Wednesday, February 26, 2014

PD Event at the BMO Centre

Thank you to everyone who attended the PD Event that took place at the BMO Centre yesterday afternoon.
Approximately 90 members participated in one of three sessions offered by the Local.  This was also the first PD event where our members registered exclusively via the ETFO - Thames Valley Occasional Teachers' website.  Thank you for making the effort to familiarize yourself with the website and using it so efficiently.
At this point, we feel we must address a few challenges encountered at the BMO Centre yesterday that we have not encountered in the past: there were a couple of dinner items inadvertently missing from our menu selection and the room and field situations in the Nutrition - Power to Explore (Junior level) and the Phys. Ed. Beyond Dodgeball challenges will be addressed by your Local with the representatives from BMO with a view to preventing such unfortunate difficulties in the future.
We would like to thank all those who participated and kept a positive outlook.
Thank you also to Vivek Nath, our PD Chair who stepped in while Terry Card is in Toronto on Union Business.
On another note, participants did enjoy a delicious meal after work and those participating in the Nutrition workshops were thrilled with the Resource Materials received.
Stay tuned for our next PD event taking place on March 27th, at the Best Western Lamplighter Inn.  Registration for this PD event will be available on our website shortly.            

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Inquiries as to insurance availability to Occasional Teachers have come up recently. Though we do have money in lieu of benefits for LTOs, you may want to consider going to the Ontario Teachers Insurance Plan to research any benefits that may be available to purchase.  Go to under 'Specialty Products' and 'Occasional Education Employees'  to see if there is anything that may be of interest.

From their website:

OTIP is a non-profit organization directed by a Board of Trustees consisting of two representatives from each of the four education affiliates: AEFOETFOOECTA and OSSTF. As a non-profit trust, OTIP serves education employees and other union groups, tailoring products and services to meet their specific needs.

OTIP was conceived in 1977 when a small group of teachers came together with the idea that the teaching community's insurance needs could be served better collectively. They began by selling long term disability and life insurance to teacher groups in Ontario. Soon afterward, the five teacher affiliates joined to officially form OTIP – the Ontario Teachers Insurance Plan – and operations began in the basement office of St. Louis school in Waterloo.

Today, that modest organization has grown to over 300 employees and now provides a full range of group and individual insurance products to not only the education employees of Ontario, but other union organizations as well.

OTIP has seen tremendous growth, not only in terms of staff and membership, but also in the expansion of the products and services that are offered. These include life, long term care, home and auto, identity theft, retiree health, travel and dental.

Olympic fever is high across the nation- enjoy supporting Canada!!! 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

WHAT'S THE BIGGEST THREAT To Better Schools in Ontario?

ETFO/FEEO's most recent "Let's All Speak Up For Fairness" message clearly shows that Tim Hudak and the Progressive Conservatives potential imposition of U.S.- style laws will make it harder for workers to bargain for better wages and working conditions thus giving corporations more power while weakening workers' rights and driving down wages.
Ontario's teachers have fought hard for better wages, pensions, and working conditions for all Ontarians. Tim Hudak will take us backwards picking a fight with workers and driving our wages into the ground.  The PCs have said they will:

Cut our Pay
Hudak will freeze wages across the public sector, including teachers' end pay-outs for unused sick days, and slash our benefits.

Make us work longer and harder for retirement
The PCs will raise the retirement age.  And they'd end defined-benefit plans where employers have to contribute, and move to RRSPs where we're on our own.

Silence our Collective Voice 
Tim Hudak wants to make it impossible for unions to fight effectively for workers.  He'd let people opt out of paying union dues, while still getting the benefits the rest of us pay for.

Ontario teachers know what our kids need to succeed.  And by fighting hard to be heard, we're making schools better.  But Tim Hudak's agenda doesn't include listening to teachers.  Instead, the PCs have said they will:

Expand standardized testing, not real learning
While other provinces are reducing cookie-cutter testing, the Ontario PCs want to waste valuable time and money on meaningless tests.

Stop progress on full-day kindergarten
Instead of giving our kids a better start, Hudak says he'd put full-day kindergarten on hold and 'review' play-based learning - the centerpiece of the program.

Make classrooms more crowded again
Hudak wants to roll back our progress on smaller classes and more individual attention.  Primary class sizes would grow from 20 to 23, other elementary grades from 24.5 to 26, and secondary classes from 22 to 26.

Stay informed, ask questions, find out what's in store if you do nothing.....every voice counts!
We highly recommend members take a few minutes and watch the video - "Made in the USA: Tim Hudak's Plan to Cut Your Wages" at

Last Chance to Register:
On another note, there are only 13 spots available for our PD Event at the BMO Centre on Tuesday, February 25, 2014.   One session is already filled.  Don't wait until the last minute to register, you will be disappointed. Registration: under Member Services.  You must have an account on the website to register.  Deadline for registrations for this event is noon, February 20, 2014.

Hope to see you at the BMO Centre!


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

ETFO Bursaries and Scholarships and QECO categories

ETFO Bursaries and Scholarships

The following awards have a deadline of April 30, 2014:
Aboriginal Women in Education Bursary - Women's Program Bev Saskoley Anti-Racist Scholarship
Bev Saskoley Anti-Racist Scholarship - Women's Program
Bursaries - Designated Groups
Bursaries - Women's Program
Bursaries for Sons and Daughters of ETFO Members Entering a Faculty of Education
Doctoral Scholarship
Doctoral Scholarship - Women's Program
ETFO Member Bursaries
Master's Scholarship
Master's Scholarship - Women's Program
Native As A Second Language Qualification Bursary
Women's Studies Scholarship
Criteria and applications for these awards will be posted on the Provincial ETFO website during the first week of February.

For more information, please review the poster and pamphlet, or contact your local president, or Lorna Larmour, extension 2212,, at the provincial office.

Apply to QECO If You Are Not Yet In Category A4!
Program 5 – the QECO policy used to evaluate teacher academic credentials to determine salary categories– may look a little different than it has in the past: The name Program 5 is the same; the number of categories is the same; there are still two charts - General Education and Technological Education; and, all the same routes and course requirements are still there.

What is different?
 For most teachers, the charts will appear more transparent and easier to understand.
 For some teachers there may be more route options to consider for moving to the next
 QECO category.
 For others, there may be recognition of some programs and courses that did not exist when
 Program 5 was first created.
 In all cases, teachers who are not yet in Category A4 should apply to QECO.
To read Program 5, or to apply for QECO services, visit
Applying to QECO every year, until you have reached Category A4 is still your best
assurance that you are following the quickest and most expedient route to the
next category.