Feature

Annual Meeting 2007

Election for a ne provincia executiv an the unveilin of the next step in ETFOs Closingthe Gap campaign were highlights of the 2007 Annual Meeting.

Closing  the Gap began  in February  with billboards  and  ads featuring  the work members  do.  Delegates to the Annual Meeting  saw new billboards  and print  ads that highlighted the fact that the provincial government provides $711 less funding annually for an elementary  pupil than is provided for a secondary student.

David Clegg, ETFO’s new president,  outlined what “closing  the gap” will mean for elementary  schools:  “My vision  for public  education  in Ontario  is one that has proper class  sizes throughout all of the elementary years,  not just at primary… a dedicated  librarian  and a guidance counsellor  in every elementary school [and] returns music, art, technology  and family studies  programs. But most of all it’s a school where elementary teachers  are given the time and the resources  to do the job right.”

Promises to reduce the gap “just won’t do,”  Clegg  said, noting that the foundation to academic success  is laid in the elementary years  and is the underpinning for strategies to reduce the high school dropout rate and improve student literacy  and numeracy.

In her goodbye speech,  outgoing  president  Emily  Noble challenged  delegates  to work with members and the public and “get it done.” This $711 gap “defies  explanation and devalues the work you and I do and ignores the needs of our students,”  Noble said.  The funding  gap will  also  be ETFO’s  focus during  the next round of bargaining.

Noble highlighted ETFO’s many accomplishments during the past nine years.  Since the federation was founded it has successfully  fought the teacher qualifying test and “tamed”  the teacher  performance  appraisal process.  She called ETFO’s  last campaign, Campaign 200, a “truly defining moment for our union.” That campaign resulted  in every teacher  collective  agreement  providing increased  preparation time —  to 200  minutes  a week  in 2008  —  and   limits on  teachers’  supervisory duties.

Equally successful, she noted, was the occasional teacher  campaign There Is No Substitute… which improved the working conditions of occasional teachers.

Noble received a warm and prolonged standing ovation from delegates  in recognition of her years of service to the organization.

 

KATHLEEN WYNNE

Looking ahead to the October 10 election,  Kathleen Wynne, the minister  of education, summarized the changes the Liberal government has made since it took power in 2003. “I am proud of the progress we have made in education,” Wynne told the delegates. She acknowledged  that the funding gap is a critical issue for ETFO and noted that the gap has shrunk by some $400 per pupil in the past four years. “We will keep doing that important work of investing in elementary  schools and reducing the gap,” she said. The minister also noted that “we have heard your concerns around class size and combined classes in grades 4 to 8,” and she promised to address that issue if re-elected.

 

HOWARD HAMPTON

In his address  to the delegates,  NDP Leader  Howard Hampton  stressed  that “the  funding  formula  has not been  fixed.” He noted that there  is an “explosion of fundraising” in Ontario schools. In 2005–06 school fundraising  in 65 of Ontario’s  105 boards totalled  at least $567 million.  Schools are raising  funds for essentials,  Hampton said, pointing out that one school organized a skip-a-thon to pay for salaries of occasional teachers. The need to rely on fundraising increases  the disparities  between schools, with the top 10 percent of schools raising more money than the bottom 80 percent, Hampton said. Maintenance staff, education assistants,  continuing education and English as a second language supports are not frills, yet all are in short supply as a result of the flawed funding formula.

DAVID MILLER

Toronto  Mayor  David  Miller  showed  his  support  for  public  education  and public services. He noted that the public school system has a significant  role to play in a multicultural  society in promoting understanding  and equality of opportunity.

“Your  Close the Gap campaign  is … part of a broader  issue.  For 25 years neo-conservatives told us public services  should not be valued,  public servants should not be valued,  and that we can have good-quality  services  for free. You and I know that’s not true. We have to make investments so that we can ensure excellent outcomes. Your campaign brings that message back to the forefront.”

Act to Stop  War Members Urged

Buying a cellphone or investing in an RRSP are among the ordinary things Canadians do that may be supporting wars around the world. According to Dr. Samantha Nutt, founder and executive director of War Child Canada, “We are connected to war by the very things we do every day.” She urged ETFO members to take action.

In her address to the Annual Meeting, Dr. Nutt outlined her experiences in countries ravaged by war, and the impact of war on women and children worldwide. War Child Canada is a charity that helps children affected by war.

Few people are aware that one of the causes of war in the Congo is the struggle for control over the mineral coltan used in the manufacture of cellphones, Dr. Nutt stated. However, more than 3 million people have been killed there since 1997, half of them under 16 years old.

In addition, she said, “Even as we support efforts to rid the world of land mines and cluster bombs, we continue to invest in companies that manufacture weapons.” She pointed out that the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board has $50 million invested in companies that manufacture arms.

