Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Having Courageous Conversations

HAVING COURAGEOUS CONVERSATIONS
This material has been taken directly (with some minor grammatical modifications) from: Speak Up at School, How to Respond to Everyday Prejudice, Bias and Stereotypes by Teaching Tolerance
“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends” – Martin Luther King Jr.
PREPARE YOURSELF 
1. Mindset: Avoid being stymied by a discriminatory remark by preparing your mindset in advance. Start internally identifying yourself as a person who speaks up against bigotry and discrimination. Say the following to yourself:
 I am a person who will speak up against bigotry.
 I will not let hate have the last word. To help you feel prepared, come up with some ready responses that will work in a variety of moments, such as:
 That offends me.
 I don’t find that funny.
 I’m surprised to hear you say that.
 Can you clarify what you meant by that?
2. Tone and temperament: When speaking up, consider your tone and temperament. Remain calm and thoughtful in your approach. Do not react with shock or attack. Be yourself. Be firm. Be confident. Know that you are doing the right thing and that there is no need to shame the other person. Also avoid resorting to humour as it can send mixed messages to the other person around the appropriateness of their discriminatory comment or approach.
3. Assess the risk of speaking up: Try not to let unwarranted fear of speaking up silence you, but consider the consequences of speaking up and weigh them against the consequences of not speaking up.
4. Understand the dynamics of change: Change happens slowly and sometimes not at all. Remember though, that if you speak up, others may follow and others after them. You may inspire people to find the courage to speak up themselves.
5. Don’t underestimate your efforts: If changed behaviour is what you are after, keep that goal in mind and let it shape your response. Be a model for others to follow, As the saying goes, be the change you wish to see in the world.
IN THE MOMENT – BASIC STRATEGIES
1. Interrupt: You must speak up against every biased remark, every time it happens. Letting one go, them speaking up against the next one, send an inconsistent message: that sometimes bias is OK; other times it isn’t. Letting the first instance go without comment also sends the message to anyone within earshot that it’s OK to say bigoted things (or allow exclusion to continue occurring).
2. Question: Ask simple questions in response to discriminatory comments or exclusionary situations. This can create a helpful dialogue without being aggressive or accusatory.
Some examples include:
 Why do you say that?
 What do you mean?
 Tell me more.
 Did you mean to say something hurtful when you said that?
 Using that word as a putdown offends me.
 Using that word (or making that decision) doesn’t help others feel safe or accepted here.
3. Educate: Sometimes ignorance is at wok when people haven’t had as much exposure to diverse populations. Other times, people simply don’t know the negative power behind certain words or phrases. A good first step in addressing a moment of bias is to explain why the term, phrase or situation is offensive. It is not your “job” to educate everyone else about bias. People do need to take responsibility for their own ignorance. That said, you are in a school and education happens in schools. So it’s a natural fit to wrap education around moments of bias or stereotyping.
4. Echo: It’s powerful to be the first voice that interrupts bias. It’s also powerful on another level to be the second, third, fourth voice to join the interruption. In group settings, if someone has said something biased, and multiple people speak up, the echoing power of those voices can have a multiplying effect As the echoing voice, you can reiterate the anti-bias message or you can thank the first person for speaking up – or both!

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

What to expect? N.B.Offence Declaration/Mandatory online training

What to Expect for September?
So it's official - school is out until September but then what?
At this point, we expect staffing to proceed as usual with permanent hiring to begin in late June and into July and LTOs to be posted in mid-August.  And after that, nothing is certain.
Please know that ETFO Provincial and your TVOT Local will continue to advocate for our members at every opportunity so look for further details as they become available.
And because information is evolving so quickly, we again encourage all members to register at www.etfo.ca to receive their Covid-19 updates and e-newsletters.
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Important for all LTOs and daily Occasional Teachers - 
All TVDSB employees must complete the annual Offence Declaration, WHMIS review etc. posted in the Employee Portal as a condition of employment.  As well, you must complete all 19 of the OTE modules listed there under "Employee Training". For daily Occasional Teachers, completion counts for all purposes as a half-day of teaching. LTOs will have completed many of these modules at staff meetings or on PA days, so there is no additional compensation. Failure to complete these will make you inactive with TVDSB and could result in removal from the TVDSB OT Roster.
Please contact Staff Development or your TVOT Local etfotvot@gmail.com if you have any questions.
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Wednesday, May 20, 2020

LTOs and Report Cards; Local Bargaining; Last Chance;

