Trillium Lakelands Teacher Local, Waterloo Region Occasional Teacher Local win ETFO Member Service and Engagement Award

Waterloo Region OT Local President Nathan Core, Kathy Lucking, Kelly Merrifield, ETFO President Sam Hammond, Michael Shillolo, Trillium Lakelands Local President Steve Collier, Laura and Jeff Paquette

August 12, 2014

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) has presented Trillium Lakelands Teacher Local and Waterloo Region Occasional Teacher Local with its 2014 Member Service and Engagement Award.

The award recognizes the excellence of up to two locals in serving members, keep members informed, and involve members in the local.

In 2013, members of the Trillium Lakelands Teacher Local demonstrated unprecedented union solidarity under the leadership of local president Steve Colliver. The local spent 10 days at the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) when the Trillium Lakelands and Upper Canada district school boards objected to the continued withdrawal of teacher voluntary activities following enactment of Bill 115. The local’s regular updates and emails helped motivate over 250 of the local’s 730 members to attend protest rallies during the OLRB hearing. Earlier, well over a quarter of the local’s members protested the implementation of Bill 115 at rallies at local Member of Parliament offices. During these politically turbulent times, the local’s three released officers continued to meet individual member needs and oversee the work of the local’s seven committees.

In six years, the Waterloo Region Occasional Teachers’ Local has gone from an organization without an office to a local with a ‘home’ and a high degree of member participation. A high priority has been placed on ensuring member access to local President Nathan Core, executive members and the local’s resources. Along with an annual new members’ meeting, a monthly ‘staffroom Thursday’ is held at the office as well as a meet-and-greet at a local coffee shop. A half-time administrator is on hand at the office to assist members with mandatory Health and Safety training and other needs. Various committees offer a workshop or activity nearly every week. There is also a Membership Development Fund for members to apply for $125 grants towards courses or other professional activity.

“These two locals have found the key to motivating and engaging their members to be active participants and benefit from all that their union has to offer,” said ETFO President Sam Hammond. “They demonstrate that when ETFO members stand together, both politically and professionally, we are strong advocates for the teaching profession and a high-quality education system.”

Written by Communications Officer

ETFO WROTL Communications Officer 2011/2012

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