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