LTOs and Report Cards
The Ministry of Education has not yet sent out a guidance document regarding this year's report cards. 
That being said, your TVOT Local agrees with TVDSB that:
- student marks will be based on material assessed and evaluated between September and March 13 but if the LTO sees additional achievement in a subject area from April – June, this may result in an increase in the overall grade/mark provided on the report card in June
- though Term 1 reports were struck work during job action, assessments and evaluations were submitted by Teachers to Administrators on January 30th. This combined with material from the following 6 weeks will generate the mark that goes on the final student report
- in the absence of specific direction from the Ministry of Education, student reports will be written in accordance with: Growing Success; Growing Success - The Kindergarten Addendum; Report Student Learning; TVDSB Reporting Student Achievement Procedure. These documents listed above are available on the TVDSB website.
- LTOs are expected to use professional judgement in writing student reports
- There will be a COVID-19 statement from the Board embedded in student reports.
- The Term 1 column of the reports will remain unfilled
- Student reports will not be signed. They will be distributed electronically to parents/guardians centrally via School Messenger. Students whose parents have not provided an email address to the school will receive their report cards via Canada Post. 
Though the Ministry of Education changed remaining PA Days to Instructional Days, it is understood that LTOs will have flexibility during their workday to complete report cards and to engage with students, parents, colleagues and their own families. 
- Report cards are due to Principals by 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 11th.
- LTOs will inform Principals by email when report cards are complete and ready for review
- If you were in a LTO assignment that has ended but the Principal has asked you to prepare the reports, please be aware that L35.00 (iii) of your Collective Agreement provides: "When a long-term occasional teaching assignment is completed prior to the required date for report cards to be submitted, the Occasional Teachers may be assigned to assist with the completion of these report cards. In such an event, the OT shall be paid for the time to complete the report cards up to a maximum of one (1) day. The rate of pay shall be the rate the Occasional Teacher received during the long-term occasional teaching assignment."

Please contact the Local at etfotvot@gmail.com if you have any questions.
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Local Negotiations
As you know, TVOT members have already accepted the ETFO Central Agreement. There remain however, many matters that affect the day to day working conditions of TVOT members and those are the subject of local negotiations.
Your Local bargaining team is comprised of Terry Card - President/Chief Negotiator, Nancy Springer, Vivek Nath, Farida Makhani, Sharon Pinylo and Kevin Utley, all of whom have been working with ETFO CB Staff Officer Susan Ansara to represent the interests of elementary Occasional Teachers in Thames Valley. These talks with TVDSB are ongoing and ultimately we will reach a Tentative Agreement. At that time, we will notify members and you will have a chance to either accept or reject the deal so please make sure you maintain accurate email information with our Local.
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May 31st Deadline - 
ETFO Provincial requires Locals to close their books at the end of June so let us remind you that the TVOT Local cannot accept late requests for our $50 Book Rebate program. This is an opportunity to purchase material to assist you in your professional development or in meeting your teaching needs.
Don't miss your chance - Forms are available in the Member Services section of www.etfotvot.com
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Wednesday, May 13, 2020

LTO Benefits questions related to Covid-19; Paid PD & Mandatory training online;Ontario's new VRP;


LTO Benefits during Covid-19
If you have been in a LTO and have questions because of services that were cancelled due to Covid-19, we recommend you check out the link below where you can find Provincial ETFO's ELHT Coronvirus Updates and answers to:

- My medical/dental appointments were cancelled. Now that my assignment is ended, will the plan cover my appointment?
- What happens if pharmacy would only dispense 30 days of my medication so that I exceed the limits?

FAQ re Covid-19
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Paid PD Opportunities
Though the elementary paid PD options that are listed in the TVDSB Employee Portal have June 26th listed as the date, please know that these can be done anytime before then (including weekends and evenings). There are lots of interesting options for daily OTs or LTOs in assignments of .5 or less so don't miss out on "earning while you learn". Check them out now - the list may be amended as additoinal sessions come online. 
Mandatory Training
All Occasional Teachers, whether you are daily or in a long-term assignment, have until June 26th to complete the list of modules listed in the Employee Portal under "Employee Training". Please make sure to hit submit after each module. When you log back in to this section of the Portal, if the check mark is still there, then it has been entered. 
The Modules are in one section and include:
  • IPOC Roles and Responsibilities Updated Video
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Epilepsy
  • Asthma
  • Diabetes
  • Concussion Training Module
  • September - Emergency Code and Asbestos Awareness
  • October - Fire Code Training
  • December - Slips, Trips and Falls
  • Video 1 - Violence Awareness and Handling Violent Situations
  • Violence Awareness Module 4 - Safe Schools and Employee Roles
  • Violence Awareness Module 5 - Harassment
  • Violence Awareness Module 7 - Management of Agressive Behaviour
  • Violence Awareness Module 8 - Domestic Violence in the Workplace
  • Violence Awareness Modules 13 - Recognizing and Coping with Aggressive Behaviour
  • Mental Health Awareness
  • Attending Alternate TVDSB Site Safety Spotlight
  • Driving in Inclement Weather Safety Spotlight
  • Employee Accident Incident Reporting Safety Spotlight
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Heard about Ontario's Voluntary Redeployment Program/VRP?

