Monthly Archives: February 2013

Strike Pay

The cheques have now arrived at the Local office. We appreciate your patience in this process – processing cheques for most of 76,000 members has been a real task for our provincial office, and as we were on strike on one of the last days of the provincial action, it has taken a while for them to get to us!

We will be getting in touch with those members whose cheques have been delivered here, by email early next week.

Cheques for members who were in LTO positions on Dec. 18, will be given to the ETFO stewards at the schools where members were teaching. They will be getting them next week. If your LTO has ended, the steward may try to contact you, or the cheque may be returned to our office and we will then contact you.

If you have any questions, please call the office – 519-571-0222.

January 26th Rally

A small, but enthusiastic, group of OTs joined our contract teacher colleagues on 2 buses and travelled to Toronto on the 26th to join thousands of others in the major rally that centered around the Liberal convention being held that day. Several other members travelled by themselves and joined the rally as well. Our group managed to be in the front row! – the energy and enthusiasm of the crowd was great! One of those who joined us wrote,

“I thank my conscience for its strong opposition to the desire to remain in the quiet comfort of my home on Saturday, January 26, 2013. In the arena of politics, I have few debating skills and little eloquence in voicing what I do know. In spite of this handicap, in spite of what the future holds, I stood in solidarity with thousands of other Ontario workers in order to continue to draw attention to the fact that a wrong has been committed. A simple action, a quiet action, the right action. See you next time!”

I always feel energized and supported by these events! Even the weather co-operated on Saturday – there was some warmth in the sun – and teachers have good ‘yard-duty coats’ and ‘sensible footwear’!

Tim Horton’s Meet & Greet

The next Tim Horton’s Meet and Greet is scheduled for March 21 at the corner of Frederick and Lancaster Street in Kitchener.  It’s been great to see a few members attending each month.  Do come and join us if you can!  3:30ish until 5:00ish  Look for the ETFO sign – or look for the table having the most fun!

Control Your Future – Feb. 17, 2013

Control Your FutureSincere thanks to all members who are being so patient with ‘the process’ as many things are being worked through in these challenging times.  It is not easy to ‘keep calm’ when the issues being determined by others, are issues that have such an impact on members.

We are very hopeful that the ongoing talks between the government and our Provincial leaders will result in some real progress on the provincial issues, which will then enable the Local CBC team to finally get to discuss our Local Collective Agreement with the Board.  Here is a brief update I received on Friday, February 15, from our Provincial Office regarding  those talks:

Since the Liberal party election of Kathleen Wynne as the next Ontario premier, President Sam Hammond and representatives of ETFO have participated in a number of meetings with the premier and government staff.

On January 29th, the presidents and general secretaries of the four teacher affiliates met with the premier-elect and two members of her staff. ETFO agreed to engage in future discussions with government representatives in an attempt to move forward. This was followed by a second informal meeting with representatives from the premier’s office.

Since then, ETFO has participated in discussions with representatives of the government and school boards. ETFO’s representatives at these meetings include President Hammond, First Vice-President Susan Swackhammer, and ETFO’s General Secretary, Deputy General Secretary, and the Coordinator of Protective Services. We will continue to update members on these talks.

Again, please watch for updates and read them carefully.  There is no question that some of the information we distribute is complicated and requires careful reading i.e. the recent information regarding the changes to the pension plan and the information about EI.  I will be sending out a revised chart entitled ‘Overview of Government-Imposed Terms and Conditions’ soon.  This replaces the last one we distributed as there has been some recent clarification concerning several issues.   Missing, or misinterpreting, a word or two can cause considerable distress for members – some of which is unwarranted.  Please keep in touch with the office for clarification of messages we send out.
Also in the memo from the Provincial Office, copied above, was an update on the Charter Challenge.  That section follows:

October dates set for Charter Challenge

Last fall, ETFO and three other unions launched a Charter Challenge regarding the provincial government’s imposition of Bill 115. The hearing has been scheduled to start in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice from October 21-25, 2013.

We are in ‘interesting times’ and ‘interesting times’ will continue…

Tim Horton’s Meet & Greet – Feb 11, 2013 Cambridge

  • Monday, February 11, 2013 – Holiday Inn Dr., Cambridge. In the Smitty’s Furniture Parking lot… 3:45ish until 5:00ish

To our new members…we meet for coffee and conversation on a monthly basis at various Tim Horton’s locations around the region.  If you are in Cambridge on Feb. 11 and can drop in, please do.  Judy, the President, and often another Executive member, will be there to discuss any items of interest – no agenda!  Just come if you can!

Look for the ‘WROTL sign’ propped up near a table!

Im Memorium: Mary Martin

mary-martinWe are saddened to learn of the recent passing of one of our members, Mary Martin. Mary was a widely respected contract teacher in Waterloo Region and she truly enjoyed her days as an Occasional Teacher in our schools in recent years. She will be sadly missed by colleagues, friends and family. A donation has been made to The Shalom Counseling Centre in her memory.


EI 2013

When I hear the letters ‘EI’, I break into a sweat! – There is so much inconsistency and ‘mystery’ surrounding who gets what, when, for having done what! I am including a link to a memo from our provincial office that outlines important recent changes to the Employment Insurance Act as a result of the Budget Implementation Act – Bill C-38. This contains important information for all occasional teachers who apply for, and in some cases, qualify, for EI.

Please read the information carefully. Please particularly note information near the bottom of page 3 that refers to Feb. 4, 2013 as being a cut-off date for members to apply for a ‘reversion’ – that might apply to some of us. Again, this office has no information about EI other than this memo. Please contact Service Canada for information regarding your particular situation. Good luck! Most of it seems clear as mud to me! We are trying to arrange to have staff from Service Canada come and present a workshop for members later in the Spring.