Wednesday, December 19, 2012

From the desk of Terry Card

In the face of challenging circumstances, our members have done an outstanding job of recognizing what is at stake.  We have made difficult decisions and stood together to protest legislation that could forever change not only our profession, but the lives of anyone who works in Ontario.  I am proud to be your President and to stand beside you on the line tomorrow - these next few months will define our province.

What you should know about Bill 115:
  • Bill 115 seeks to unconstitutionally override the Ontario Labour Relations Act, the Human Rights Code and our Canadian Constitution.
  • Under this legislation, the Government's actions cannot be questioned or reviewed in any court, questioned by an Arbitrator or an Arbitration Board.
  • No course of action or civil proceeding may be brought against the Government.
  • Trustees, duly elected by their constituents no longer have the authority to negotiate with their employees - the government will dictate the terms.
  • This is not a wage freeze, but will result in an additional 1.5% pay cut with 3 unpaid days next year.
  • This is the first phase of the governments plan. By the end, every education partner will be adversely affected as billions of dollars are removed from the education sector.
  • The Drummond Report suggests that the Government should increase class sizes, change delivery of the Full Day Kindergarten programme, alter the Teachers' Pension Plan, and revisit the steps of our long-standing grid structure.
  • To form your own opinion, I urge you to follow this link to Bill 115  Putting Students First Act 2012

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

OTs and Picket Duty?

Let's be clear, since December 3, 2012 all ETFO members in Thames Valley (including Occasional Teachers and LTOs) have been in legal strike position and engaged in work to rule. Shortly, this action will escalate to full withdrawal of service as part of ETFO's campaign of rotating strikes in opposition to Bill 115. Occasional Teachers will be made aware of the date by robocall to the telephone number listed with TVDSB.
As a member of the Union, all OTs/LTOs will be expected to participate in picketing on the day assigned to this Local.  All active members (those who have worked within the last 60 days) will be required to report for duty and register that day at one of the designated sites. LTOs will picket with their schools. As an active member, you will be paid  the same strike pay of fifty dollars as a permanent Teacher.
Breaching the terms of a strike / noncompliance is not taken lightly and could lead to disciplinary action against the member as outlined in Bulletin #6. 
There may be members with legitimate needs for exemption and alternate duties.  Such requests with the appropriate documentation must be presented on the exemption form to the Credentials Committee no later than 24 hours before the beginning of full strike action (exceptions will be made for emergency situations.)
In summary:
  • Picket duty is mandatory for all active ETFO members (those who have worked within the last 60 days)
  • LTOs will picket with their schools
  • All other OTs will go to designated sites and sign in
  • Our strike date and list of OT picket sites will be made known by robocall when appropriate
  • Requests for exemption/reassignment must be received no later than 24 hours before picket duty
For further information contact Local President, Terry Card at - subject line: Strike.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Together We're Stronger

We have received numeous calls regarding volunteering in the classroom and participating in extra-curricular activities.  This is not optional, it is mandatory.  Your Union is telling you; there is no volunteering.  The permanent teachers in the schools you want to volunteer in are taking a position of "no volunteering" and are looking to us for support.  They would not look too kindly upon you entering the school to volunteer at this time when they are not.  Principals should also understand- they used to be teachers too!  We can only be effective by sticking together and hopefully the impact will result in a shorter time frame.
These are very challenging times - it is crucial that you remain informed, take control of your future.  Visit the website for current information and never hesitate to contact your local union representatives. 

ETFO Provincial has recently mailed Takeover Bulletin #6 dated November 29, 2012 detailing STRIKE PROTOCOL - WORK TO RULE - STAGE I, effective December 3, 2012.  Adherence to the Strike Protocol is Mandatory for all Thames Valley ETFO Members Including:  Daily Occasional, Long Term Occasional Members, and Permanent Teachers.  Please let us know if you have not received this information for any reason.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Bill 115: Why a Political Protest

   Collective bargaining gives employees a voice in determining their wages and working conditions, and has historically, set the stage for the benefits enjoyed by all workers in Ontario, eg. health care, CPP, maternity leave and the weekend.

  Bill 155 places the minister of education and the government beyond the reach of the Ontario Human Rights Code, Ontario Labour Relations Act and the courts. It gives the government unprecedented power. Under the law, the minister can end legal strike action, reserve the right to approve all collective agreements, and impose a collective agreements on ETFO members.

  Bill 115 puts all working Ontarians at risk and undermines the guarantees made to Canadians under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms that include:

  • Our right to organize, to engage in collective bargaining, and to withdraw our services to advance workplace goals;
  • Our right to freedom of expression, specifically the rights of employees to express themselves regarding terms and conditions affecting their workplace, including strike activity or a withdrawal of services;
  • Protecting employees from being forced to work under terms and conditions which are coerced, dictated, or imposed by state.
ETFO Members- Standing up for Democracy               

The Liberal government may have targeted Teachers / OTs to be first example for imposing austerity measures - but they picked the wrong public servants. ETFO members have continued to call this government to task in a very public way:

  • When the government passed Bill 115, 15,000 ETFO members and others from labour and community groups protested at Queen's Park the very next day;
  • ETFO members joined with many community and labour activists to help defeat the provincial Liberals in the Waterloo by-election;
  • Members have continued to work with local labour and community groups to picket MPP offices around the province on a weekly basis.
As ETFO members, we have been the front line in standing up for democratic rights in Ontario. With the Day of Protest, we can send a resounding message to the public, the media, and elected officials that fundamental rights will only be restored in Ontario with the repeal of Bill 115.

How Bill 115 affects Daily Occasional Teachers     
  1. Bill 115 has reduced sick days for permanent Teachers and eliminated sick leave banks. Teachers are being forced to come to work sick, which means finding teaching assignments is now even more difficult for Occasional Teachers.
  2. Your TVDSB collective agreement allowed OTs to accumulate sick leave credits when assigned to LTOs to use if we become ill and can't work. The government has capped annual sick leave; this will significantly reduce the number of fully-paid sick days available to Occasional Teachers.
  3. With the current inflation rate running at approximately 2.6% per year, the two-year salary freeze will erode the purchasing power of Occasional Teachers.                            