Some of you have heard that Ontario will soon set up a portal to enable eligible staff in the education sector to volunteer for temporary redeployment in the community.  Occasional Teachers who are not teaching may apply to volunteer in the program and, if selected, will be paid in accordance with their collective agreement.

ETFO has also worked to ensure that members who opt to voluntarily participate and are matched to a community facility will receive the necessary training, orientation, safety and personal protective equipment before they begin their first shifts and will be paid while doing so. This VRP will continue until there is no longer an active emergency declaration under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. 

Members who are selected will be required to sign a template agreement and will continue to receive all compensation entitlements under the ETFO Collective Agreement including salary, benefits and pension contributions, where applicable. Members will also be entitled to receive the emergency pandemic premium, if applicable, and access the childcare benefit available to those working during the pandemic. The program may extend into the summer months if pandemic-related issues continue at their current rate. Members will be covered by the policies and procedures at the redeployment work site including the provisions relating to shift assignments, hours of work, breaks etc. They will not be covered by any collective agreement at that site but will have access to the local union representative, if any, should a question or issue arise.

Potential community placements for education staff include: residential childcare facilities and residential homes for youth; residential group homes for those with developmental disabilities, Violence Against Women (VAW) and anti-human trafficking residential sites; youth justice residential facilities; and emergency homeless shelters.  

It is important to emphasize that members who volunteer can opt out at any time without reprisal or consequence including
(a) when they receive notification of the redeployment workplace, (b) before or after their safety training and orientation, and
(c) any time after they commence working at the redeployment workplace.

It is expected, however, that they will give as much notice as possible prior to terminating their assignment. Similarly, their assignment can be terminated by the redeployment employer without any consequence to their employment with their school board.

Stay tuned for further details as they become available.

    Thursday, May 7, 2020

    LTOs still being posted; Mental Health Week (sorry forgot to publish this on Wednesday)

    Teaching continues...
    You may not be aware that the Board is still posting long-term assignments so we urge members to continue to apply for positions for which they are qualified. 
    Familiarity with online tools will be an asset in these times of distance learning so take time to familiarize yourself with the Board approved platforms. You can find training for much of what you need in the TVDSB Employee Portal > Conference Sessions and if you have not used all of your paid PD opportunities, completion of these sessions count for all purposes as time worked.
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    This Mental Health Week
    Each one of us has been affected by the strains caused by this pandemic, and though it is sometime difficult to ask for help, there is no shame in accepting assistance.

    Occasional Teachers now have access to the Board's Employee Assistance supports. Check your Outlook email for more information about .

    As well, there are community supports such as "Stronger Minds" by Beacon, a free digital program through the Covid crisis available at www.mindbeacon.com

    The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) has resources available at https://www.camh.ca/en/health-info/mental-health-and-covid-19

    OTIP has a comprehensive list of services available to even those who are not covered by the Ontario Teachers' Insurance Plan so take time to visit https://www.otip.com/Help-Center/Coronavirus/Mental-Health-COVID to see what might be of assistance to your or someone you know needs support
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    Just a reminder to members to subscribe to the ETFO Provincial newsletters so that  you don't miss any of ETFO's guides on Responding to Covid-19

    Wednesday, April 29, 2020

    The Vote is in; Paid PD; Mandaatory online training; Book Rebates $50 and the PLDF $350

    Have you heard?
    Provincial ETFO has released the results of the all-member vote on the Central Table Collective Agreements and members voted 97% in favour of what was proposed.
    Was it a great agreement? Not really, but there were no strips and frankly, the focus of the province had understandably changed during the course of these negotiations.
    TVOT members need to be aware that their Local bargaining team will continue to bargain on their behalf with TVDSB.
    N.B. under the terms of the Central Agreement, the 1% salary increase for this school year cannot be paid to members until 30 days after a Local settlement is reached - stay tuned...
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    Paid PD Opportunities to resume online
    Given that there have been changes to the Canada Emergency Response Benefits/CERB plan to allow claimants to earn up to $1000 per month, TVDSB is going to resume hosting online opportunities for daily OT and those LTOs in assignments of less than .5 FTE. These count for all purposes as time worked (seniority credit, Teachers' Pension, EI etc.) and TVOT members will have up to 3 half-days available to them for the 2019 - 2020 school year so please check the Employee Portal for these opportunities which will be posted in the Employee Portal early next week.

