Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Protest for Democracy; Strike Pay and Other Matters

Rights and Democracy Rally - January 26, 2013
First Vice-President Nancy Springer
protests at Allan Gardens
Liberal Leadership Convention
January 26, 2013

VP Nancy Springer and Pres Terry Card
protest outside Maple Leaf Gardens
Liberal Leadership Convention
January 26, 2013

On behalf of the Local, let us express our appreciation to the Occasional Teachers who gave up their Saturday and joined 15000 others on January 26th to rally in protest at the Ontario Liberal Leadership Convention. 
As Martin Luther King Jr. once commented, 'Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.' Let us hope new Liberal leader Kathleen Wynne is willing to undo some of the injustices of Bill 115 and restore bargaining rights to us all.

Strike Pay
The Local has just received word from ETFO Provincial that we will receive strike pay cheques by week's end for those who participated in ETFO's legal strike December 20, 2012.  Be assured we will endeavour to get these out in the mail as soon as possible for we know how tight funds are for many members as daily teaching assignments continue to dwindle.

Workplace Violence Survey
A reminder to members to check the Occasional Teacher Folder on TVDSB First Class to participate in the online Workplace Violence Survey so that the Joint Health and Safety Committee can identify your needs and address your concerns.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Protest at the Ontario Liberal Convention

There is still room available for those wishing to attend the Protest at the Ontario Liberal Convention on Saturday, January 26 at the Allan Gardens in Toronto.  Bus rides are free, but you must register to or call 519-641-3936.  Buses Depart from Teachers' Local:  9:30 am sharp (arrive by 9:15 am) 2911 Bateman Trail, London.  The Rally is in Toronto at 1:00 pm.  The time at which the buses will depart from Toronto is yet to be determined. 
This is a wonderful opportunity for you to make a difference and start seeing what you can do for yourselves.  Your Local is trying to do everything it can for you- it's time for you to step up to the plate and Saturday is one way to show your support.

For those of you who do not follow us on TWITTER (and you all should), here is a very good short article from Bud Wildman, former NDP MPP from 1975-1999 in the Riding of Algoma. He is also a former Cabinet Minister:
"Would India have achieved independence from British colonial rule when it did; would African-Americans have gained equality before the law and would the Civil Rights Act have been passed in the 1960s; or would the apartheid regime have been defeated and Black majority rule have been achieved in South Africa in the early 1990s, if Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandella and their followers had accepted Warren Kinsella's view, published in the Jan. 14th, 2013, edition of the Sault Star, that "Either you favour the rule of law, or you don't.
Would the institution of slavery in the U.S.A. have been eliminated and the federal union have been preserved if President Lincoln and the Congress had acquiesced to the laws passed by the elected lawmakers of the southern slave states or to the subsequent cessation of the Confederacy?
Would racial discrimination and segregation laws and Jim Crow laws duly passed by lawmakers elected by the voters in the southern states have been repealed if Dr. King and his followers had not been prepared, through non-violent actions, to break those laws in their campaign to gain racial justice?
Surely, when governments pass unjust laws, it is the duty of citizens to oppose those laws and the governments that pass them by peaceful democratic means, if not by extra-parliamentary means, as Mandella and the ANC had to by resorting to armed struggle in South Africa.
Would the labour movement in North America ever have achieved recognition of free collective bargaining and the right to legally withdraw their services if they had not resorted to (at the time) illegal strike actions to pressure employers to accept workers' and union rights and for lawmakers to amend the labour laws?
If labour leaders, democratically elected by their unions' memberships, genuinely believe that the democratically elected Legislature of Ontario has passed an unjust and undemocratic law--Bill 115--then is it not their democratic duty to resist and protest the implementation of that law, even if, according to that same 'unjust' law, their actions might be considered illegal? Surely, they should do all in their power to resist an unjust law."
Bud Wildman
Echo Bay

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Continuing Withdrawal of Voluntary Actvities and ETFO Advice on the Elementary Provincial Report Card

Strike Pay:
Cheques for strike pay will be mailed to participants as soon as they are processed by ETFO Provincial.  We expect this to occur within the next week or two.

EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY: Withdrawal of Voluntary/ Extra-curricular Activities

The provincial Executive of ETFO has passed the following motions:

"The ETFO members not participate in voluntary/extra-curricular activities outside the 300 minute instructional day."

"That the non-participation of ETFO members in voluntary/extra-curricular activities be reviewed prior to March 1, 2013."

This is nothing new.  Since Bill 115 provisions were enacted on January 3rd, ETFO repeated publicly that members should continue their pause on voluntary activities.
Our members were taking a pause on voluntary activities beginning in September.  They have continued to ask ETFO to take a strong public stand about voluntary activities and ETFO has responded to that request from members.
The bulletin sent out to members on January 14 is a response to many requests we received from members to clarify what is voluntary activity.  Please advise our office if you have not received your mailing.  It can also be found on the ETFO website.
This clarification will ensure that every member meets their legislative and contractual obligations to provide instructional duties to students as well as supervisory duties to ensure their safety.
Our provincial executive, elected by the members, will review the situation prior to March 1.
It is unfortunate that this situation is continuing. We gave the education minister an option to end the chaos she created, but she chose not to take that option and instead imposed Bill 115.