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

About Developments in Bargaining and Telephone Town Hall

This has been a bargaining year unlike any other in the history of our Local, complicated by elements that seem beyond our control.
That being said, we continue to maintain our right to bargain under the Ontario Labour Relations Act.  Under that process both ETFO Locals of Thames Valley have reached an impasse and the clock is now ticking toward our Locals being in a legal position to strike as of Monday, December 3, 2012.  This is the first time ever that both Teacher and Occasional Teacher Locals have acted on the same timelines.
As ETFO Provincial President Sam Hammond stated today, “It is unfortunate that we have been placed in the position of having to strike by Education Minister Laurel Broten, but we will provide parents with ample notice to ensure the safety of students. By her actions, the minister has let everyone down by stripping Teachers and education professionals of their democratic rights, and shutting down recent talks at the provincial level.”
Bill 115 strips Teachers of their fundamental right to negotiate, and gives the Minister unprecedented power to impose an agreement if Locals and their Boards don’t reach a collective agreement by December 31st. The bill puts the government beyond the reach of the Ontario Human Rights Code, Ontario Labour Relations Act, and the courts.
On November 11th, the government invited ETFO to discussions with Ministry officials and a third party facilitator. ETFO and government representatives were engaged in productive talks when the Minister abruptly shut the session down.  “We continue to be ready to resume discussions in an attempt to reach an agreement that meets the needs of all parties”, added Hammond. “It’s time the minister got serious about reaching deals that respect the rights of our members.”
Work to Rule Strikes
ETFO has announced that it will give parents 72 hours’ notice of strikes planned for December by public elementary teachers, OTs and LTOs. These work to rule strikes will be escalated over the next few weeks to include one or more days of full withdrawal of services.
Telephone Town Hall
Additional information about the withdrawal of services strikes will be provided to ETFO members during a telephone town hall meeting to be convened at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday evening this week.  Members will receive a telephone call providing details about joining the telephone town hall meeting. 
Members are advised to contact Local President, Terry Card for further information.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Things you should know about

All Presidents and Chief Negotiators have been called to meet in Toronto by ETFO Provincial on Friday to discuss how the recent OSSTF deal may affect our Local negotiations.  We will make every effort to keep members informed of all developments.  We also encourage you to visit for up to date information.

On a more celebratory note, we are looking forward to tomorrow evening's Fall General Meeting and Banquet which is taking place at Bellamere Winery & Event Centre.   Over 150 registrants will be in attendance to enjoy a lovely meal with music by the Ken Varley Jazz Trio. We are also very pleased to have an opportunity as well to acknowledge the enormous contributions of  Nancy Miller and Lorna Wilson with presentation of Honourary Life Member Awards.

To get the most from your membership in the Local, please communicate with us regarding:
  • your Professional Development needs,
  • issues that may come up in jobs at your schools.  More often than not we can help - there is no need to struggle alone,
  • let us know if something is happening in the schools that other Occasional Teachers should know about.  Our newsletters, blog, twitter account and website can get information out to everyone in a very efficient manner.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Update on Provincial Talks Held November 11, 2012

Late in the evening on Saturday, November 10, 2012, ETFO was invited to a discussion with government representatives that would take place on Sunday. Given that we had long said that we would sit at a table where the participants were knowledgeable of education and labour issues and where all issues were open to discussion we determined to participate. The goal for ETFO participation in the Sunday meeting was to address the damage caused by the Memorandum of Understanding / MOU that the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association / OECTA signed with the government.

During the afternoon and early evening meeting ETFO representatives presented members' concerns around each section of the OECTA MOU and sought clarification on numerous process issues. We did begin very initial discussions around a number of possible options to resolve those matters. We were prepared to continue to discuss these issues and the key interests of our members with a view to possibly creating a renewed environment for local collective bargaining.

The meetings with government representatives concluded abruptly around 7:00 p.m. with no indication that further meetings were possible. OSSTF continued its discussions later into the evening with those talks ultimately breaking down. As always, we will continue to be open to meaningful negotiations that meet the needs and respect the rights of our members; however, no further provincial meetings are scheduled. Your local will continue to try to negotiate local issues and you will be kept informed through Takeover Bulletins.

The fact that the provincial talks were held is most likely the result of the ongoing member protests against Bill 115. By joining in political rallies and implementing the McGuinty Mondays and Take A Pause campaigns, ETFO members have been in the forefront of taking a strong stand to oppose the punitive and undemocratic actions of the Liberal government.

At this point it appears very likely that strike action will be required. Members will be informed about the form of the strike action and the start date through local membership meetings. Strong and lasting solidarity will be needed to protect the democratic rights of all of us who work in the public sector.

In solidarity,

Sam Hammond
President - Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

"There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor political, but because one's conscience tells one that it's right..."

Martin Luther King Jr.

On another note, your Local is attempting to continue to offer Professional Development workshops to it's members in order for you to keep up with and add to your resume.  PD events are carefully considered by our PD committee and chosen from suggestions brought forth by you our members.  It would be most appreciated that anyone who registers for a PD workshop or meeting, please be considerate enough to make the effort to attend.  It is very disappointing when members don't show up at events when there are plenty of others who would be willing and happy to take their place.  We understand that things come up but "feeling tired" is just not a good excuse.  Please, if you make the effort to register, than plan for a later evening and attend- chances are you will be so grateful you did and will have gained the knowledge of our presenters in specialized, pertinent areas in our profession.      

Deadline to attend the Fall General Meeting is quickly approaching- register at by Friday, Nov. 16th- noon.  This year's Meeting is taking place at Bellamere Winery and Event Centre from 4:30 - 7:30 PM next Thursday, November 22, 2012.  This will be a very well-attended Meeting.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Back by Popular Demand; Upcoming Protest Rally

Boutique-Style Professional Development at our OT Offices, beginning on Tuesday November 13th from 4:30 - 7:30 PM DRA for Junior Grades and on Tuesday, November 15th, at the same time, DRA for Primary Grades, emphasizing Running Records.
Our presenters for these workshops are TVDSB Literacy Coordinator Kelly Gallagher/ Ann Elliot.
These after achool workshops are limited to 15 participants per session.  The address of our offices is 521 Nottinghill Road, suite 8 in London.  A light supper is provided.  Register by email to  Preference will be given to those who have not yet attended a boutique.

Don't forget to bring along your Professional Development Passports.

Be sure to check regularly for further selections.

Solidarity Rally this Friday - Nov 9/12
Conservative MPP Jeff Yurek's office in St. Thomas at 750 Talbot Street, 4 PM. 
The passage of Bill 115 is one of the darkest events in the Ontario's history of unionism. Help keep the pressure on to repeal this bill for we are having an effect. Come stand with your peers and let your voice be heard.

Don't forget to register for our Fall General Meeting and Banquet.
Bellamere Winery will be hosting this event on November 22, 2012, where we will enjoy a Holiday Celebration with Interactive Chef-Engaged Stations.
Register for this well-attended event to: by November 16th, 9AM- our numbers are required by this time.  There is no cost for members and we will be handing out door prizes.  
We are asking all attendees to bring along children's goods to donate to Merrymount Children's Center.    
Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Fall General Meeting - November 22nd, 2012

November Boutique-Style PD -
These after school workshops are limited to 15 participants per session.  Workshops are held at our OT Offices, 521 Nottinghill Road, Suite 8, in London from 4:30 PM - 7:30 PM.  A light supper is provided.  Please register by email to
Preference will be given to those who have not yet attended a boutique.

