What do you do when you can’t find a resource to start important conversations in your classroom? You create one, of course. Peel teacher Greg Maxton (who writes under his married name, Kentris) had become increasingly frustrated with the persistent, intentional and casual homophobia that he saw in his middle school teaching environment.
- Members hear details of provincial offer In January and February ETFO President David Clegg met with locals to provide information on bargaining. Attempts to reach a provincial agree- ment failed in early December because ETFO refused to sign a deal that included contract strips. Members of the Niagara Local (above) heard that the December offer included increased supervision time for teachers, among other things. In mid-February ETFO agreed to a revised proposal that did not contain strips. Details are provided in the president’s and general secretary’s columns on pages 4 and 5, as well as in the collective bargaining column on page. 12.
- ETFO’s Financial Management Conference for women in December attracted 100 participants who heard from financial guru and television host Gail Vaz-Oxlade, and attended workshops on a variety of topics including budgeting, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, and estate planning.
- Allison Lupton and her husband, Geoff somers, both ETFO members and accomplished musicians, provided a musical interlude at the February Representative Council meeting. In 2008, Lupton and her band were nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award for their CD “Fly Like Swallows.” The pair are members of the Waterloo Teacher Local.
- Violence is not part of any job description
On December 6 – the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Againstwomen– the Ontario Federation of Labour launched a campaign to raise awareness about the impact of violence against women both in the workplace and domestically and the need for legislative reforms to support women. For example, the OFL argues that the definition for compassionate leave in the Employment Standards Act should be expanded so that abused women can access the 10 weeks of leave the act provides. This would give them time to address legal issues, find housing and child care, and to heal. As part of the campaign, postcards were widely distributed. They will be presented to the government to coincide with International Women’s Day on March 8. More information is available at ofl.ca.
- Becoming a more skilled workshop presenter was the goal of 25 participants in ETFO’s Presenters’ Palette. The two-day training sessions provided aspiring presenters with an opportunity to improve their skills in planning and preparation, facilitation, and collaborating with colleagues with similar leadership interests.
- Building Capacity, Building Bridges, a provincial equity conference, provided leadership training for women members interested in learning how to become local resource people and promote social justice, antiracist/anti-oppression education in their schools and communities. Forty-seven members attended.
- Workshop leader Dolana Mogadime spoke with participants attend- ing the second Professional learning Community for women Members. Through personal reflection, discussion of current research issues, and exploring the stories of immigrant educators, participants enhanced their understanding of equity issues and their skills in delivering an equity-based curriculum. Participants learned from each other by sharing their own immigration experiences and their teaching practices in culturally diverse Ontario schools.
In Hastings-Prince Edward, the Eleemntary Teachers' Federation Teacher Local (ETFO H-PE) has become mroe than an organization for its members - it is an integral part of the community.