teachers everywhere for their essential roles and their contributions to society. Through your perseverance, students of all ages have the opportunity to learn. Teaching is a art and, therefore, immeasurable in my opinion. The ability to inspire, motivate and help our students believe in themselves is perhaps never fully recognized by those who do not work in the education field.

As a teacher, I thank all my colleagues for your professionalism and dedication to education. As a union leader, I am proud to represent you, my colleagues, on the local and provincial scenes.

Wishing you a heartfelt teacher appreciation week,

Ray Venables
ESTA President

Aug 202013

On behalf of ESTA, I would like to wish all teachers — both new and returning — a successful academic 2013-2014 year! The calendars for the youth, adult and vocational education sectors are available online here.


  1. According to clause 4-3.04 of the ESSB-ESTA Local Agreement, “At a staff meeting held within the first three working days of the school year, the staff shall elect the members of the school council for the current school year. Failing this, the school council will be elected at the first staff meeting of the new school year.”
  2. At this time, the union delegate should be appointed as implied by clause 4-3.03 of the ESSB-ESTA Local Agreement. Please forward the name of the union delegate for your school/centre to the ESTA office.


Ray Venables