Please indicate which workshop you would like to participate in:

1)  Tuesday,    Nov. 13, 2012:    DRA for Junior Grades
2)  Thursday,  Nov.  15, 2012:    DRA for Primary Grades, emphasizing Running Records

Presenters:  TVDSB Literacy Coordinators Kelly Gallagher/ Ann Elliot

Upcoming Fall General Meeting -
Our Fall General Meeting and Banquet is always an important and enjoyable event for our members to attend.  Not only is it one of the first meetings of the school year in which we can socialize with our peers on a grand scale, but it is also your opportunity to get more information from the Local leadership,  about news that is all around us especially at this time.  It is always very well attended and space is limited, so please register your names at before November 16th at 9AM since the venue requires confirmation by this time and date. So far we have close to 100 registrants, so please avoid disappointment and register on-time!  Our venue this Fall is the scenic Bellamere Winery.  They will be preparing what sounds like a delectable festive feast including Mixed Greens Salad, with their raspberry fruit vinaigrette, AAA Sirloin Steak, Classic Home-Style Roast Turkey with traditional stuffing, a Vegetarian Strudel, along with seasonal vegetables.  Bellamere's 'Butter Brickle' desserts and Cranberry Mousse Crepe will be sure to satisfy your taste buds. 
Once again, we encourage attendees to bring along children's goods to donate to Merrymount Children's Centre.  For those of you who aren't aware of all the good work Merrymount does in our community, their mission as a caring organization is to provide around the clock support and crisis care for children and families.  They deliver responsive and innovative services and programs to strengthen children and their families in times of transition.
At this time of year, items can include, clothing, books, toys and games for children of all ages.

Lastly, the evaluations that were submitted after last week's PD Event at the Lamplighter Inn showed how much participants benefitted, learned and had taken with them some key strategies in planning for and providing a better day in the classroom when teaching Math and/or French.  Thank you to the 125  who participated in the three workshops and of course, we wish to thank our generous presenters. 

As a reminder to those of you attending these PD events, it is important that you bring along your Professional Development Passport.  Your Passport is where you affix a sticker "certificate" which describes the workshop you had attended.  It confirms your participation and is a good addition to your resume and professional portfolio when applying for jobs.  All new hires will be given a Passport upon request and verification they are new to the Occasional Teachers list.  Please keep them in a safe place as they will not be replaced! Certificates are distributed to those who have attended the various workshops- don't forget to ask for them from the presenter or PD committee member at the event if you don't readily see them.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

October 25th PD Event

We are looking forward to Thursday October 25th, 2012 where we will be offering the first Professional Development Event of the 2012 - 2013 school year. We have almost 120 Occasional Teachers registered to participate in 3 workshops being held at the Lamplighter Inn. We have had to turn away several of you who asked about participating although past the deadline, which was on Monday at noon. We do plan on offering more Professional Development and are finalizing details for our November "Boutique-style" workshops on DRA- stay tuned for more info.
Registration is still open for our Fall General Meeting and Banquet being held this year at Bellamere Winery on November 22, 2012 from 4:30 - 7:30 PM. Deadline to RSVP is November 16th, 2012 at 9:00AM. Please register at
We are asking all attendees to please bring along children's goods to donate to Merrymount Children's Centre.
Progress Report Advisory
The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) confirms that Teachers and Long-Term Occasional Teachers are providing what’s needed on progress reports for students (especially for those having difficulties) as well as reporting on student progress through parent-teacher interviews.
ETFO’s advice is based on, and conforms with the Ministry of Education policy document, “Growing Success” which advises teachers to use their professional judgment when completing progress reports.
President Sam Hammond states, "We’ve also made it very clear in our advice to members that where students are having difficulties, teachers provide more detailed information to parents through the progress report. Parent-teacher interviews have always been, and will continue to be, the most effective way for teachers to communicate with parents about a student’s progress."
If you have any questions regarding progress reports, please do not hesitate to contact the ETFO OT office: 519-641-3936.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Upcoming Events and Bill 115

Registration is open and spots are filling quickly for our upcoming PD Event and Dinner being held at the Lamplighter Inn on October 25, 2012.  Workshops being offered that evening are:

  • Bansho with Anne Pigeon
  • Classroom Dynamics with Barb Seaton
  • French Survival for Daily OTs with Betsy Haines and Diamond Fotiadis
Please RSVP at by October 22 (noon)

We are also very pleased to invite you to our Fall General Meeting and Banquet being held at Bellamere Winery on November 22, 2012.  Honourary Life Memberships to be awarded to Nancy Miller and Lorna Wilson.

Please RSVP  at by November 16 (9 AM)

On another note, be aware that ETFO advises:


Bill 115 goes far beyond any wage restraint or back-to-work legislation ever enacted in Ontario.  It attacks free collective bargaining rights and violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  ETFO is asking all members to take the following political action to resist Bill 115:

Say YES to Extending McGuinty Mondays to Tuesdays

Starting October 23rd, we are asking ETFO members to extend McGuinty Mondays into Tuesdays.  That means focusing only on instructing and ensuring the safety of students on both Mondays and Tuesdays, as well as:

  • Arriving at school no more than 30 minutes before classes begin;
  • Leaving school no more than 30 minutes after classes end;
  • Not participating in school-based or system-level meetings before, during or after the instructional day;
  • Not participating in regional Ministry meetings before, during or after the instructional day.
Say NO to the Ministry of Education and EQAO

Do not volunteer for Ministry of Education tasks forces or work groups.  Do not apply for positions posted by the EQAO.

Say NO to Liberal MPPs

ETFO members are encouraged not to volunteer or provide financial support for politicians who unilaterally stripped our collective agreements of sick leave, retirements gratuities and salary.

Tell Your Story

ETFO is collecting stories to share with MPPs and others.  Tell us about the effects Bill 115 is having on you, your family and your community.  Go to the homepage of ETFO's Control Your Future website ( and click on the button called Tell Your Story.

Sign the Petition to Repeal Bill 115

Get colleagues, family members and friends to sign ETFO petition calling for the repeal of Bill 115.  You can find a copy of the petition at

Use Your Professional Judgement When Completing Progress Reports

A single sentence indicating strengths/next steps for improvement in each of the two comment boxes is appropriate.  Your ETFO local will provide you with more detailed information about completing progress reports.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Mark Your Calendars

Amid all that is going on these days, your Local continues to remain committed to it's members and we are very pleased to invite you to the following:

Professional Development Event and Dinner on October 25, 2012 at Lamplighter Inn, 591 Wellington Road,  London, from 4:30 - 7:30 PM.

Please select one from the following workshops being offered:
  1. BANSHO with Presenter Anne Pigeon, TVDSB -  Participants will explore a math problem-solving lesson using Bansho: a strategy to document lessons, honouring the variety of strategies and abilities in your classroom.  Bansho should be part of effective math programs.
  2. Classroom Dynamics with Presenter Barb Seaton, TVDSB - Meet the needs of today's math class.  This workshop will explore a variety of cooperative learning tools, structures and games to engage students and enable teachers to thrive teaching problem-solving in math classrooms.
  3. French Survival For Daily OTs with Presenters Betsy Hanes and Diamond Fotiadis, TVDSB - Worried about taking a daily assignment that includes French? Using a blend of ideas from Stepping Forward with French and Tribes, this workshop will provide you with activities and strategies to be effective and confident in your assignment.
Deadline - October 22 (noon)

Fall General Meeting and Banquet  on November 22, 2012 at Bellamere Winery, 1260 Gainsborough Road,  London, from 4:30 - 7:30 PM.

