Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Member Information on the List

Please take note of the following Articles under the Collective Agreement regarding Personal Information:

6.03  The Membership List shall provide the following information for each Occasional Teacher: full name, telephone number and address, subjects/divisions/grades that the Occasional Teacher is qualified to teach.
6.05   An Occasional Teacher shall notify the Human Resource Services Department, in writing, of any changes of name, address and/or telephone number required by the Board to contact the Occasional Teacher.  The Board shall provide a copy to the Local.

Not providing current residential/ contact information is grounds for dismissal.

We continue to receive mail from Canada Post informing us that members have moved after we have mailed information or cannot call members as telephone numbers are no longer in service.  Please ensure your personal information  is up to date by checking the Employee Portal under "Your Personal Information".

If your information has changed, it is important that you ensure that your address is correct with the following agencies as well:
  • College of Teachers
  • Your Apply to Education Account (if applicable)
  • ETFO Provincial under Member Information at Being a Member at
This will be the last BLOG for 2013 however look for an on-line edition of the "Supply Line" newsletter to be posted during the holidays. Your Local OT Office will close Friday, December 20th and reopen the first day of school in January.  We will monitor email communications but in case of an emergency, please call the Provincial ETFO office at 1-888-838-3836.

On behalf of your President, the Local Executive and the staff at the ETFO - Thames Valley Occasional Teachers' Local, we would like to wish you a Happy and Safe Holiday in whichever way you will be spending it and we look forward to a busy and fulfilling 2014!


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Together Fairness Works

Together Fairness Works banner

Around the world, unions are under attack. The Stephen Harper Conservatives and Ontario's Tim Hudak Conservatives speak freely about introducing "Right to Work" legislation.  
As Dr. Martin Luther King said, "We must guard against being fooled by false slogans such as 'right to work'.  It is a law to rob us of our civil rights and job rights... Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining by which unions have improved wages and working conditions of everyone... Wherever these laws have been passed, wages are lower, job opportunities are fewer and there are no civil rights."

Much of the public does not recognize the contributions unions have made to our Canadian society.  Even our members may not realize that many of the policies that make our country great, were first won by unions and then extended to everyone: pensions, health and safety in the workplace, minimum wages, public health care etc.

The Canadian Labour Congress wants to engage members in this story and to take these conversations to the public. Check out their website, share the links and start the conversation.  What we want is fair and just for all.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Privacy and December 20th

Adopted from article by Scott, Graham F. "Student Privacy and You".  Professionally Speaking March 2008

The Education Act, the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA) and the Personal Health Information Protection Act, all mandate that unless explicit consent is given personal information must not be disclosed.  Personal information includes names, addresses, ethnic background, employment or criminal history, financial dealings and health records.

Under the Education Act, school boards may collect a lot of personal information about students when they register.  A prime example of this is the Ontario Student Record (OSR) which includes the name, student number, address, phone number, gender, birthdate, any enrolment and transfer dates, names of parents and guardians or both, emergency contact numbers, previous report cards and an official student transcript for each student.  By law, information from the OSR must be kept strictly confidential by school boards and can only be used by Teachers "for improvement of instruction".  Parents can sue a Teacher for breaching their child's privacy.  MFIPPA allows for fines of up to $5,000, regardless of whether or not the act was intentional.

Teachers take notes about students in class, receive permission slips with parents' names and phone numbers and often have access to e-mail addresses.  Yearbooks and school newsletters often contain names and photos of students.  All of this is technically personal information that cannot be collected, posted or shared without permission from parents/guardians.  Again, information can only be shared "for improvement of instruction" and must never be the source of gossip.

Store all personal information securely.  Lock up hard copies and keep electronic documents on a password-protected computer.  A tidy desk may help prevent sensitive information being misplaced or stolen.  Collect only as much personal information as you need to do your job and when you no longer need the personal information, be sure to shred paper documents or securely erase electronic ones.

With regards to the December 20th PD day, unlike Permanent Teachers who lost 2 days of work, Occasional Teachers in a Long Term Assignment are expected to be at school or register for one of the PD opportunities on the Employee Portal and you will be paid according to your FTE.