Dr. Nutt urged delegates to “demand that financial returns do not triumph ethics,” adding that “not knowing where your money goes and who profits is not acceptable.”

Dr Nutt outlined  four  concrete measures ETF member can  take:

  1. Stay informed and connected by accessing and using the teach- ing resources on the War Child Canada websites, warchild.c and getloud.ca.
  2. Donate to development and assistance efforts overseas and lobby the federal government to keep its commitment to contribute .7 percent of gross national income to overseas aid. Currently the government spends only .27 percent.
  3. Change purchasing and investing practices. “Find out if the coltan in your cellphone has been mined ethically.”
  4. Stop believing that life and loss in our country are more important than life and loss elsewhere.

 

ETFO EXECUTIVE 2007-2009

DAVID CLEGG

President

David Clegg comes to the president’s job with a long history of serving on the ETFO provincial executive: he served two terms as first vice-president, was a vice-president from 2002–04, and was an executive member from 1999–2002. Clegg began teaching in 1992 and became involved with ETFO early in his career because he understood the intensely political nature of public education. From 2000–02  he was president of the York Region Teacher Local, ETFO’s third largest local with 3,500 members. Before that he served as chief negotiator, political action chair, and local vice-president. As chief negotiator, Clegg held a key position during the turbulent 1998 lockout – the first in Ontario for public elementary teachers – and subsequent strike in York Region.

HILDA WATKINS

Vice-President  & OTF Table Ocer

A former president of the Greater Essex County Teacher Local, Hilda Watkins  served as OTF president last year. Prior to that she was a member of the governing council of the Ontario College of Teachers. She has been a member of the ETFO executive since 2005 and a teacher for more than 30 years.

SAM HAMMOND

First Vice-President

Sam Hammond was first elected to the ETFO executive in 2003 and has served two terms as vice-president.

From 1998–2003  he was the chief negotiator and grievance officer for the Hamilton-Wentworth  Teacher Local. He was chief negotiator when the local’s 2,300 teacher members went through a 17-day strike/lockout in 2000.

Hammond has worked on numerous municipal, provincial, and federal political campaigns and has been a member of the Hamilton-Wentworth  Labour Council for seven years.

He taught physical education and health, from junior kindergarten through grade 8 for 18 years, and has also taught additional qualification courses in physical education and health and in risk management at the Brock University faculty of education.

BARBARA  BURKETT

Vice-President

Barbara  Burkett has been an ETFO vice-president  since 2004. She was president of the Ontario North East Teacher Local for three years and an ETFO executive member for six years, during which time she has served on numerous ETFO committees. She has been a teacher for 25 years.

Executive Members

DOUG COOK, Upper Grand Teacher Local

DIANE DEWING, Upper Canada Occasional , Teacher Local

RACHEL GENCEY, Durham,  Teacher Local

MARTIN LONG,  Elementary Teachers of Toronto Local

MIKE LUMB, Limestone,  Teacher Local

RIAN MCLAUGHLIN,  Hamilton-Wentworth Occasional, Teacher Local

SHARRON RAYMOND, Peel,  Teacher Local

DEB ST. AMANT, Kawartha Pine Ridge, Teacher Local

SUSAN SWACKHAMMER, Grand Erie, Teacher Local

MAUREEN WEINBERGER, Halton, Teacher Local

 

ETFO PRIORITIES FOR 2007-2008

  • To protect the  collective bargaining rights of all members.
  • To defend  publicly  funded  public education.
  • To serve the  needs  of the  membership.
  • To provide for  the  professional development of members.
  • To promote social  justice in the  areas of anti-poverty,  nonviolence, and equity.
  • To support international assistance and co-operation.
  • To promote the  care  and protection of the  environment.
  • To actively engage members in the Federation.
  • To promote and protect the  health  and safety of members.

Delegates approved  two new prioritiefor  the  organization:

  • To actively engage members in the federation.

This  adds to ETFO’s priorities a commitment  that has been understood but not explicitly  stated:  namely,  to involve  and engage members  in all aspects  of the federation’s work.

  • To promote the  health  and safety of members.

 

ETFO Awards 2007

CHILDRENS LITERATURE AWARD

ITAH SADU’s book A Touch of Zebra introduces children to Chelsea, a mixed-race child unsure of which world– white or black – she belongs to. She is suffering from a “touch of the zebras.” Illustrated  by Stephen Taylor, the book has received the second ETFO Children’s  Literature Award. The award recognizes writing for children in keeping with ETFO’s positions on social justice and equity. Born in Canada and raised in Barbados, Sadu has been a writer and storyteller for more than 20 years. She first wove this story as she travelled to elementary schools around Ontario telling stories about Black history and women’s issues. She was encouraged by teachers to turn it into a print book. Touch ofZebras, her fifth book, has been recognized by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Itah Sadu is co-owner of the Toronto bookstore, A Different Booklist.