Honourary Life Memberships to be awarded that evening to:
  • Nancy Miller
  • Lorna Wilson
Please bring along children's goods to donate to Merrymount Children's Centre.

Deadline - November 16th at 9 AM 

You should be in possession of your pocket calendars.  There is very important information written on the first few pages as well as on the front and back covers.  The onus is on you to know your responsibilities under the Collective Agreement.  We ask that you please read this information carefully so YOU will know what is expected of you to remain on the list. Also available to you so that you remain informed with up to date information are: The ETFO Thames Valley Occasional Teachers' Local Newsletters; The Supply Line,  our website;,  our Wednesday blog at, and you can also follow us on Twitter @ etfotvot.

Lastly, it is inappropriate to use the Board's First Class email system for union business.  Please ensure we have your personal email address for union business by sending us an email detailing so. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

You Need to be Aware

Our strike vote at the John Labatt Centre/Budweiser Gardens was a resounding success. Occasional Teachers listened to presentations made by our Provincial President Sam Hammond, and others before voting 94% in support of strike action.  We must acknowledge that these decisions are never easy.  We cannot forget that it is through the courageous actions of those who made such decisions before us, that we can all enjoy the working conditions enshrined in our respective Collective Agreements.  
Before the mid 1970’s, mass resignation was the only form of job action available to Teachers. Can you imagine how tough a decision that was?  To resign when you had a young family to support or the debt of a mortgage on your shoulders or when you were putting your retirement in jeopardy? But those Teachers stood strong.  In 1973, eighty thousand steadfast Teachers protested with a one day walk-out against the government.  Thirty thousand of them marched on Queen’s Park.  They did this to win for all Teachers, the right to strike.  Not just for that day, or just for that round of bargaining, but for ever more. 
It’s apparent how Long-Term Occasional Teachers are affected by Bill 115 - the government put its hand in our bank of sick leave, and took out all but 10 days.  It ordered Boards to disregard all additional qualifications or teaching experience which could move LTOs up the grid. Not only did the government freeze our wages, but it legislated 3 unpaid PA days – giving us less than a 0% increase and in effect asking Employees to cover the losses of the Employer.  Given the blatant misuse of our tax dollars – more than a billion dollars wasted on E-Health, millions more frittered away through the mismanagement of ORNGE, and the GTA power generating plants fiasco, does anyone have faith the Liberals can do more good with these projected savings, than you and I could if we had the money still in our pockets to spend?
But this legislation also negatively impacts our daily Occasional Teachers.  One large OT Local has already reported a loss of a thousand days in the first 9 days of September.  This mirrors what our members are saying about the availability of work and it was inevitable.  Teachers are reporting to work sick and with broken bones, fearful of using their precious sick days this early in the school year.  Occasional Teachers are the most financially vulnerable sector in education. Can this really be happening to our profession?
Our fight this round is not with the Board but with the high-handed actions of the government who imposed on us, Bill 115.  Every worker in education, from those at the Ed Centre to our invaluable custodians, is in the same boat.  This round, Principals, who have always been represented at our local bargaining tables, were snubbed by the government’s provincial team.  This round, Trustees, duly elected to make such decision had no input.  And you’re already aware how the voices of the Federations were time and again, disregarded.  Occasional Teachers must not feel recrimination for taking a stand. If you experience problems, as always call the OT Office and let us deal with them.  We need you to follow the lead set by the permanent Teachers of our schools, for those are your colleagues and these decisions will impact your future in this profession.
All that we have gained over the years is now being threatened and it’s a race to the bottom for the middle class.  With notices of pending cuts across the entire public sector, other Unions are looking to us to take the lead and protect their rights as well. 
Our President, Sam Hammond ends every email with a line from Martin Luther King Jr - "There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor political, but because one's conscience tells one that it's right..." 
It may not be easy, but as Teachers who are called on every day to set an example for the students in our classrooms, this is just such a time.
Yours in solidarity,
Terry Card, Local President

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Time For Action

Our Provincial ETFO President, Sam Hammond ends every email with this quote from Martin Luther King Jr. - "There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor political, but because one's conscience tells one that it's right..."
With word that the Finance Minister is set to announce legislation to extend wage freezes in the public sector beyond two years, we bring to your attention two events you should plan on attending  -

1) Along with our ETFO Teacher Local colleagues, CUPE and OSSTF we have organized -

Deb Matthew's MPP Office
242 Picadilly Street in London (east of Richmond)

The passage of Bill 115 is one of the darkest events
in the history of workers' rights in Ontario.
(Look for our white ETFO Occasional Teacher flags)

2)  Have a say in your future-

For all Teachers & OTs (includes LTOs)
Monday, October 1, 2012
Budweiser Gardens (John Labatt Centre)

Registration Opens: 4:00 PM
Meeting: 5:30 PM
(light meal provided)

Occasional Teachers will enter via Gate 1 (those requiring an accessible entry use Gate 5)
Members need to register at tables set up alphabetically so arrive early to get your drink and cold beverage ticket, colour coded ballot and Active Member label.
Parking is not provided on site so we advise OTs car pool when possible.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Are you angry yet?

As one sign said, "If you're not angry yet, you're not paying attention!"
More than 500 people rallied in protest last Friday at the office of Liberal MPP Chris Bentley.  We gathered out of frustration that through the legislation of Bill 115, our TVDSB sick leave banks had been wiped out. We objected to losing the right to move toward full salary by acquiring experience and earning additional qualifications, a process that takes ten years, and even longer when you have not secured a full time contract.  And those who are ETFO Teachers and Occasional Teachers were protesting the loss of  an additional 1.5% of salary (because of 3 unpaid PA Days) on top of the 2% hit on salary we took from the Liberals four years ago. What salary freeze?  Add inflation to the equation and the significance is glaring for these losses can never be regained and will forever impact our pensions.
We are not alone.  Every Board employee will have their wages negatively affected by Bill 115 and duly elected Board trustees have been left powerless in the wake of this high-handed and unnecessary legislation.
So what are we to do?  Many of us are participating in these rallies and many of our colleagues are expressing themselves by withholding extracurricular activities - volunteer work such as after school clubs, committees and sports activities. 
Toronto Star Education Reporter, Louise Brown commented Tuesday, Sept. 18th:
"Wasn’t hard for me to explain it to my 9 year old: Doing after school activities is not part of the teachers’ jobs, and they don’t get paid for it. In Canada, luckily, no one can be forced to work for free. Your teachers volunteer to stay after work for free, because they love you guys. But right now they are mad at their employer, who they think is being mean and unfair to them. The only way they can show their employer that they are mad is to stop volunteering to spend their free time at work. They are not mad at the kids. They still love you guys. But sometimes in life you have to take a stand when you think someone is being mean to you."
The United Nations (through its International Labour Organization) recognizes the right to collective bargaining" as an essential right of workers.
The Supreme Court of Canada has said, "The right to bargain collectively with an employer enhances the human dignity, liberty and autonomy of workers..."
Join ETFO, OSSTF, CUPE and other supporters who recognize that this issue is bigger than the loss suffered by any one individual:
Rally in Solidarity
Friday, September 28th at MPP Deb Matthew's constituency office
242 Piccadilly Street in London
4:00 PM   
(Look for our white ETFO Thames Valley Occasional Teacher flags - we'll be there!)


