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!