    Mandatory online Training Modules
    Please note that all Occasional Teachers, whether in LTO or daily assignments, must complete the mandatory online training modules that will be posted by the Board in the Employee Portal next week.  These modules will remain posted for completion by the end of the school year. Completion counts for all purposes as a half-day of teaching and will be paid as a half-day of work on the last day of school. Do not forget to complete your WHIMIS review and Offcnce Declarations as well.  These are all necessary for members to remain active on the elementary OT Roster - the onus is on you!
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    The $50 Book Rebate and the $350 Professional Learning Development Fund
    Your Local has not discontinued to offer these programs to eligible TVOT members.  All applications for the Book Rebate must be received by May 31st for purchases made within 60 days.
    Applications for the PLDF must be sent to the Local in advance of the course to ensure that there is still money in that budget line.  It will be no surprise that more members than ever have taken advantage of these opportunities this year so please act quickly. The Local is currently accepting applications from members who wish to take AQ courses over the summer months.
    Application Forms are available on our Local Website under Member Services  www.etfotvot.com
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    Schools will remain closed until the end of May 
    Please continue to direct your questions and concerns to your OT Local at etfotvot@gmail.com.
    Take care and stay well!


    Wednesday, April 22, 2020

    Voting opens tomorrow evening; QECO; Your Mental Health


    Vote on the Tentative Central Agreement
    Thursday, April 23rd at 5:30 pm, ETFO Provincial will open the online balloting site for members to vote on the Teacher/Occasional Teacher Central Agreement. Posted there will be full details of the agreement. Please take time to look these over, especially if you missed the telephone Town Hall last week. Members may visit the site as many times as they wish up until you finally cast your vote and you will need your ETFO ID number: 1-888-838-3836.
    Voting closes on Monday, April 27th at 7 pm and we expect the results to be released by ETFO Provincial the following day.
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    QECO/Qualifications Evaluation Council of Ontario

    Wondering why you are still being paid at the same rate as a daily Occasional Teacher when you have taken on a long-term teaching assignment?
    Before the Board can pay you according to your qualifications, you need to apply for a QECO rating where they will assess the courses you completed and the grades you achieved. Once you receive your rating, it is up to you to submit this to the Board - it is not automatically sent to them by QECO. Please be aware that according to our Collective Agreement, you have until the end of July to get this into HR at TVDSB if you want your salary adjusted for any LTOs of that school year. Miss the deadline and you miss out so please do not delay. The Board will accept the card/receipt you receive from QECO that states your application is being processed, however it must show that documents were submitted in a timely manner.
    Don't forget that if you received your teaching certificate and taught previous to coming to Thames Valley, that previous teaching experience may be recognized by the Board and move your along the grid.  Check out your Collective Agreement or contact us at etfotvot@gmail.com for more information.
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    Re: Students -
    This Friday. April 24th at 11 am, School Mental Health Ontario, an organisation that works alongside the Ministry of Education to enhance mental health within our schools, will be offering a live webinar for Teachers offering resources and other supports for educators.
    Space is limited so act quickly. You can find out more about this at https://smho-smso.ca/blog/ontario-educators-invited-to-attend-promoting-student-mental-health-and-wellness-webinar/

    Re: Occasional Teachers -
    Though Occasional Teachers generally have no access to the Board's Employee Assistance Plan/EAP, TVDSB has arranged that during this time of Covid-19, all employees will have access to support provided by Homewood Health. (see email from Jeremy Roy sent March 91th on Outlook.)
    It takes courage to ask for help. Do not hesitate to contact Homewood at 1-800-663-1142 if you feel the need and be assured that services are provided confidentially.
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    Wednesday, April 15, 2020

    CERB and averaged days; Tentative ETFO Central Agreement; TVOT Local Annual Meeting; ETFO E-Newsletter

    Averaged Earnings and the C.E.R.B.
    It was announced this morning, that the criteria for eligibility for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit plan was to be adjusted to allow for up to $1000 of employment income per month and for those whose Employment Insurance benefits had recently run out. This may alter whether or not Occasional Teachers decide to opt in to receive the second week of averaged earnings from TVDSB.  Requests made after today's deadline will be processed for payment on the TVDSB May 8th pay date.
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    Town Hall meeting Friday
    TVOT members are reminded that ETFO Provincial will be conducting a Telephone Town Hall meeting this Friday, April 17th at 3:30 PM regarding the tentative Central Agreement for Teachers and Occasional Teachers. Members who have accurate information on file with ETFO Provincial will receive a phone call invitation 10-20 minutes before the start with details on how to participate.  This will be a chance for members to hear about the tentative ETFO Central Agreement and to ask questions before they cast their ballot on whether to accept or reject the deal.
     Update Member Information to ensure the Provincial Office can reach you.