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Bill 115 - one of the darkest events in the history of Workers' Rights in Ontario

Welcome back to all.
It has indeed been another busy beginning to the school year with much on both our Local and provincial union plates.  Uppermost on our agenda has been the fight to preserve our rights under the Labour Relations Act of Ontario.

Join us in a Solidarity Rally at Chris Bentley’s MPP Office
(Wharncliffe & Baseline Road, London)
Teachers & Education Workers
Friday, September 14th @ 4:00 p.m.

As the Canadian Civil Liberties Association has stated in objecting to Bill 115, “We are concerned that this bill violates the right to meaningful collective bargaining. Why is it necessary, for instance, to remove the right to strike before any job action has occurred or even been contemplated? Collective bargaining enhances the dignity of workers and is a constitutional right, in part, for this reason. This isn’t only about the pocket book, it is also about participating in the governance of the workplace. People’s rights are not something to be trifled with. We are concerned that this legislation goes too far and violates the civil liberties of all Ontarians.”

We cannot stress enough how important it is that members keep informed by following our Wednesday Blog, Tweets @etfotvot and

Please find below a very insightful article that was written before the 2 recent by-elections:

August 29, 2012 by Thomas Walkom, National Affairs Columnist

Dalton McGuinty's attack on teachers' trade union rights is ultimately an attack on the middle class. It is misguided and unnecessary.  It is also unfair.

McGuinty's archly named Putting Students First bill is unnecessary because it seeks to end, through a two-year strike ban, a labour dispute that does not exist.

Teachers are not on strike. Nor according to the leaders of the two major unions involved, the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario and the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation, do they intend to go on strike.  They may have walked away from province-wide talks with the Liberal government. But as required under Ontario labour law, they have been bargaining with the local school boards that employ them.

Certainly the boards didn't ask Queen's Park to step in. Most apparently thought they could reach deals with their employees.  So why is the government attacking teachers?

My astute colleague Martin Regg Cohn has pointed to the politics of the situation. The Liberals are desperate to win two Sept. 6 by-elections in order to gain a majority of seats in the provincial legislature. They reckon that taking on the unions will play particularly well in one riding, Kitchener-Waterloo, that has traditionally elected Tories.

But beyond this, the McGuinty Liberals are suffering from the same myopia that seems to affect so many provincial governments.  They are focusing on the province's deficit, now $15 billion, rather than the economic circumstances that created this shortfall.
Those circumstances have to do with a faltering economy that through job loss and weakened consumer demand is starving government of revenues. 

A far-sighted government would focus on restarting the economy and raising those revenues. A near-sighted government, like this one, focuses on reducing spending alone - with no thought as to how such cuts might further hobble the overall economy.

The McGuinty Liberals aren't the first to make this fundamental error. Bob Rae's New Democrats did the same in the early '90s, with results - such as nursing shortages - that took years to repair.  Even more than the Rae New Democrats (who at least spread the unnecessary pain around) the McGuinty Liberals are looking for public-sector workers to pay for a recession they did not create.

According to Statistics Canada, overall wages in Ontario, private and public, have gone up by 3 per cent over the past year. Average wages paid to managers, both private and public, have jumped by 7.4 per cent.

Yet this government wants public-sector workers to get less than nothing. Even the unions' offer for a zero increase isn't enough. The Liberal bill
would arbitrarily strip away benefits that were previously bargained and keep all but the newest teachers at journeyman wage rates.

And if teachers don't like it, there is little they can do. The bill would not let them withdraw their labour in protest.
If teachers were deemed essential workers, such a strike ban might make sense. Police officers, for instance, can't go on strike.

But if teachers were defined as essential workers, the government would have to treat them fairly. It wouldn't be able to impose a settlement. It would have to let an impartial arbitrator decide.

And my guess is that no impartial arbitrator would give teachers less than nothing.
Tim Hudak's Conservatives are at least up front on this issue. Hudak seems to believe that unions are evil. He is an honest troglodyte.

The Liberals are more duplicitous. They work to cripple trade unionism while protesting that they are friends to the middle class that such unions protect.

This fight isn't just about teachers.

Thomas Walkom's column appears Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Welcome to School Year 2012 - 2013

Greetings to all our members and welcome to our Wednesday Blog, posted each week throughout the school year.  We hope you have a good start and are energized to do your best.

In response to some of the questions we have fielded thus far:
  • When will we receive our Pocket Calendars?   Answer: The pocket calendars will be mailed by months' end to all members.
  • How and when will I receive additional information regarding Professional Development, up to date bargaining developments etc?  Answer: Look for mailings which will include the September edition of our newsletter "The Supply Line". Later editions will be posted electronically so visit our website at  and follow us on Twitter @etfotvot. 
  • Who do I notify of a change in personal information?  Answer:  Please advise our office in writing of the change via email at or by mail to:  ETFO Thames Valley Occasional Teachers' Local, 521 Nottinghill Road, Suite 8, London, ON, N6K 4L4.
  • It is important that you also notify the following:
    - College of Teachers
    - the Board (via the Employee Portal under your Personal Information),
    - your Apply to Education Account.
Rally for Education - Thanks to everyone who travelled to Toronto for the rally for education and against the legislation that threatens our right to bargain. Over 15,000 education workers and supporters met in front of Queen’s Park and made it clear to the Liberals and Conservatives that our concern is NOT about money, it is about our constitutional right to bargain and negotiate with our employers. 

Bill 115, Putting Students First Act, 2012 - Introduced August 27, 2012
The government says the legislation is necessary to avoid teacher strikes and prevent salary increases among teachers who have earned additional qualifications and for younger teachers due scheduled salary gains that reflect their classroom experience.  The government said it was moving to prevent strikes weeks or months before such action was even legally a possibility.  The government moved to push the bill through the Legislature despite the fact that the affected unions had initiated bargaining with their respective employing school boards and almost every ETFO President witnessed this betrayal from the Queen's Park Gallery when Minister Broten introduced the legislation in Queen's Park.

Bill 115 gives the government unprecedented powers over school board negotiations with no accountability through legislative debate and it:
  • imposes the terms and conditions of an agreement reached between the Ontario government and the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA), with a couple of important exceptions that favour the employer.
  • means 60% of teachers will receive a pay cut; and 40% of teachers, mostly younger ones, will receive only 50% of their scheduled increases for experience and additional qualifications earned through taking university degrees, courses, and other professional development they pay for themselves.
  • cuts the number of sick days by 50% and discontinues the accumulation of unused days which will have a negative impact on the amount of work available for Occasional Teachers

  • singles out one sector – education – for wage restraint.
  • by-passes the legal bargaining regime by imposing contract provisions.
  • suspends the normal, legal framework for negotiating contacts with school boards.
  • introduces extraordinary legislative measures to prevent legal challenges to the bill.
  • sets a dangerous precedent for other unionized employees in particular and democratic principles in general.
  • gives Cabinet rather than the Legislature the right to restrict strikes and lockouts.
  • gives Cabinet the power to extend the provisions of the bill beyond two years without having the issue debated in the Legislature.
  • gives the Minister of Education unlimited and unprecedented powers to approve or change any contract negotiated between school boards and the affected unions.
  • gives the Minister of Education authority over collective agreements that are governed by labour legislation under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Labour.
What Can I Do?Email your MPP to say that you oppose this legislation, that you support the right of workers to bargain collectively as the law allows.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Severance Plans are not tied to "Showing up for work"!

