It has been a very busy couple of weeks and I belive it may be forshadowing the months to come. It is more important than every that members stay up to date on the provincial issues. If you haven’t already, please visit www.etfocb.ca for up to date information and keep an eye open for “ETFO Bargaining Bulletins.” The Ontario public school boards are demanding that we give up many rights that we have bargained for over the years. We have a responsibility to be aware of the issues so that we can defend our collective agreement.
Locally, we will soon begin bargaining directly with the WRDSB and attempt to make gains as outlined in the preliminary submission. Our collective bargaining team will keep the members updated as this process moves forward.
Thank you to the PL committee, executive members, and everyone who attended the “Carousel of Workshops” on April 17th. It was a major success and feedback from the workshops has been well received. I look forward to next year’s event.
The local has put out a call for executive nominations as well as delegates to the provincial annual meeting in August. Please consider both of these opportunities. Don’t hesitate to inquire if you have questions about the roles or the process.
Just a heads up that there is a large system event on May 1, 2015 (both elementary and secondary schools). There could be over 400 teachers attending the event. Work will be available.
ETFO’s GSA Symposium will provide opportunities for elementary educators to find out how to begin and maintain a GSA in their school and learn about LGBTQ community resources.
ETFO GSA Symposium – I Love GSAs
Date: May 22-23, 2015
Location: ETFO Provincial Office, Toronto
Forms for members with accessibility needs:
Online registration begins on Monday, April 20, 2015 and is available at https://events.etfo.org/. Space is limited.
For more information, please contact Adam Peer, extension 2239,email@example.com at the provincial office.
No formal information has been provided from the board regarding the process for September LTOs. It is expected the it will be very similar to the previous year. Please keep an eye open in June for a system memo or information from this office
There is a lot of news on the Collective Bargaining front – and none of it is good. The Provincial talks are very challenging. Provincial has requested a No-Board Report.
Our secondary colleagues have started work action in Durham, with other areas to follow, we are told. There seems to be little optimism that fair, negotiated, agreements can be reached in the near future. It may be a rocky road this spring.
We, at your Local office, are asking you to stay informed and stay connected through these updates and through the school stewards. We strongly encourage members to contact us at the Local 519-571-0222 or by an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to verify rumors or to express your opinions on what you see happening or what you may see and hear in the media. ETFO does have a plan for all eventualities, and in the next few weeks there will be a series of bulletins distributed through our office to all members. Other information is available through the Provincial ETFO website.
We strongly encourage members to get familiar with that site and to sign up for the collective bargaining newsletters. You may wish to join the provincial Twitter and Facebook groups, too. Information is power. We must be prepared.
It is vital that we have a personal email address for each member. If there is a work action, it could be that the Board will not continue to let us use Waterworks, so we must have accurate email addresses in order to stay in touch. We will be going through our roster to follow up with people who have only provided us with a Waterworks address, so you could greatly assist us by providing us with a personal address before we contact you. You may also wish to prepare yourselves by considering your financial and, perhaps, summer, plans. We are familiar with unpredictable work situations but having contingency plans in place – or in mind – is always beneficial.
In the meantime, stay calm…and carry on… delivering the best programmes and support to the children in our classes!
Judy Cutts, Chief Negotiator