HUMANITARIAN AWARD

CHRISTINE   THRASHER,   who  is  a  member  of the  Avon  Maitland  Teacher  Local,  received  the  2006 Humanitarian  Award for an ETFO Member, in recognition  of  her  service  to  education  and  the  community. Trasher  is  known  within  the  board and  the  community for her many projects, among them her hand-drumming program. Based on the philosophy of African hand drumming,  the   program  emphasizes  cooperation,  respect, and community. Thrasher is also active in the community, where her focus is on helping others. She is chair of the board for the Emily Murphy Centre, a second-stage housing facility for women and children in crisis where she has been a volunteer for nine years. As a backup singer to an Elvis tribute artist, she has performed at fundraisers for a support centre for developmentally delayed adults.

SOCIAL ACTIVISM

Windsor resident and lawyer MARION OVERHOLT has a long history of assisting women and advocating for those who live in poverty. ETFO has recognized her work by presenting her with the award for Women Working  in Social Activism  on behalf  of Women and Children.

Although  she  is  not  a  member  of  a  union,  Overholt has been social justice representative  of the Windsor  and District  Labour  Council  Executive  since  2001.  She  was elected to bring her legal expertise to address community social justice issues in partnership with the Labour Council. Overholt  graduated  from  the  University  of Windsor  law school in 1981 and was appointed a staff lawyer at Legal Assistance of Windsor in 1988 where, among other things, she mentors and counsels students. Her community service work began with one of her earliest placements as a lawyer with the Hiatus House Complainant Support Program.  She has been a board member for the Downtown Mission, the Unemployed Help Centre, and the Well-Come  Centre, and chairwoman of the Homeless Coalition of Windsor-Essex.

HONORARY LIFE MEMBERSHIP AWARD

CHRIS LOFTS was president of the Lakehead Teacher Local for seven years. Since beginning her teaching career in1977, she held a variety of union positions including ETFO provincial executive member and OTF governor.

FRED MAYOR was a negotiator in the York Region Teacher Local for many years. He is now an occasional teacher in Thames Valley. During his 45 years of service to his union he has always been involved in collective bargaining. He also helped organize occasional teachers.

ARTIE COOPER, a teacher for 36 years, served as president of the Superior- Greenstone Teacher Local for 18 years. He served on every local negotiating team since 1976 and held every position on the local executive.

KATHY SMITH was active in the Federation of Women Teachers’ Associations as a negotiator and as a director for eight years. She served on many provincial committees and task forces.

PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT – ETFO locals made donations to offset the impact on the environment of their attendance at the Annual Meeting. The Kawartha Pine Ridge Teacher and Occasional Teacher Locals, the York Region Teacher and Occasional Teacher Locals, and the Ontario North East Teacher Local each made donations to environmental  organizations  of about 25 cents per member.

ETFO ACTIVIST HONOURED

ETFO honours local activists  for their contribution  in a variety  of categories.

SHELLY JAN, Peel Occasional Teacher Local (left), Local Leadership Award. DIANE PERSALL, Grand Erie Occasional Teacher Local, Occasional Teacher of the Year.

GREG WEILER, Waterloo Region Teacher Local, ETFO Local  Website of the Year Award;

DIANE DEWING, Upper Canada Occasional Teacher Local, Newsletter Editors Award (multi-sheet category); GARY OSLEY and ADELINA CHECCHIN Greater Essex Teacher Local, NewsletterEditors Awar(single-sheet category).

Other activists who received federation awards are:

RUTH ANN MORLEY, Thames Valley Teacher Local, Health and Safety Activist Award

ANDREA KURTZ, Elementary Teachers of Toronto Local, New Teacher of the Year Award.

ETFO VP HILDA WATKINS, staff member JIM MCMAHON, and former Voice editor, CHARLOTTE MORGAN received OTF fellowship awards.

PRESIDENTS AWARD

ALICE PAIGE, president of the Renfrew  County Teacher Local, received the 2007 President’s  Award. The award, chosen by the president, goes to someone who has made an outstanding contribution to the federation during the past year.

Alice Paige is one of the local presidents who has worked to bring to the attention  of ETFO members the hardships Canada’s participation in the war in Afghanistan  has created for members, their families, and students. She helped to bring about the tour of CFB Petawawa  that highlighted the need for services to help those affected cope with stress.