This is why we need to rally on August 28th at Queen's Park
Register at etfotvot@gmail by Monday, Aug. 27th
Liberal MPPs have spotlighted Teachers' retirement gratuities which reflect a Teacher's use of negotiated sick days.   Now reflect on these MPP severance packages which are based solely on years of service - 

MPP Severance Plan

Four years or less of service – 50% of salary*

More than four years, less than eight – 100% of salary

More than eight years – 150% of salary

* Salary used for calculation is the average salary over the last 36 months prior to retirement or resignation.

Premier Dalton McGuinty
Date elected: Sept. 1990

Years of service to date: 21.9

Average annual salary over three years: $208,974

Multiplier for severance: 150%

Eligible for severance payment of: $313,461

Finance Minister Dwight Duncan
Date elected: June 1995

Years of service to date: 17.2 years

Average annual salary over three years: $165,851

Multiplier for severance: 150%

Eligible for severance payment of: $248,777

Education Minister Laurel Broten
Date elected: Oct. 2003

Years of service to date: 8.8 years

Average annual salary over three years: $164,038

Multiplier for severance: 150%

Eligible for severance payment of: $246,057

Former MPP Leona Dombrowsky
Elected: June 1999 – October 2011

Years of Service: 12.3 years

Average annual salary over three years: $165,851

Multiplier for severance: 150%

Eligible for severance payment of: $248,777

MPP with no Additional Responsibilities
Date elected: October 2011

Years of service: 10 months

Average annual salary over three years: $116,550

Multiplier for severance: 50%

Eligible for severance payment of: $48,562

Friday, August 24, 2012

URGENT - Be at Queen's Park - Tuesday, Aug 28/12

Your Rights are on the Line
On Tuesday August 28th, come with us to Queen's Park and stand up for bargaining rights, public education, and democracy.
Express your opposition to the government's plan to legislate your wages and benefits through the proposed Putting Students First Act and convey how betrayed you feel by this government's actions.
The Liberals are misleading the public about teachers and other education professionals jeopardizing the start of the school year and creating an artificial crisis.
This legislation is unprecedented in its attack on bargaining rights.  Its effects will be felt for decades to come. Stand with members of ETFO, OSSTF, CUPE Ontario, and others to demand your right to fair negotiations.
Queen's Park Rally for Education
Tuesday August 28, 2012
12:00 - 1:30 pm
Please advise the Local ASAP at so that we can arrange adequate transportation for all participants.
- Facebook: please go to this event page and indicate your attendance at the rally, and most importantly, share with your Facebook networks.!/events/401400006589455/
Twitter:  the hashtag we are using for the rally is #rally4edu.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

You Never Know Who You'll Touch as a Teacher

With a couple of days left to the 2011-2102 school year, this will be the last Wednesday Blog until we are back in September 2012. 
In reflecting upon various experiences shared by our members, it is important to be reminded of how truly beneficial our work is.  As I have listened to your stories and reflected on my own experiences in grade school, I vividly remember the kindness and support shown by my Teachers.  Often times, we don't ever see the impact our caring and efforts which may be difficult at times, but every now and then there will be a smile of thanks, a spark, or a poem written where we know "they got it" and we had something to do with it!  
Whatever your reason for having chosen the respected profession of teaching Elementary children, know this is an important job to be taken very seriously- every life you touch today can go on to wonderful things and wouldn't it be nice to hear them say, "It was because of my Teachers in elementary school".
On behalf of your President, Terry Card, the Executive and myself, we wish you a good summer holiday and remind you to complete the 13 modules of the Manadatory On-Line Training due June 29.  Please note once accepted as completed by the Board, payment will be included in the pay of July 13, 2012.  
Best wishes for a wonderful summer,
Debbie Laxer
Executive Assistant

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Job Prospects for Teaching in Ontario

Since 2001, the Ministry of Education has contracted with the Ontario College of Teachers to undertake a comprehensive study that looks at newly certified Ontario Teachers.

The study of spring 2010 Faculty of Education graduates found that more new Teachers report that they are unemployed in their first school year than ever before and more are taking up alternate work.

Almost one in three education graduates of 2010 who looked for teaching jobs in the 2010-11 school year said they had no success at all.

The rate of underemployment in education has increased by more than 100% since the statistic was first gathered in the 2006 study.

The rate of unemployment in education has increased by more than 1000% since the statistic was first gathered in the 2006 study.

Less than 25% of 2010 graduates had secured a contract teaching position of any type, well-below the 70% level in 2001.

Certified Teachers experience the highest rate of unemployment, with 40% of them not able to find teaching jobs of any type.

More first-year Teachers are now working in non-teaching jobs, either as an alternative to teaching or to supplement part-time or supply teaching.

Many FSL Teachers are now resorting to part-time teaching jobs in the first year.

It is clear that the Ontario Teacher surplus is getting worse NOT better. Overall, the annual number of new Ontario-certified Teachers has fallen by more than 1,500 from the previous high point in 2008 - but remains almost 3,000 above 1999 levels.

For further details, check out the March 2012 edition of Professionally Speaking magazine published by the Ontario College of Teachers and available electronically at

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

All ETFO Member Information Meeting and Vote

The ETFO Thames Valley Occasional Teachers' Local is calling an emergency meeting for all OT Members,  June 7, 2012 at the request of ETFO Provincial.

All Occasional Teachers, Local Executive members and Collective Bargaining committee members are requested to attend. LTO's will vote at their schools Thursday or Friday - One member, one vote.

For questions regarding your attendance, contact Local President Terry Card at or 519-641-3936.

There is still time to register your attendance by emailing

The BMO Centre is located at 295 Rectory Street in London by the Western Fair Grounds.

On another note, you are reminded to review the TVDSB Footwear Procedure under Policies and Procedures on the Thames Valley District School Board's homepage  In addition to the requirements for specific instructional areas, all employees must select footwear that: ensures adequate protection against injury to toes, has non-skid soles, fits snugly and either encloses the foot or secures the heel with a strap, is flat or has a maximum two and one-half inch (2.5") heel.

Flip flops, beach shoes, slippers, clogs, molded plastic, "gummy" shoes and footwear with wheels are not appropriate. Shoes with spiked heels and platform shoes with soles greater than 1 inch are also not allowed. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


The ETFO Thames Valley Occasional Teachers' Local is calling an emergency meeting for all OT Members - June 7, 2012 at the request of ETFO Provincial.  The meeting will take place at the BMO Centre in London,  295 Rectory Street, from 4:30 - 7:30 PM. 
RSVP at or call 519-641-3936.
All Occasional Teachers, Local Executive members and Collective Bargaining committee members are requested to attend.  LTO's will attend at their schools.
Please direct any questions to Local President Terry Card at or 519-641-3936.