The Elementary Provincial Report Card:

The Elementary Provincial Report Card was designed to show a student's achievement of curriculum expectations as well as the student's development of learning skills and work habits at two points in the school year:  September to January/February of the school year and January /February to June of the school year.

Consistent with Growing Success, teachers are to use their professional judgement  when completing the Elementary Provincial Report Card. Teachers are not expected to comment on every learning skill or strand.

"When appropriate, teachers may make reference to particular strands.  The comments should describe in overall terms what students know and can do and should provide parents with personalized, clear, precise, and meaningful feedback." Pg. 64 Growing Success. 

The term "personalized feedback" does not mean that every student must have a different comment. A meaningful comment may apply to several students in a class.

Teachers are not required to completely fill the boxes.

In situations where more than one teacher teaches the same student/class, it is recommended that those teachers collaborate on the development of comments.

Teachers are expected to enter a grade for both Social Studies and Science and Technology on both the first and second term report cards.  All of the strands in both Social Studies and Science and Technology must be accounted for in instruction, assessment, and evaluation by the end of the year.

Teachers are expected to enter a grade for both Health and Physical Education on both the first and second term report cards.  It is mandatory that a grade be entered for each strand at least once over both reporting periods.
  • For Language, four strands are reported on in each term.
  • For Mathematics, at least four strands are reported on in each term and each strand must be reported on at least once.
  • For The Arts, at least three of the subjects are reported on in each term and each subject must be reported on at least once during the year.

If the expectations for a student with an IEP vary from the expectations for the regular program for the grade, teachers must check the IEP box for that subject on the Elementary Provincial Report Card.

In instances where a student's program is not based on the expectations from the Ontario curriculum for Grades 1-8, an alternative form, which may require additional comments, may be used to report the student's achievement.

Kindergarten Observations and Reporting:

The Elementary Progress Report for Grades 1-8 teachers follows the policy guidelines for assessment and reporting under the Ministry of Education's policy for assessment, evaluation, and reporting (Growing Success), for the 2012/13 school year.  These policies do not apply to reporting processes in Kindergarten.  The Ministry of Education is currently working on a Kindergarten version of Growing Success but it is not complete at this time. As such, the Kindergarten process for assessment, evaluation, and reporting looks different in every district school board across the province.

 Some district school boards require Kindergarten teachers and Full Day Kindergarten teams to submit a version of a progress report, some have a parent in class visit, and some require a checklist identifying areas of growth and next steps.

Where written reports are required, the following advice to Kindergarten teachers and Full Day Kindergarten teams is provided:

If a checklist is required, all boxes should be checked and teacher professional judgement should be used for writing comments.
  • If a short written report is required, teachers are to use their professional judgement when completing any type of Kindergarten report.  Teachers are not expected to comment on every area.
Ongoing parent communication and parent interviews remain the most effective way to inform parents about their children's growth and achievement.  Once you have submitted your Elementary Provincial Report Card to your administrator, your professional obligations regarding the content of the provincial report cards for January/February are complete.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

One-Day Protest this Friday, January 11, 2013

Important Information from ETFO Provincial
One Day Political Protest – January 11, 2013
In December 2012, ETFO members voted overwhelmingly in support of a one day political protest if the Minister of Education imposed a collective agreement or stopped a legal strike.
On January 3, 2013, two weeks after refusing an offer made by President Hammond to work toward a respectful resolution, the Minister used the unprecedented powers of Bill 115 to impose local agreements. By imposing contracts without negotiation and ending legal strike action, the Minister has willfully trampled on the democratic rights of ETFO members - rights that are enshrined in theCanadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Based on the Minister’s deliberate and provocative choice to wipe out the democratic rights of tens of thousands of educators,the date of the one day political protest will be Friday, January 11, 2013.  This day will be without strike pay.
ETFO Thames Valley Occasional Teacher members will be receive further information about the one day protest by robocall from the local office. 

Occasional Teacher Protest Locations
·         TVDSB Board of Education (1250 Dundas Street, London)
·         Masonville Public School (25 Hillview Blvd, London)
·         Princess Elizabeth Public School (247 Thompson Road, London)
·         Westmount Public School (1011 Viscount Road, London)
·         Elmdale Public School (25 Elm Street, St. Thomas)
·         Colborne Street Public School (25 Colborne Street, Strathroy)
·         Central Public School (410 Hunter Street, Woodstock)

ETFO members are asked to check ETFO’s Control Your Future website ( on Thursday afternoon and evening for general updates.
Throughout these troubling months, ETFO members have recognized that it is impossible to stand back and watch the destruction of a profession we love and the trampling of rights that are fundamental to all Ontarians. We have demonstrated, over and over again, tremendous resolve, leadership and solidarity in the face of continual attacks by this government and Minister. Through this one-day political protest on Friday, January 11th we are again standing up to say that what happened to ETFO members must not ever happen to any other Ontarian.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Historic Imposition of Collective Agreement

For the first time since Teachers were organized in Ontario, the government of the day has seen fit to impose a collective agreement. Who could have foreseen that this Liberal government which once fostered education, would abuse its power by trampling the democratic rights not only of Teachers, but of all Ontario workers and voters?
Shame on this Minister of Education for dictating terms and conditions of employment, when the lawful means of bargaining remains between school boards and their locals.