ETFO has done a great deal in the past couple of years to fight for our collective bargaining rights and the democratic rights of all Ontarians. I have been inspired and awed as I’ve watched ETFO members respond to unfair and undemocratic government initiatives with strength, commitment, and dedication.
Control Your Future
ETFO launches its bargaining campaign ETFO’s November 2011 collective bargaining conference brought together 300 local presidents, negotiators, and members of collective bargaining committees. ETFO teacher, occasional teacher, and ESP/PSP collective agreements expire next August. Collective bargaining campaign materials unveiled at the conference include a specially designed app for smartphones. To download it and to find a wealth of collective bargaining information visit www.controlyourfuture.ca.
Conference participants took part in training sessions outlining their roles and responsibilities, collective bargaining skills, and communications skills and strategies. Mary Bell, president of the Wisconsin Education Association Council, described anti-union legislation some states have passed and the fight-back campaigns unions have staged. The next issue of Voice will have a full report.
President Sam Hammond describes the process that led to the determination of ETFO’s bargaining goals on page 4. The bargaining goals are outlined on page 7. Watch for more collective bargaining news in the next issue of Voice and in the e-newsletter @ETFO/FEEO.
Representative Council brings together local presidents and activists three times a year. At the October meeting members are elected to Representative Council committees, including the ETFO budget committee. Elected to the budget committee for 2011–2012 were Karen Fisk, Hastings-Prince Edward; Suzanne Gill, Peel; Eugene James, Elementary Teachers of Toronto; George Taylor, Durham Occasional Teacher Local;and Dave Wildman, Ottawa-Carleton Occasional Teacher Local. Members elected to serve on the 2011-2012 steering committee are Gundi Barbour, Upper Grand; Anne Saltel, Keewatin-Patricia; Mario Spagnuolo, Greater Essex County; Sylvia van Campen, Upper Canada Occasional Teacher Local; and Gerard O’Neill, Durham. Members elected to serve on the 2011-2012 selection committee for standing committees are Andrew Aloe, Upper Grand Occasional TeacherLocal; Janet Fraser, Ottawa-Carleton; Jan Heinonen, Near North Occasional Teacher Local; Kelly Holley, Algoma; and Ron Rivait, Lambton Kent.
Leadership ETFO local leaders and committee chairs attended workshops in late October designed to add to update them on new legislation and to provide skills to assist them in their roles as local executive members and chairs of local committees. Speakers addressed such topics as social media, polling, professional learning, health and safety, and equity and human rights.
Social Justice Conference for Men
In May, ETFO hosted a two-day Social Justice Conference for Men with 55 participants from all over the province. Funded by the ministry of education, the conference focused on such issues as gender equity, racial bias, power and privilege, LGBTQ, poverty, and finding and becoming allies. Participants heard about new Web-based e-learning modules that are part of the social media campaign It Starts With You, It Stays With Him, for use with Junior and Intermediate students. These are now available at itstartswithyou.ca.
Developed by the White Ribbon Campaign in collaboration with ETFO, one module provides 30 minutes of information about teaching toward gender equality and healthy relationships. Included are lesson plans and documents to support the delivery of schoolwide events or programming around these issues.
Also available is a collection of short films by nine men about their journeys to manhood. The themes covered include fatherhood, fatherlessness, peer pressure, relation ships, the use and experience of violence. The accompany ing discussion guide makes it easy to use the films in the classroom.
To access these resources use the username ETFO and password WhiteRibbon. When you have explored the learn ing module please fill out a survey to provide feedback.
Executive assistant, Equity and Women’s Services
Managing stress: choose how to react
When it comes to managing stress, it’s all in how you choose to react to it, according to work/life balance expert Dr. Glenn DiPasquale. ”While stress may be unavoidable, you can learn strat egies to put stress in context and deal with it effectively,” DiPasquale told ETFO Leadership Conference delegates. Along with resisting the tendency to “catastrophize” events, we can choose to be positive and to laugh. “When we feel stress, our body produces cortisol. Laughter not only lowers cortisol and stimulates the immune system, its effects last well into the next day,” he says. Noting that stress-related illnesses are responsible for 90 percent of visits to doctors, DiPasquale emphasized better time management, prioritizing, and learning how to say no, and key lifestyle changes such as regular exercise and quit ting smoking. ”A low blood level of nicotine mimics stress,” DiPasquale said. “What you’re really experiencing is nicotine withdrawal so when you have a cigarette, there is instant release from that state, giving you the false impression that the cigarette has relaxed you. ”As leaders, remember that stress is contagious. You need to get hold of your stress and radiate calmness,” DiPasquale reminded his audience.
ETFO media relations officer
ETFO Members Recognized
ETFO members Simon Ives, Tanya Leary, and Lynn Wilkins have received Certificates of Achievement as part of the 2010-2011 Prime Minister’s Teaching Awards. Ives, a kindergarten teacher at Hillcrest P.S., and Wilkins a teacher at Courcellete P.S., are members of the Elementary Teachers of Toronto Local. Leary, a teacher at Waabgon Gamig First Nation School, is a member of the York Region Teacher Local.
The deadline for the 2011-2012 awards is January 9. For more information visit www. pma-ppm.gc.ca.
DECE collective agreements
Four ETFO locals representing designated early childhood educators (DECEs) have negotiated first collective agreements. Simcoe County, Rainbow, Halton, and Hamilton-Wentworth DECE members ratified their agreements this fall.
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.