The focus for this posting is the "Salary Grid Freeze".
The government has tabled a salary grid freeze for Teachers, Occasional Teachers, and other education professionals for the next two years. During that salary grid freeze, ETFO members

-  WILL NOT be allowed to advance on the grid due to experience.
-  WILL NOT be allowed to change categories when they take Additional Qualification and university   courses.

The government will not offer future adjustments to return Teachers to their proper place on the salary grid - so the Teacher's salary will always remain two years behind. Over the course of 11 years, that loss compounds to $81,944.  (Note: Compounded loss over 11 years is based on the following assumptions: Teacher remains at category A3 for 10 years; no other wage freezes are imposed by the government after 2014; future salary increases offset the rate of inflation; the salary grid structure remains unchanged. Should any of these assumptions change, the Teacher's overall salary loss would be much greater.)

As if that isn't damaging enough, the government wants to permanently change our salary grids effective September 1, 2014.  The government's demands will have a devastating impact on less experienced Teachers still on the grid and on those who want to move to Category A4 with qualification upgrades.

ETFO, OSSTF and AEFO have left the Provincial Discussion Table, however the government has said it will impose these conditions through legislation if the union doesn't agree to them. That's just plain wrong! Respect Teachers - Respect Collective Bargaining. Use the postcards distributed by ETFO and send a message to the Premier, the Minister, and your MPP.     

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

How Will the Governement's Offer Affect Me? Part 2

In our second of three excerpts from ETFO's Collective Bargaining 2012 "Control Your Future" distributions, the focus is on Sick Leave.
The government has proposed a permanent change in the sick leave benefit for Teachers and LTOs.  Currently, Teachers and LTOs are allotted 20 sick leave credits per school year; in Thames Valley those credits can be banked for future use.  The government has proposed a 70% reduction in sick days.  This will mean:

- annual sick leave will be reduced to just 6 days per year;
- unused sick days can no longer be carried forward into the following year;
- Teachers will receive only 2/3 salary for each sick day taken beyond 6 days through a short-term sick leave plan.

Receiving a reduced salary while on short-term sick leave will lower Teachers' and LTOs pension contributions; that means there will be negative pension repercussions.

The government's proposal will replace the current sick leave plan with an inferior short-term sick leave plan and Ontario's Teachers and education professionals will pay the price.

"The government has threatened to impose these conditions on ETFO members through legislation if ETFO doesn't agree to them.  That's just plain wrong! Send a message to the Premier, to the Minister, and to your MPP.  Tell the government to :  RESPECT TEACHERS AND RESPECT COLLECTIVE BARGAINING."

We hope to see everyone at the Spring General Meeting taking place tomorrow evening, May 24th, at the Best Western Lamplighter Inn, from 4:30 - 7:30 PM.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

How will the governement's offer affect me?

Occasional Teachers need to know that the Governement's Provincial Discussion Table proposal will have detrimental effects on their working conditions:
  • Salary Freeze:  With the current inflation rate running at approximately 2.6% per year, a two-year salary freeze will erode the purchasing power of Occasional Teachers.
  • Grid Freeze: The government has proposed a salary grid freeze between September 1, 2012 and August 31, 2014. That salary grid freeze will mean that Occasional Teachers assigned to long term occasional (LTO) positions will not be allowed to advance on the salary grid due to experience.   As well, you They will also not be allowed to change categories on the salary grid when they take additional Qualification (AQ) and university courses. AQ courses will not count for salary purposes; when you do get a permanent contract your full experience may not be recognized when you are placed on the teacher salary grid.
  • OT Sick Leave: Many collective agreements allow Occasional Teachers to accumulate sick leave credits when assigned to LTOs. Occasional Teachers use those credits for paid sick leave if they become ill and can't work. The government's proposal to cap annual sick leave means that you will only get a maximum of 6 sick days each school year; this will significantly reduce the number of fully-paid sick days available to Occasional Teachers.
  • Availability of OT Work:  If teachers are forced to come to work sick, finding teaching assignments will be even more difficult for Occasional Teachers.

 The government has threatened to impose these conditions on ETFO members through legislation if ETFO doesn't agree to them.  Along with OSSTF and AEFO, ETFO has left these voluntary discussions and will continue to bargain at the local level.   Tell the government to Respect teachers and respect collective bargaining - Send a message to the Premier, the Minister, and your MPP.


Local Events 
The Annual General Meeting will take place next Thursday, May 24, 2012 from 4:30 - 7:30PM  at the Best Western Lamplighter Inn, 591 Wellington Road South, in London.  Dinner Buffet with salmon, beef or vegetarion options 5:00PM.  RSVP required for meal at / 519-641-3936.  Mingle with you peers and have a chance to win one of our many door prizes.      

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Respect Teachers - Respect Collective Bargaining!

The Collective Bargaining Meeting held on May 8th, at the new BMO Centre was a real eye opener to those in attendance.  We were pleased to have Provincial ETFO's 1st Vice President - Susan Swackhammer, along with our Provincial ETFO Staff Officers - Mark Hachmer and Ruth Dawson, join us.  Susan Swackhammer explained what has brought us to the point we are at today,  going back to the January 2012 meeting with the Government and why ETFO stepped away from the table.  This was a very informative meeting and your Local thanks those members who were in attendance last night.  As a result, the membership has elected to accept the Preliminary Submission going forward in June.

On May 24th, we will be holding our Spring General Meeting and Banquet at the Best Western Lamplighter Inn, 591 Wellington Road, South, in London from 4:30 - 7:30 PM.  Local Executive Positions will be announced along with a recap of the year's successes. The proposed budget for 2012-2013 will also presented for approval by the membership.  Dinner buffet will begin at 5:00PM.  RSVP required for meal at  This is always a popular event with a chance for camaraderie and a say in the priorities of the Local.  Avoid disappointment and reserve your spot today. Win one of our many great door prizes.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Collective Agreement 2012 Meeting and Annual General Meeting and Elections

On May 8, 2012,  the Local is holding a meeting to present and discuss our preliminary submission for the next round of contract negotiations.  This is a very important period and now is the time to get informed, have questions answered, and provide a say in your future.  We encourage all members to attend!! This is where you can vote on what we take to the table.  This meeting is centered around our Collective Agreement 2012, will take place on Tuesday, May 8th, 2012 at the new BMO Centre, 295 Rectory Street in London, from 4:30 PM - 7:00 PM.   Mark Hachmer, our Provincial ETFO Collective Bargaining Staff Officer will be in attendance.  Votes at this meeting will determine the issues we take to the table!
A Chicken Dinner will be provided.  Please RSVP to or 519-641-3936.

