Spring is always a exciting time in the classroom as well for our local. Daily occasional work is on the rise and those members in LTOs start think about end of year reports. I hope that you carefully read through this issue of “Connecting Occasionally,” we have many year end events to look forward to, including our Annual Meeting that will be held May 19th. This issue will also highlight some of the ETFO Provincial initiatives as well as school board activities.
Carousel of Workshops
I am very proud of the local for recently hosting our amazing PD Event “The Carousel of Workshops.” This event took place on Friday, April 22nd. As you can imagine it is quite a feat to host an event with over 450 participants.
Thank you to the local executive, committee members and presenters who made this a success. We appreciate member’s feedback and evaluations, will continue to refine our ETFO PD day for 2017.
ETFO is placing a full-page ad in a number of provincial daily newspapers tomorrow (Saturday, April 30). The ad celebrates last week’s momentous Court decision on our Bill 115 Charter challenge. We want to acknowledge the support we received from our sister unions, our members, parents and other members of the public in our fight to protect our democratic rights to free collective bargaining.
For more information about our fight against Bill 115 and how it removed our right to a fair bargaining process please click here.
Benefits for Occasional Teachers
In the last round of bargaining, ETFO was able to consolidate the board benefits across the province into one plan. This process, as well as additional funding, has allowed Waterloo Occasional Teachers to be included in a fully funded benefit plan. I am pleased to announce that Waterloo will be part of the first “Wave” and that will see this implemented in the fall of the next school year. More information will be coming out over the coming months.
In order to stay current with the changes I encourage all members to signup with ETFO Provincial’s Newsletter system. Links are provided to Issues 1 and 2 for those members that may have missed them.
Please don’t hesitate to contact the local office is you have any questions or concerns regarding anything in the newsletter.
March 23, 2016
Welcome to the homestretch. With March Break behind us and a short week, due to the Easter Holidays, we are on a fast track through the final months of the school year.
Locally, we are nearing the time when we start to prepare for our Local Annual Meeting. At the May Annual Meeting we will elect a new executive, replenish our committees, select delegates to the Provincial Annual Meeting, and vote on changes to our constitution. This process is the heart of our democratic structure, I encourage all members to consider opportunities in this local and at the very least attend the meeting. You deserve to have a say in how your fees are spent, the leadership of the local, programs that are run, and the direction of this Federation.
Watch for upcoming timelines and further information.
I am disappointed with the 50% success rate. It’s very frustrating when we have good teachers who are actively working in LTOs, have had positive evaluations, then being told that they “aren’t good enough.” It doesn’t make any sense.
The local is working with ETFO provincial to explore our legal options. We will need to wait until the process is complete as some consideration needs to be given to the feedback that is received.
We are also aware the Board released sensitive information while distributing the successful/unsuccessful mass e-mail. This was retracted by the board, but not until after the damage had been done. The local will be seeking remedies for this breach of privacy.
Fight for $15
The “$15 and Fairness” campaign is sweeping across Ontario. As educators, and members of a precarious workforce we are well aware of the need for decent hours, paid sick days, respect at work, and rules that protect everyone. The cornerstone of this campaign is a minimum wage above poverty levels. Take some time to check out 15andfairness.org and see how you can get involved. Let’s make a difference!
ETFO WROTL President
March 8, 2016
Spring is in the air and March Break is around the corner. Everyone is looking forward to taking some time to recharge and maybe start some of that spring cleaning. Personally, my partner Kyla and I are expecting an addition to the family over the break! We are doing our part to keep those schools full. I expect quite a few sleepless nights in our future. I encourage all members to take some time for themselves during this short spring break.
The local has been working with the Board to get all the “kinks” out of the new system. Please continue to forward your questions or concerns to the office. Now that almost all members have set up their accounts we should be able to see the system work as it should. There is still a learning curve for all of the stakeholders, don’t hesitate to let us or the board know if you are seeing anomalies. Don’t forget to set your preferences and calendar so that the system is making intelligent phone calls and only offers positions that you are willing to accept.
The Board has made a drastic decision to cancel PD events until they are able to repopulate our ranks. It is unfortunate that they have had to make this decision and it is our expectation that the PD is simply delayed and not canceled outright. The local has noted that the Board has not hired OTs since Nov, 2014 and encouraged the Board to hire more consistently throughout the year. I have been in communication with Superintendents regarding this issue and made it clear that this is not the fault of inactive Occasional Teachers, but a lack of foresight in Occasional Teacher staffing. A posting on applytoeducation will appear this week.
Many members are anxiously awaiting the results of over 300 LTO list interviews. We are expecting that the results will be e-mailed to members before the end of the week.
The office will be officially closed during March Break and we will not be holding regular hours.
The Emergency Legal Assistance system will be operational over the holiday period to respond to critical calls only. Call ETFO at 416-962-3836 or 1-888-838-3836 and state that your call is urgent.
The local e-mail will be checked daily and an effort will be made to return critical e-mails. Non-critical e-mails will be responded to after the holiday.
The local has being working with the board to help make the transition to EasyConnect as smooth as possible. We know that with any major change there is an adjustment period. Don’t hesitate to provide feedback directly to the local and we will share it with the board. In this issue of “Connecting… Occasionally” we have included a FAQ section for the EasyConnect system.
March is tax season in my household and we have anxiously be awaiting T4 slips. A system memo has been released by the board and we have also referenced it below for your convenience.
Give this newsletter a thorough read and don’t miss out on all the opportunities. I hope to see many of you tomorrow night, 4:30pm-5:30pm, February 25th at our local ratification meeting. Your Provincial and Local teams have worked hard to bring you gains. This is your opportunity to review and approve the results!