Telephone town hall meetings with President Hammond to discuss the Tentative Agreement will take place from Monday, November 9 until Wednesday, November 11. All ETFO members – including DECE, ESP and PSP members – will be invited to participate in the telephone town hall meetings.
More details about the ratification vote and telephone town hall meetings will be forwarded to you tomorrow evening. In the interim, ETFO would like to provide you with answers to some questions you may have about the suspension of strike action, Progress Report Cards and parent interviews.
Why did ETFO suspend teacher/OT strike action before the ratification vote?
When a union negotiates a tentative agreement, suspending strike action prior to a ratification vote is a common practice in both the public and private sectors. There is a corresponding obligation for employers to suspend any action they are taking against employees – so workers cannot be locked out, pay cannot be docked, etc.
It should be noted that the last time ETFO was in a similar situation (during the 2004 round of collective bargaining), strike action was suspended as soon as a provincial agreement was reached.
On November 2, ETFO suspended strike action until the results of a teacher/OT member ratification vote regarding the Tentative Agreement become known. Some work that was struck was resumed immediately. Other work may impact on workload and, therefore, requires some discussion before it can be resumed.
If the Tentative Agreement is ratified, information will be shared with members about the resumption of struck work. If the Tentative Agreement is not ratified, ETFO’s work-to-rule strike action will continue.
Your Local President and ETFO Strike Coordinator will be making contact with school board representatives very soon to discuss reasonable timelines for the resumption of all struck work. Your local will follow up with you about the outcome of these discussions.
Progress Report Cards were considered struck work. Why are ETFO members now being asked to complete them?
There is a Memorandum that is part of the Tentative Agreement reached by ETFO, OPSBA and the government. That Memorandum outlines an agreement to complete Progress Report Cards. The Memorandum, along with the rest of the Tentative Agreement, will be voted on by ETFO teacher/OT members over five days between November 8 and November 12. If the Tentative Agreement is ratified, ETFO teachers/OTs will be asked to complete Progress Report Cards in accordance with the Ministry document, Growing Success. The deadline for Progress Report Cards going home would then be determined by school boards in consultation with ETFO locals.
While there is a window of time for Progress Report Cards to be completed (November 7 – December 11), this cannot happen until after ETFO’s ratification vote and after at the two weeks’ notice requirement has been met. The earliest this deadline could be is November 30. Boards should not be requesting draft reports before this time.
My principal is setting up an interview schedule for Progress Report Cards. What do I do?
Interviews regarding progress reports remain at the discretion of the teacher/OT and should only be initiated if the teacher/OT has a concern about a child’s progress. If a parent makes contact to request an interview, you are encouraged to communicate with parents as you normally would, i.e., via email or through telephone communication rather than formal interviews.
More information will be forthcoming from ETFO about these issues. We appreciate your patience as we prepare for the teacher/OT ratification vote.