The Manitoba Teachers’ Society (the Society) understands the importance of its members’ privacy and the sensitivity of personal information. The Society is committed to protecting privacy in its collection, use, and distribution of personal information. This Policy outlines how the Society manages its members’ personal information and safeguards privacy.

What is personal information?
Personal information is information about an identifiable individual such as name, age, income, ethnic origin, personal email, home addresses, and home telephone numbers. Personal information does not include the work title, business address or business telephone number of an employee. This exception has been referred to as “business card” or “non-personal” information. The Society uses both personal and non-personal information when providing services to its members.

Purpose of collecting personal information
The Society collects and uses personal information to be able to provide its members with services as well as to develop and enhance its service to its members. For example, the Society collects, uses, and discloses personal information to:

  • create a mailing list for distribution of Society materials;
  • communicate with members about activities of the Society;
  • maintain membership information;
  • administer benefit plans;
  • collect dues;
  • investigate, process, and arbitrate grievances;
  • investigate workplace disputes;
  • create Society statistics;
  • provide professional development opportunities

How does the society collect personal information?
The Society collects personal information about members in a variety of ways including the following:

  • Voluntarily from members
  • Conference/Workshop registration forms
  • Information provided by School Divisions

How does the society use personal information?
Personal information may be collected, used or disclosed for any of the purposes set out above.

The information collected is used to fulfil our obligations to members as specified in The Manitoba Teachers’ Society Policy Handbook, including the constitution and by-laws to provide specific services as required, and to fulfil our role as the bargaining agent representing members. The uses of personal information include:

  • To identify members;
  • To confirm eligibility for services;
  • To comply with various professional, legal, and regulatory requirements;
  • To provide services related to grievances, legal services, and assistance;
  • To conduct research.

No consent required
The Society does not require its members’ knowledge and consent before collecting and using their information when this information is required for the investigation of a breach of a contract or contravention of the law.

Consent
When members complete an application for benefits in the Disability Benefits Plan or sign any Society form, members consent to the use of their personal information by the Society for the purposes listed above and to the sharing of personal information with third parties by the Society.

Disclosure of personal information
Under certain circumstances, the Society will disclose its members’ personal information:

  • When members have consented to the disclosure;
  • If the disclosure is required to comply with a subpoena or warrant issued or an order made by a court, person or body with jurisdiction to compel the production of information, or to comply with rules of court relating to the production of records;
  • When the services the Society is providing requires it to give information to third parties (for example, administrators of benefit plans, mailing services), members’ consent will be implied, unless members tell us otherwise; and
  • When it is used for the purpose of acting in respect of an emergency that threatens the life, health or security of an individual.

Limits on the use and retention of personal information
The Society will not disclose sensitive information for a new purpose beyond that to which members have consented. Members may withdraw consent at any time upon reasonable notice, subject to legal or contractual restrictions.

Personal information is retained by the Society for a period that is reasonable to fulfil the purpose for which the information was collected. Once this reasonable period has expired the Society destroys the personal information using appropriate methods.

The Society collects sensitive information such as personal health information as part of providing service to its members. This information may be required as part of resolution of a work place dispute or grievance, for the employee assistance programs or for insurance purposes. Special measures, such as restricted access to physical and electronic files, are in place to ensure that this data is treated securely.

Security of information
The Society takes all reasonable precautions to ensure that personal information is kept safe from loss, unauthorized access, modification or disclosure. Among the steps taken to protect information are:

  • Premises security;
  • Storing of files in secure cabinets or offices;
  • Restricted file access to personal information; and
  • Technological safeguards like computer passwords, security software, and firewalls to prevent hacking or unauthorized computer access.

Destruction of personal information
The Society shall take care when storing or destroying its members’ personal information in order to prevent unauthorized access or disclosure .

Updating personal information
Since the Society uses its members’ personal information to provide services to members, it is important that the information be accurate and up-to-date. Members are asked to inform the Society if any of their information changes. The Society will take reasonable steps to correct any information that is not accurate, complete or up-to-date.

Access to information
Members may request access to any personal information that the Society holds about them by contacting the Society’s Privacy Officer.

Denial of access
A member’s rights to access personal information are not absolute.

The Society may deny access when:

  • Denial of access is required by law;
  • Access would reveal information that is the subject of litigation;
  • Granting member access would have an unreasonable impact on other people’s privacy;
  • Access could harm the Society’s position; and
  • The request is frivolous or vexatious.

If the Society denies a member’s request for access to information or refuses to correct information, the Society shall explain why.

Third party access
The Society has agreements with other parties that, when they receive personal information from the Society, the personal information will be safeguarded and protected from unauthorized use or unintended use. The Society does not disclose personal information to any third party to enable them to market their products and services. The Society does not sell member lists to third parties.

Changes to this policy
Since the Society regularly reviews all of its policies and procedures, the Society may change this Privacy Policy from time to time.

Access requests and questions
If you have any questions or concerns regarding personal information, please contact the Society’s Privacy Officer.

Contact information:
Privacy Officer
The Manitoba Teachers’ Society
191 Harcourt Street
Winnipeg , MB R3J 3H2
Toll Free: 1-800-262-8803
Phone: (204) 888-7961

This policy was last updated: December 14, 2005