Thursday, September 29, 2011

From the Office

We're well into the 2011 - 2012 school year and have had queries regarding the following at the office that you may have questions about or need information on as well:

1) Thank you to everyone who have advised us of a change to your personal information, be it address, name, telephone number etc.  It is very important that your contact information be current with the following:
  • ETFO - TVOT Local by phone or email
  • the Board of Education by Employee Portal > Personal Information
  • College of Teachers   
  • Your Apply to Education Account
2)  The newsletter - The Supply Line, the Collective Bargaining Survey and the pocket calendars have been mailed to everyone this past week.  Please complete the survey and return it to our office - it is very important to your future that we have your input.  Please read over the Supply Line and contact the office with any questions or if you require any further information.

3) There was an error in the pocket calendar regarding the number of days paid for the first pay for LTOs, the correct number is 4 and not 5 and indicated for the Aug 28 - Sept. 10 2011 pay period.  The first day to count from is September 6.

4)  The SMART Board PD training is being planned for November 15th, 2011 at Wilfrid Jury P.S.  Details on session will follow in due course.

5) Get in the habit of checking TVDSB's First Class.  Though the Union does not communicate with members by way of First Class, the Board does. This is how your employer contacts you with important information so we recommend you check your mailbox on a weekly basis, at the least. As well, this is where you will find LTO postings -  in the Occasional Teachers' Conference

5) Check the TVDSB Home page for information on Board Policies and Procedures e.g., Footwear Policy and to keep up to date with what is going on across the valley.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Advice for Members

The ETFO Provincial website offers many important sections of information and guidance to its members.  One section that is quite beneficial is  Advice for Members.

ETFO members face a daily work environment characterized by ever-increasing levels of complexity and challenge.  ETFO issues Advisories to Members on various issues of concern, giving direction on government and agency initiatives.  For the past few years, ETFO has kept members informed on a variety of important legal and professional issues impacting on education workers through its bulletin PRS MATTERS. Archived topics include: "Student Parent Custody Issues", "Defamatory Websites and Social Networking Pages" and "Maintaining Professional Relationships Among All Educators".

This section contains advice for members from PRS Matters and other sources, and aims to prevent situations that could threaten an individual member's career or the status of our profession.
Members are advised to consult Professional Relations staff in Protective Services at 416-962-3836 or 1888-838-3836 for more information on any of the issues covered in this website section. 

The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) represents more than 76,000 Elementary Teachers, Occasional Teachers, Designated Early Childhood Educators, and educational  and professional support personnel in elementary schools across Ontario.  ETFO is known as one of the foremost providers of teacher professional learning in Canada and is gaining a reputation for its work internationally.

As an Occasional Teacher, you have many resources to tap into - always know your Local will be here to help you as well!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

ETFO Members Can Have a Significant Impact on Election Outcome

Much is at stake in the October 6 provincial election.  The party that wins will determine the viability of the new full-day kindergarten program, the future of smaller elementary class size, and the overall quality of education in our schools.  Depending on which party is elected, as part of the public sector, ETFO members' salary and benefits could also become a target of government retrenchment.

Making Education a Priority

Your Federation is working hard to make  the provincial parties, candidates, and the voting public aware of our key issues.  Last fall, ETFO released Building Better Schools, an election platform that outlines five key building blocks for improving elementary education.  The was broadly distributed and has formed the basis of discussions at Queen's Park and at meeting's of ETFO local presidents with their MPPs.  Locals are using a brochure based on the platform to promote our issues at all-candidates' meetings.  If you haven't had a chance to read it, please check the platform on the ETFO website.

Having an Impact

Recent polls indicate that the election is developing into a three-way race among the Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, and New Democrats.  The final outcome could be determined by slim margins in a handful of ridings.  Because of the tight races, our more than 76,000 members can have a real impact on the outcome.  You can have  an impact by voting; you can have an even greater impact by volunteering some of your time to an election campaign - whether it's just for a few hours or longer.  Making an important decision such as this requires learning as much as we can about the various parties' platforms and track records.