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    Spring Annual Meeting and Elections 

    As ETFO Thames Valley Occasional Teachers may be aware, our Local's Constitution requires that there be an Annual Membership Meeting to be held each year between January 1 and May 31st (Article VII, Section 3 8.3.1). The meeting this year was to be held May 21, 2020 at the Lamplighter Inn, but given the Covid-19 crisis, this cannot take place. In an effort to abide as much as possible by stipulations in our Local Constitution, all duly passed by the membership, your TVOT Executive has voted to postpone the annual meeting to the early Fall. The meeting date will be the only change - all other stipulations regarding the meeting and election process will remain as set out in our Constitution but the current Executive will remain in office over the summer months. We will notify members of the new date as soon as arrangements are confirmed. Please feel free to contact us at etfotvot@gmail.com if you have any questions or concerns.
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    ETFO E-Newsletter
    Your ETFO Provincial Office is doing an excellent job of providing resources and information related to Covid-19 via their e-newsletters. ETFO Update #4 which has just been released, is especially relevant. We urge all members to subscribe at www.etfo.ca and stay updated as to how this crisis affects us as daily and long-term Occasional Teachers.
    Stay safe and take care.

    Wednesday, April 8, 2020

    Happy Holidays; Donations; Number of Days to Remain on the TVDSB Roster; ETFO news re Covid-19


    Happy Easter 
    Happy Passover

    In spite of this year's abnormal circumstances, your ETFO Local wishes members a Happy Easter and a Happy Passover. Traditionally many of us celebrate these times with family and friends but we cannot discard all the warnings to maintain physical distancing - our surest safeguard and the only control we have over this pandemic.
    Please take time to reach out anyone in your life who may find it difficult being alone over the holidays. I can assure you, this simple act will enrich you both.
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    Donations to Food Banks
    As someone teaching in Thames Valley, you cannot help but be aware that a number of our students come to school each day, hungry.  Loss of employment because of the Covid-19 crisis has added even more children to those in need.
    Because of our arrangement to promote OTIP insurance products, the Local has funds that are not been generated by our members. In this time of great need, your TVOT Executive decided to donate $4000 from those discretionary funds to our local food banks. ETFO members should know that Provincial ETFO agreed to match such contributions for a combined total of $205,000 in donations from ETFO Locals and Provincial ETFO to Ontario Food Banks.




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    The Requirement to Teach 10 Days per School Year
    Your TVOT Local is very pleased that in light of the Covid-19 school closures, TVDSB has agreed to waive the requirement this school year for elementary Occasional Teachers to teach 10 days in the elementary panel in order to remain on the Roster.
    Your Local office was well aware of our members' anxiety and we hope this news will ease some of  your stress.
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    ETFO and Covid-19
    As you have discovered, what is fact one day, may change considerably as we find our way in this new world. One example of this is the parameters for eligibility for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). The federal government has stated it plans to ease these requirements so again, we urge members to subscribe for the Provincial ETFO newsletters in order to keep abreast of such news. Please know  that the TVOT Local is doing our best to advocate for your needs at all levels and that your best way to communicate with the Local these days is via email: etfotvot@gmail.com

    Wednesday, April 1, 2020

    As the Covid-19 Crisis Unfolds...; Voting on the ETFO Tentative Agreement

    As the Covid-19 Crisis Unfolds
    These are indeed challenging times.
    Many of our TVOT members are finding themselves without an income, including many LTOs who are finding the absent Teachers they had replaced, are now able to return to their classes.
    ETFO Provincial has excellent resources that can assist you as you consider your options:

    Canada Emergency Response Benefit vs. Employment Insurance
     - Though the full details of the plan are not yet released, ETFO has important information on each plan at CERB vs. EI 
    - For more specific information visit their Frequently Asked Questions about both plans.

    Supporting Members Throughout the Pandemic
     - We recommend TVOT members visit ETFO Provincial's Professional Resources information PRS Bulletin #108 for "Distance Learning Tips", your "Duty to Report" in the virtual classroom world, "Conflict of Interest Guidelines", "WSIB Coverage While Working at Home" and other information on navigating this new method of elementary instruction.

    ETFO Provincial e-newsletters
    If you have not already subscribed, the Local highly recommends you do so immediately to keep informed in this ever-changing landscape. Go to the ETFO hompage where registration begins at the top right hand corner.
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      ETFO Central Agreement Ratification Update

    ETFO is committed to replicating as closely as possible the ratification vote experience Members are accustomed to from previous collective bargaining rounds, while keeping our members safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
      Here is the information ETFO to date about the ratification process:
    • On Monday, March 30, 2020, ETFO subscribed members received a CB eNewsletter with tentative central agreement highlights, a summary document of central bargaining issues and events, and a ratification vote 'FAQ'.
    • On Monday, April 6, 2020, ETFO members will be receiving a CB eNewsletter with a copy of all Teacher/Occasional Teacher and Education Worker tentative central agreement documents.
    • Telephone town hall information meetings for members will be taking place between Tuesday, April 14 and Thursday, April 23, 2020. The town hall meeting schedule will be sent to members in a CB eNewsletter on Monday, April 6, 2020, and will also be posted on ETFO's Collective Bargaining Website.
    • General voting information will be posted on ETFO's Collective Bargaining Website on Monday, April 6, 2020.
    • ETFO's central ratification votes will be online and will take place from Thursday, April 23 to Monday, April 27, 2020. Detailed information about the ratification process, including a link to online voting sites, will be sent to members in a CB eNewsletter and posted on ETFO's Collective Bargaining Website on Thursday, April 23, 2020.
    • The results of ETFO's central ratification votes will be provided to members on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 in a CB eNewsletter and posted on ETFO's Collective Bargaining Website.

