The 2006 ETFO Annual Meeting was the ﬁrst without elections. Last year delegates decided to elect leaders for two-year terms;this year they spent four days focusing on Federation business. In her opening address to the 600 delegates and alternates, ETFO President Emily Noble emphasized the gains ETFO made in collective bargaining for occasional teachers this past year and the overall achievements of the last few years. “This Federation has grown tremendously in reputation and expertise. Our goal has been to be the leader and to achieve excellence in every endeavour that we have undertaken. In promoting equity and social justice, in providing professional development, and in protecting our members, we have very clearly met that goal.” Looking forward to the next round of collective bargaining in 2008, Noble said that she could see no advantage in having a provincial framework. Instead agreements will need to be negotiated board by board. Noble urged delegates to pay close attention to resolutions: “Let’s put our energy into debating the higher-level organizational issues that impact the welfare of all of our members.” A resolution to reduce the number of report cards from three to two received overwhelming delegate support and generated a great deal of media attention, creating a debate across the province. Lobbying the Minister of Education to make the change will be one of ETFO’s priorities over the coming year, Noble said. “Our members want to teach; they don’t want to ﬁll out forms that don’t improve education for students.“ In addition, ETFO added its voice to the voices of over 80 other labour, faith, and community organizations and called on Prime Minister Harper and the Canadian government to join in the global ﬁght against HIV/AIDS. Annual Meeting donations added to the $60,000 the ETFO Humanity Fund gave this past year to the Stephen Lewis Foundation to ﬁght AIDS in Africa. Delegates also called on the federal government to denounce the violent attacks in the Middle East that caused numerous civilian casualties, many of them children. They urged all parties to the current conﬂict to respect international law, ensure humanitarian action, and work to establish a lasting peace in the region. Other resolutions directed ETFO leaders to lobby the Ministry of Education to:
- Implement recommendations of the 2002 Rozanski Commission, which called for substantive changes in how education is funded
- Provide additional funding to ensure schools with intermediate students have qualiﬁed guidance counsellors.