As you consider which candidate to endorse, here is a brief synopsis of the track records for the NDP, PC and Liberal Parties:

NDP - 1990 - 1995  Premier:  Bob Rae
  • Extended pregnancy and parental leave
  • Introduced teacher pension reform
  • Introduced major labour reforms
  • Appointed Royal Commission on Learning
  • Mandated provision of junior kindergarten
  • Expanded pay equity
  • Mandated employment equity
  • Invoked 3-year salary cut through unpaid days: Social Contract
PC - 1995 - 2003  Premier: Mike Harris/Ernie Eves
  • Introduced EQAO testing
  • Introduced the College of Teachers
  • Introduced mandatory teacher recertification
  • Introduced a Teacher qualifying test
  • School board amalgamation
  • Cut education funding significantly
  • Cancelled mandatory JK
  • Gave private school tuition tax credits
  • New curriculum without in-service, resources
  • Standardized report card
  • Passed Bill 160 which   
                           *removed Principals/VPs from the federations
                           *removed right to negotiate class size
                           *cancelled five PA days
                           *removed the ability of school boards to raise taxes
  • Introduced zero tolerance policy for student discipline
  • Mandated extra-curricular activities for secondary teachers
  • Prescribed teachers' duties to undermine work-to rule activities
Liberals 2003 - 2011
  • Cancelled teacher recertification
  • Cancelled teacher qualifying test
  • Reformed College of Teachers
  • Introduced New Teacher Induction Program
  • Cancelled private school tuition tax credit
  • Increased education funding
  • Introduced primary class size cap
  • Introduced Early Learning Program / Full Day Kindergarten
  • Restored two of the five PA days cut by Tories
  • Fully funded elementary preparation time
  • Failed to reach successful provincial framework for ETFO negotiations in fall 2008
  • Launched School Information Finder
  • Shelved gender identity and sexual health sections of revised curriculum document
  • Weakened policy related to Early Learning extended day programs
We urge everyone to vote - Because Education Matters!



Wednesday, September 7, 2011

We're Back!!

Welcome back to school year 2011-2012!  We hope everyone had a good summer and that you're ready to meet, greet and educate!
Your Executive had a day-long meeting at the office yesterday, planning and making arrangements for a busy and exciting year ahead for you, our members.
Local Events for the year are:
October          Smart Boards PD - Location, date and time to be announced
                        Local PD Boutiques -  after school at the OT Offices,
                        topics and date to be announced
November 24  Fall General Meeting - Elm Hurst Inn  from 4:30 - 7:30 PM
January           Local PD Boutiques - after school at the OT Offices,
                        topics and date to be announced
February         Local PD Boutiques  - after school at the OT Offices,
                        topics and date to be announced
March 7          Local PD Event - Lamplighter Inn  from 4:30 - 7:30 PM
April 20           Designated PA Day - Althouse College, all day
May 24           Annual Meeting/Elections - Lamplighter Inn, 4:30 - 7:30 PM
Remember AQ's will get you the interview - PD will get you the job!

We want you to be aware of a new and important document entitled:  Growing Success   which is a comprehensive document regarding assessment, evaluation and reporting in Ontario Schools.  You can download it from the Thames Valley District School Boards' homepage at  Once in, scroll down the left-hand column and click on "Assessment and Evaluation" for the New Growing Success Document. 

 We are in the process of completing the layout and getting the ever-valuable pocket-calendars ready for delivery at the end of September. Please read the information in these calendars carefully and contact our office with any questions. 
On this note, you will notice many school changes.  The following is the list of approved names of new and consolidated schools in the Thames Valley District as well as some address changes:

 Ingersoll Area:
  • Laurie Hawkins Public School is the name of the school under construction in Garnett Elliott Park on Innes Street.  From Sept. - Dec. the address is 210 Thames St. S. N5C 2T5- phone # 519-485-2340.  From Jan. - June, the address will be 156 Innes St.,  N5C 2R8 - phone 519-485-5626.
  • Princess Anne Public School was renamed Royal Roads Public School.
  • Harris Heights was renamed Harrisfield Public School.
  •  West London French Immersion Elementary School will become West Oaks French Immersion Public School located on the site of Westdale P.S. - 1050 Plantation Road, London, Ont. N6H 2Y5
St. Thomas:
  • Edward Street Public School has been renamed June Rose Callwood Public School.
  • D. M. Sutherland Public School in Woodstock was renamed Winchester Street Public School for its address.
  • Hillcrest Public School will become the new home to Tollgate Central French Immersion Public School and be named Roch Carrier French Immersion Public School.
  • North Norwich P.S. 640 Main St. S., Box 40, Burgessville, Ontario  N0J 1C0  Ph. 519-424-9815.
  • Otterville P.S.  318 Main St. W. Otterville, Ontario  N6G 1R6  Ph. 519-879-1108
  • South Ridge P.S.  10 South Ridge Rd.,  Tillsonburg, Ontario  N4G 0C1
As mentioned, all these changes will be in the new pocket calendars which we anticipate to be ready for mailing at the end of September.

 Have a great first week back!