 

20062007 AWARDS

Aboriginal Women in Education Award– Womens Program

CANDICE JOBE, non-ETFO member

AMANDA JAN BLAKELY, non-ETFO member

CARE ANGEL RUSSELL, non-ETFO member

DENEEN MONTOUR, Grand Erie Teacher Local

 

Anti-Bias Curriculum Development Award

GRACE MATHIESON, Hamilton-Wentworth Teacher Local

 

Arts and Culture Award

RALPH SAVAGE, Grand Erie Occasional Teacher Local

 

Bev Saskoley Anti-Racist Scholarship Award

DIANA ANDREWS, Elementary Teachers of Toronto Local

 

Curriculum Development Award

THOMAS MARTIN, Halton Teacher Local

 

Curriculum Development Award–Womens  Program

SANDEE CARSON ELLIOT, Elementary Teachers of Toronto Local

 

Multimedia Award

JIM CARLETON, Simcoe Teacher Local

 

Multimedia AwardWomens Program

DANA AVERY, Ottawa-Carleton Teacher Local

 

Women Who Develop Special Projects in Science and Technology AwardWomens Program

STEPHANIE REABURN-GIBSON, Limestone Teacher Local

 

Writers Award–Published Work

CHRISTOPHER DINSDALE, York Region Teacher Local

 

Writers Award–Unpublished Work

DAN FISHER, Elementary Teachers of Toronto Local

 

Writers Award, Womens Program– Published Work

KIMBERLY PETERS, Durham Teacher Local

 

DETAILS ABOUT DEADLINES FOR APPLICATIONS FOR ETFO AWARDS are available from MarkFallis at provincial ofce mfallis@etfo.org

Information is also posted on our website: etfo.ca/BeingaMember/ MemberServices/AwardsandScholarships. Or watch for the Awards yer in the stewardmailings.

 

ETFO SCHOLARSHIP AND BURSARY RECIPIENTS

Doctoral Scholarship

HILARY BROWN, Halton Teacher Local

 

Doctoral ScholarshipWomens Program

KAREN BRAUN, Waterloo Region Teacher Local

 

Masters Scholarship

SONIA KADELA, York Region Teacher Local

ERIK SORENSEN, Durham Region Teacher Local

ROSALINA GALLIPPI, Elementary Teachers of Toronto Local

JENNIFER MARLAND, Simcoe County Teacher Local

CHRISTY THOMPSON, Kawartha Pine Ridge Teacher Local

SARA NEALL, Keewatin-Patricia  Teacher Local

ROBERT DUROCHER, Elementary Teachers of Toronto Local

 

Masters ScholarshipWomens Program

DIANE BROWN, Hamilton-Wentworth  Teacher Local

KELLY GODDARD, Limestone Teacher Local

LYNN WILKINS, Elementary Teachers of Toronto Local

DEBORA VERLINDE, York Region Teacher Local

JENNIFER BRIDGETT, Ottawa-Carleton Teacher Local

SUSAN GARDNER, Ottawa-Carleton Teacher Local

MARLA VANDENBERG, Simcoe County Teacher Local

 

Educational Support/Professional Support Person Bursary

TRACEY MACKENZIE, Renfrew County ESP Local

 

Bursary–Persons with a Disability/Visible Minorities/Aboriginal Persons

RHONDA RATTRAY-PINSENT, Renfrew County ESP Local; JAMIE CATON; JAMIESON DYER.

Bursary–Persons with a Disability/Visible Minorities/Aboriginal Persons Award,WomenProgram

LYDIA WONG, NATALIE GONPUTH, ELISA TRAFICANTE, GENITA CAMPBELL

 

Bursaries for Sons And Daughters of ETFO Members

ALLISON DICKIE, daughter of Donna Dickie, Bluewater  Occasional Teacher Local

HEATHER LEE, daughter of Patricia Lee, Algoma Occasional Teacher Local

DAVID SIMPSON, son of Anita Simpson, York Region Teacher Local

SASHA CHARNLEY, daughter of Suzanne Charnley, Ottawa-Carleton Teacher Local

AMY BAGSHAW, daughter of Don Bagshaw, York Region Occasional Teacher Local

NICOLE RONALD, daughter of Cynthia Ronald, Waterloo Region Teacher Local

KERI KAUFMANN, daughter of Mary Kaufmann,  Greater Essex County Teacher Local

JANINE DAVIES, daughter of Audrey Davies, Kawartha Pine Ridge Teacher Local

DEANNE CLARA, daughter of Annamarie Clara, Lakehead Teacher Local

FREYA ROACH, daughter of R. Yvonne Koves, Waterloo Region Teacher Local

 

OTIP BURSAR WINNERS

Fiv children  of  ETFO members  hav each  received  $1,000  bursaries  through  the  OTIP BursarProgram. They are:

  • JOSHUA BACH, Collingwood
  • DAVIAN HART, Guelph
  • ANNE RUNCIMAN, Orangeville
  • MADELINE MAYO, Toronto
  • JACQUELINE TURNBULL, Hamilton

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The past year of negotiations has been challenging for ETFO members, but through solidarity and collective action ETFO has consistently shown that we are united in our commitment to democracy and the protection of our members.

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ETFO president David Clegg told delegates to the 2008 annual meeting that the federation is determined to Close the Gap in this round of collective bargaining.