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    You Need Your ETFO ID Number  

    To vote on the ETFO tentative Central Agreement, TVOT members will need their ETF ID numbers. Do not confuse this with your TVDSB Employee number.
    The ETFO number can be found above the address label on your ETFO Voice Magazine, on your ETFO ID card with the apple or by contacting member services at ETFO Provincial.

    Wednesday, March 25, 2020

    ETFO Provincial Tentative Agreement; Updates in light of Covid-19; Strike cheques

    As you have heard, Provincial ETFO has now reached a tentative bargaining agreement at the Central Table. Details about the deal and voting will be released to members via the ETFO CB eNewsletter so be sure to register at https://etfocb.ca/stay-in-touch-2/easy-to-stay-in-touch/ . Improtant news will be sent out March 30th so don't hesitate to subscribe ASAP. You need to keep informed/


    To vote, you will require your ETFO ID number which is found on your ETFO ID Card
    or on the mailing addressof your ETFO Voice Magazine, just above your name.
    Contact the provincial office if you require assistance.


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    News in light of Covid-19

    • the Local OT Office is now being monitored remotely so please contact us at etfotvot@gmail.com for assistance
    • Teachers, Occasional Teachers/LTOs cannot enter TVDSB buildings and have been advised not to post lessons online - future direction is expected from the Ministry and the Board 
    • TVDSB has undertaken to pay LTOs during the 2 week closure per their contract
    • TVDSB will pay daily OTs based on the average number of days worked in the 8 weeks before March Break (NB neither Teachers nor LTOs are paid for March Break) for the school closure up to April 5th, 2020. 
    • TVDSB has not agreed to pay daily OTs past April 5th so we recommend members look into Employment Insurance assistance.
    • Occasional Teachers who are retired and collecting a pension may wish to contact the Board to waive the payments if this averaging would cause them to exceed the OTPP re-employment limits
    Now is the time to listen to the advice of experts - do what you must to keep yourself and those around you, safe and healthy! 
    _____________________________________________________________________

    Strike Cheques
    With 83,000 members eligible for strike pay, it is understandable that Provincial ETFO has experienced some difficulties processing strike pay cheques.
    Please know that the Local will continue to help members address these issues so please email us with full details at etfotvot@gmail.com and we will help sort out such difficulties. 




    Wednesday, March 11, 2020

    ETFO Solidarity Signature and bargaining; Ensuring TVARRIS is accurate; Free Skate; Strike Pay


    How to affix the ETFO Solidarity Signature to your TVDSB Outlook emails -

    • Go to www.etfocb.ca/phase-6-resources/
    • Copy the small ETFO solidarity signature from there
    • Open your TVDSB Outlook email account 
    • Click on the "Settings" wheel in the TVDSB banner 
    • Type "email signature" in the search box and click "enter"
    • When the signature box opens, click inside and paste in your copied ETFO Solidarity Signature
    • You may want to add your name etc. at this time too
    • Be sure to click "Save" at the bottom right when you are finished. 
    Some Bargaining Facts:
    • More than $200 million Special Education funding has not been restored for 2019 - 2020 (already underfunded for student needs and without accounting for inflation)
    • When taking inflation into account, per student spending has declined by 3%
    • Government continues to ignore the results of public consultation (class sizes, spec. ed) 
    • Government has discarded findings of Min. of Education's independent research regarding Regulation 274 and fair hiring which found:

    __________________________________________________________________________

    TVARRIS Depends on Accuracy
    Just as Occasional Teachers expect an accurate description of the jobs we accept, the Board has a right to accurately know who is available to work each day.
    Ensure that your availability is accurate from day to day so that TVARRIS works effectively and your fellow OTs have a chance to accept teaching assignments.
    There is no penalty for booking off time so long as you fulfill the required 10 days needed to remain on the elementary OT Roster, so please mark yourself as unavailable, even for a half-day, if you are not available for a call.

    ___________________________________________________________________________


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    The Cheque is in the mail...
    Please note that the Local has mailed cheques for strike pay for February 4,6,10 and 11 to TVOT members. Unfortunately, these will not include any errors or omissions from the January 22nd strike day.