On May 24th, 2012, we will be holding our Spring General Meeting and Banquet at the Best Western Lamplighter Inn, 591 Wellington Road South, in London from 4:30 PM - 7:30PM.  Local Elections for 2012 - 2013 Local Executive positions will take place along with a recap of the year's successes.  Dinner Buffet at 5:00PM.  RSVP required for meal at This is always a popular event with a chance for camaraderie and a say in the priorities of the Local.  Avoid disappointment and reserve your spot today.  Win one of our many door prizes.

Several of the modules for mandatory online training have been posted in the Employee Portal with others to follow at a later date.  Please make sure to Click and Submit after completion of each module.  Members have until June 29th to complete all 13 required modules.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Important Upcoming Events in May

On May 8, 2012,  the Local is holding a meeting to present and discuss our preliminary submission for the next round of contract negotiations.  This is a very important period and now is the time to get informed, have any questions answered, and provide a say in your future.  We invite all members to attend!! This is where you can vote on what we take to the table.  This meeting centered around our next Collective Agreement 2012 will take place on Tuesday, May 8th, 2012 at the BMO Centre, 295 Rectory Street in London, from 4:30 PM - 7:30 PM.  Dinner will be provided.  Please RSVP to or 519-641-3936.

On May 24th, 2012, we will be holding our Spring General Meeting and Banquet at the Best Western Lamplighter Inn, 591 Wellington Road South, in London from 4:30 PM - 7:30PM.  Local Elections for 2012 - 2013 Local Executive positions will take place along with a recap of the year's successes.  Dinner Buffet at 5:00PM.  RSVP required for meal at This is always a popular event with a chance for camaraderie and a say in how the priorities of the Local.  Avoid disappointment and reserve your spot today.  Win one of our many door prizes.

As a side note, we have received numerous calls regarding accessing Online Canvass/ Statement of Intent to Remain on the List:
Log in to the Employee Portal > HRS Applications (on left hand blue border) > Occasional /Temp Canvass.
Leads to 1) Intent to Remain on the List, 2) WHMIS Review video and Quiz, and 3) Offence Declaration.
We advise that you print off copies, ensuring that you "Submit" each step.

 Finally, thanks on behalf of the Local to Nancy Springer, Carrie Heiter, Donna Leonard, Janice Monk, David Griffith and Terry Card for giving up their Saturday afternoon on April 21st to protest government cuts to the public sector by participating in the rally at Queen's Park in Toronto.  Together we are stronger!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Day of Action, April 20, 2012 Paid PD Day

Ontarioans from all sectors will come together this Saturday at Queen's Park in Toronto to protest the cuts to jobs and salaries in the public sector proposed by the Liberal McGuinty government.  Your Local and the ETFO Teacher Local will be join our ETFO colleagues and thousands of other workers, retirees and students to reiterate that "You Can't Cut Your Way to Economic Prosperity".  Help shape the province you wish to live in and consider joining us on our bus trip to the hill.  Contact the Local for further information.

Our Paid PD Event at Althouse College is just a few days away. To those of you who have registered and will be attending, get ready for a rewarding and informative day. 

As discussed, there is NO PARKING available at Althouse College due to construction.  Shuttle buses will be available from the Huron Flats parking lot which is located at the TD Waterhouse Stadium, from 8:00AM to 8:30AM and again from 3:30PM to 4:00PM.  There is no transportation during the lunch hour.
The cafeteria at Althouse will be open during the lunch hour.  A variety of sandwiches and pizza, fruit, cookies and drinks will be available for you to purchase.  Only cash and debit will be accepted.

We look forward to seeing you on Friday- enjoy the event!


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Countdown for April 20th Paid P/A Day at Althouse College

Registration for sessions on April 20th at Althouse will close on Friday April 13th.  Note that participation in this day counts for all purposes as a day of work.
At this time, there remain a few spaces in the following sessions:

1)  More than a Play with author Bob Barton  - A complimentary copy of More Than a Play will be provided for each participant;
2)  POOF PIZZAZ! with Ross Haley - presenter with the Science Teachers' Association of Ontario/STAO;
3)  Understanding and Caring for Your Teaching Voice with Lori Holmes, a professional Speech pathologist who works with Stratford Festival; and
4)  Tried and True: What works for You with Connie Zoet who presents Classroom Management workshops throughout North America.

We have received numerous requests for these workshops and they have always proven to be beneficial professionally for you our members.  Each of our presenters brings with them experience, professionalism and wit.  We hope you will avoid disappointment by registering before the end of the week.

Our Director Bill Tucker will be coming to speak to you in the morning during the Plenary session, along with Karen Greenham from the Ministry of Education and Dr. Peter Jaffe, TVDSB Trustee.

To those of you have already registered, get ready for a rewarding and informative day. 
The cafeteria will be open at lunch.  We have arranged for a boxed-lunch to be available to you for purchase.  You will have a selection of sandwiches (meat or vegetarian) to select from, a drink and dessert.  The cost will be about $5.00.  The cafeteria will be able to accept debit and cash.

There is NO PARKING available at Althouse due to construction.  Shuttle buses will be available  from the Huron Flats parking lot from 8:00 to 8:30 AM and again from 3:30 to 4:00PM.  There is no transportation at the lunch hour.
Please check the location of your sessions, as there have been some changes to the room assignments.
If you are registered for the Yoga session, please bring a mat.
If you are registered for any of the Division Specific  Literacy and Numeracy sessions or any of the sessions involving Technology, please bring a jump drive to save your work.

Looking forward to seeing you at Althouse!

On another note, be aware that Provincial ETFO is undertaking a poll of our members and the public to gain information about the Ontario budget and the education system.  We encourage you to participate should you be contacted.


Friday, April 6, 2012

To Remain on the List

It's that time of year when there are several criteria to complete to ensure one remains on the list.  They are:
  • Pay College of Teachers' fee by April 15th.  Those in a LTO assignment on January first will have their fees automatically deducted by payroll.
  • Complete online Statement of Intent to Remain on the List/Canvass by April 30th > Employee Portal>HRS Applications.
  • Complete Annual Offence Declaration on Employee Portal.
  • Complete WHMIS Review
  • Complete mandatory online training by June 29th.*
  • Notify TVDSB of any changes to name, address and telephone number.
*Please note that our designated on-line modules won't be posted until the end of April.
We have received a number of queries advising that modules are available- those modules are available throughout the year for other staff members.

Remember to register for our upcoming Annual General Meeting and Elections banquet taking place at the Bestwestern Lamplighter Inn on Thursday, May 24, 2012 from 4:30 - 7:30 p.m. R.S.V.P. required for meal at / 519-641-3936.   Nominations for positions are due before May 4, 2012. 

Mail to:  Local Elections Officer
              ETFO Thames Valley Occasional Teachers' Local,
              521 Nottinghill Rd., Suite 8, London, Ontario  N6K 4L4
Or fax to: (519) 641-6838

Once nominations close, check for the slate of candidates.
Members may not run from the floor unless no nomination for that position has been received.

Registration is still open for the Althouse Paid PD Day for Occasional Teachers - on April 20, 2012.  Employee Portal > Conference/Session Registrations.

Have a safe and happy holiday weekend.


 Teach at least five (5) full days in an elementary site.House of 1000 Doors: The Palm of Zoroaster Collector's Edition