    Wednesday, March 4, 2020

    Free Public Skate; We appreciate your support; Thinking about Retirement? & Columbia Sportswear Invitation




    FREE PUBLIC SKATE -

    sponsored by your local OSSTF, OECTA, ETFO Teacher and ETFO Occasional Teacher Locals.



    _________________________________________________

    WE ARE GRATEFUL - 


    ____________________________________________________

    Considering retiring?  You are invited to attend - 

    ____________________________________

    Columbia Sportswear Invitation - 
    As mentioned last week, once again, we have been invited to shop the Columbia Sportswear Employee Store.
    The invitation, along with details as to what to bring can be found on the ETFO TVOT website under "Member Services".

    Wednesday, February 26, 2020

    LTOs and Friday's pay; ETFO Solidarity Signature; Columbia Sportswear Invitation

    Message to LTOs about Friday's pay -
    The Local had thought we had an agreement with the Board that no more than 2 strike days per pay period would be deducted from LTOs. The Board now tells us that because of the way absences are input for LTOs, this has not been possible and so LTOs will lose pay for 4 strike days this Friday.
    This is a great disappointment to us all but it is ultimately out of our control.
    Please know that we are doing all we can to get February's strike pay from ETFO Provincial and out to members as quickly as possible. All members should have received payment for the January strike day by the end of this week.  Please contact the Local if yours has not arrived in the mail by then.
    _____________________________________________________

    EFFECTIVE Today - 
    All ETFO member are asked to affix the ETFO Solidarity signature to their school board signatures per the Phase 6 Strike Protocol.
    Download yours at
    www.etfocb.ca/phase-6-resources/
    Though we will not be fully withdrawing our services this week, ETFO is counting on members to apply continued pressure and show solidarity by sharing the messages and template letters available at buildingbetterschools.ca/ , using the hashtags #CutsHurtKids and #Istrikebecause in your posts and participating in school pickets when you are teaching at a school that day.
    For more information please contact us at the OT Office
    _________________________________________

    Columbia Sportswear Employee Invitation -

    It's that time of year again.
    TVOT members are invited to shop the Columbia Sportswear Employee Store.  The invitation can be found on the ETFOTVOT website under Member Services - Happy shopping!
    _________________________________________

    National Day of Action for Education
    Friday, February 28th is the Canadian Teachers' Federation sponsored National Day of Action to bring awareness of the threats to public education that are sweeping the country.
    Teachers, parents, students and all educators are urged to show support by wearing Red for Ed that day and posting their support with the hashtags #RedforEd and/or #EnsemblePourAgir


    Wednesday, February 19, 2020

    Feb. 21st OT Strike Locations; Striking; Strike Pay

    Friday, February 21st Picket Locations from 8AM - 11AM -
    Whether you are a TVOT Occasional Teacher in an LTO assignment, or one who takes daily calls, these six are your OT designated picket sites for this Friday:
    In London - Woodland Heights P.S., John Dearness P.S. or Fairmont P.S.
    In St. Thomas - Elgin Court P.S.
    In Strathroy - Mary Wright P.S.
    In Woodstock - Oliver Stephens P.S. (not Southside)

    Your Local Executive acknowledges that some members may want to picket with the permanent Teachers, but we are one of the largest OT Locals in Ontario and administratively, this has proven to be the most effective way to reconcile our OT data and submit it to Provincial ETFO in a timely manner - the first step to getting strike pay to our members. That obligation must supersede individual preferences.
    ____________________________________________________

    Striking 
    ETFO strike pay is relatively generous but we must keep in mind that this is not "money for nothing". It is the Union that sets the parameters around strike pay: length of shifts, expectations of the line, location of sites, exemptions etc.  Please respect this and keep in mind that picketing is a very public act. Your peers and those in community notice when someone leaves early or flaunts the rules. As Teachers, we must strive to be professional in all that we do, whether in the classroom or on the picket line.
    ___________________________________________________

    Strike Pay
    Your TVOT Office is rightfully receiving calls from members about when they can expect their strike pay and we wish we had an answer.  The Local has submitted up to date reconciled data to Provincial ETFO for all strike days thus far. The ball is in Provincial's court and we assure you that we will get cheques to TVOT members as soon as possible.
    Also be aware that if this is your sixth day of picketing, your strike pay will increases by $25 on Friday. Day #6 is the threshold ETFO Annual Meeting members set when they passed the OT motion determining rates for picket pay.  If you have missed a day or two, you will have to wait until you meet that threshold to be eligible for the increase.

    As always, please contact your Local TVOT office at 519-641-3936 if you have any questions.






    Wednesday, February 12, 2020

    Winners of "Fun on the Picket Line" Sign Contest

                                          Congratulations!
                   $50 each to these TVOT Sign Contest Winners!

    Ericka Deakin

    Thank you to all those who submitted signs!






    Wednesday, February 5, 2020

    We are on Strike and the Sign Contest; What about inclement Weather? Why OT only Sites?

    Yes, We Are On Strike
    Thank you to the many hundreds of TVOT members who have shown up on the picket line for the two days of full withdrawal.
    We recognize that nobody wants this and that strikes come with a cost not only to our members but to their families, but we must do all we can to support ETFO Provincial at the Central Bargaining Table and to pressure the government to properly fund Ontario's well-respected public education system.
    You Can Win $50
    To help lighten the mood, your Local has decided to award five prizes of $50 each for the best home-made signs worn on the picket line from those submitted from our members to etfotvot@gmail.com. We will select 5 different signs submitted during the week of February 10th for $50 prizes as well.  Please note that all signs become the property of the Local and may be posted on social media.
    _______________________________________________
    What if the Weather is Treacherous?
    Once a strike is called, it stands but we do not want members jeopardizing their safety!
    If the morning weather makes travel dangerous to an OT Designated Picket site for either the 8 AM shift or for the later 11 AM shift, then email us at the Local - we won't require the formal exemption form for prohibitive weather the morning of a strike.
    Those who attend will be paid.
    _______________________________________________________
     OT Designated Sites
    Many members have let us know that they are enjoying getting to know their peers at the designated Occasional Teacher Picket sites. Others feel that they would rather be part of the larger group and picket alongside the permanent Teachers. As someone who has given up many weekends to travel to Toronto and rally for education, I understand the thrill of being part of something large.
    However, individual preference cannot override the need to ensure that members are paid in a timely manner. Administering and processing the picket information and exemption requests may seem fairly straightforward but it is a monumental task.  Your Staff Administrator, several of our Executive members and myself, have spent hours and hours working into the evening and during our weekends tackling the task. Our registration data from January 22nd when almost a thousand OTs picketed alongside permanent Teachers at just a few sites, is still incomplete and may take weeks to ensure accuracy. Designating sites for Occasional Teachers only, is making this much easier and more accurate.

    Wednesday, January 29, 2020

    OT/LTO Picket Locations; TVOT Paid P.D.; Mental Health Awareness;


    OT/LTO Picket Locations

    Because Occasional Teachers belong to a separate Local, ETFO Provincial requires separate membership reports after each day of picketing.  To assist with this tracking, the following sites have been designated as OT/LTO only picket locations for Tuesday, Feb. 4th and Thursday, Feb. 6th:

    LONDON:

    • Fairmont Public School
    • Woodland Heights Public School
    • John Dearness Public School
    OXFORD COUNTY:
    • Southside Public School in Woodstock
    • Hickson Public School
    ELGIN COUNTY:
    • Elgin Court Public School in St. Thomas
    MIDDLESEX COUNTY:
    • Mary Wright Public School in Strathroy
    LTOs cannot picket with their home schools - All OTs are expected to participate!

    Shift 1 begins at 8 a.m. and ends at 11 a.m.
    Shift 2 starts at 11 a.m. and ends at 2 p.m.
    There is no need to pre-register, just sign in with the Picket Captain at the site and shift you select.
    No identification or ETFO membership number is required.

    Contact your OT Local at etfotvot@gmail.com or 519-641-3936 for further information.
    _____________________________________________
    Paid PD at the BMO Centre
    For those who are registered to attend the paid PD workshops being held after school on January 30th at the BMO Centre, be assured that this event is allowed under ETFO Provincial's Work-to-Rule Protocols and will proceed.
    We look forward to seeing you there!
    __________________________________________

    It Affects Us All
    We comment Bell for their work to end the stigma surrounding mental health.
    TVOT highly recommends checking out Bell's Toolkit page, for those "who want to create positive change but don't know how" -





    Wednesday, January 22, 2020

    TVOT Members Picket Jan 22, 2020

    Occasional Teachers take to the Streets!
    Thank you to everyone who kindly showed support to all the ETFO Thames Valley Occasional Teachers who picketed this morning in defence of public education and for the 
    right to a fairly negotiated Central Agreement.
    How wonderful to see your passion and to speak to so many TVOT members.
    It is truly a privilege to serve you as Local President. 
    _______________________
    Paid PD under Work to Rule
    We have received many questions as to whether or not the PD Sessions that the Local is hosting on January 30th, will proceed in light of Work-To-Rule.
    The Local is pleased to confirm that these workshops are in compliance and will go ahead so if you are one of the lucky members who registered while there will still spaces, please do not hold one of these coveted spots if your plans have changed.  Contact Staff Development and inform them that you cannot attend so that they may release your spot to one of those who are waiting.

    ______________________________________
    What do LTOs do on this Friday's TVDSB PD Day?
    Your TVOT Local Collective Agreement is very clear that any member who has reached the 
    10th day of replacing the same Teacher in the same assignment "will be paid for the day
    and is required to participate ....pro-rated according to the FTE of  the assignment" L20.03