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.
When they came to power the McGuinty Liberals passed a law banning the practice of spending taxpayer money on “positive ads” – ads that promoted government programs in a blatantly partisan way.
“I’m a bit sorry he did that,” Education Minister Sandra Pupatello told ETFO’s Annual Meeting, “because the public is not aware of what’s happening in Ontario schools.”
The Minister went on to list the government’s accomplishments in education: increased funding, reduction in primary class sizes, additional days for teacher professional development, changes in the governance of the Ontario College of Teachers, and the $22 million that the government provided to teacher federations’ professional programming.
And, like her predecessor Gerard Kennedy, Pupatello pointed out that the hostility between government and teachers and their federations is a thing of the past. “Your representatives have never spent as much time [in government ofﬁces] as they have in the past three years.”
Examples that she listed include the work of the Provincial Stability Commission ( see the collective bargaining column on page 19), the Student Success Commission, and the many issue-based partnership tables where teacher federation representatives have a seat.
In response to questions, Pupatello acknowledged that there is a great deal more to be done. Delegates asked about funding for special education and English as a second language. As well, they pointed to the gap in per-pupil funding – the amount spent per pupil at the elementary level is far less than that spent at the secondary level. And despite funding increases, the gap has not diminished.
“We’re just getting started here,” Pupatello replied, asking for patience.
NDP leader Howard Hampton took issue with Pupatello’s description of the education portfolio as a government success story.
He pointed out that in opposition the Liberals supported the ﬁndings of the Rozanski Report. Mordecai Rozanksi led the Education Equality Task Force which, in the winter of 2002, recommended that the government update base education funding levels to deal with real costs. The existing funding formula, introduced by the Conservatives, bases funding on the number of pupils in a school.
“We are now on the verge of another election and the funding formula still exists,” Hampton said.
He noted that Boards that have run into difﬁculty – like the Dufferin-Peel Catholic School Board – have been advised by the government to use ESL funding to pay for on- going operating costs, to lay off custodians, to cut continuing education and to reduce reading recovery programs.
“It is boilerplate Conservative party language,” Hampton claimed.
Hampton reiterated the NDP commitment to public education and public services generally.
Farley Flex ’s hero is his mother
Farley Fex, a Canadian Idol judge, was one of the Annual Meeting’s keynote speakers. He spoke to delegates about the importance of nurturing conﬁdence and talent in young people. He said his mother did that by working hard to expose her children to as many areas of interest as possible. This early exposure to sports, music, and travel helped set his own successful career path. “She implanted self-esteem and gave us the conﬁdence to overcome adversity.”
He urged teachers to do likewise and to avoid blanket characterizations when working with children and youth. “They will live up or down to your expectations.”
Flex has spent his career discovering, promoting, and developing new Canadian talent. As a teenager he was an event promoter. He went to university on a soccer scholarship. He was one of the founders, and the ﬁrst music director, of Flow 95.1, an urban music radio station in Toronto. He is involved with a number of organizations that work with youth.
But despite his media prominence, “My role is not as special as the role you guys play,” he said. “Everything you do, everything we do, the way we speak to kids encourages things that are amazing. We have to understand the potential that is there for everyone.”
ETFO 2006-07 BUDGET General Fund
Fees from Teachers, Occasional Teachers, ESP/PSP
& associate members + interest
|Political Action/Public Relations Fund||(1,404,548)|
OTHER PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS $ 179,900
GOVERNANCE 2,466,283 annual, executive, & representative council
meetings & released executive costs
ETFO LOCALS 16,212,160 fee rebates to locals, local release time, training
& materials for locals & stewards
COMMITTEE, TASK FORCE & WORK GROUP MEETINGS 189,196 two meetings for each
ASSISTANCE 609,550 awards, donations, scholarships & project overseas
EQUITY & WOMEN’S PROGRAMS 1,182,300 race relations, employment equity, anti-violence & women’s programs*
PROTECTIVE SERVICES FOR MEMBERS 1,891,750 collective bargaining, professional relations services, health & safety, pensions & legal costs
PROFESSIONAL SERVICES 1,264,200 PD programs, teacher education & conferences, publication & distribution of VOICE, LINK, EXPRESS & other communications, pamphlets
PROVINCIAL OFFICE 2,332,200 rent, maintenance, taxes, phones, equipment, printing & postage & members’ records
STAFF SALARIES & BENEFITS 12,239,457 provincial staﬀ salaries & beneﬁts
ORGANIZATIONAL SERVICES & SUNDRIES 490,000 legal costs, consultants, insurance & auditors
TRANSFERS TO RESTRICTED FUNDS 820,134 transferred assets to be accumulated in separate funds to meet long term goals
TOTAL EXPENDITURE $ 39,877,130
surplus (deﬁcit) of expenditure over revenue $(156,390)
* Each year, ETFO allocates 6% of the annual budget ($2,284,184) to programs for women. Some of these programs are in the Equity & Women’s Programs section but most are spread throughout the budget.
ETFO priorities for 2006-2007
Annual Meeting delegates passed the following priorities for 2006-07:
- 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, non-violence, and equity.
- To support international assistance and co-operation.
- • To promote the care and protection of the environment
2005-2007 Provincial Executive
President Emily Noble, Algoma
First Vice-President David Clegg, York Region
Vice-President Barbara Burkett, Ontario North East
Vice-President Sam Hammond, Hamilton-Wentworth
OTF Oﬃcer Hilda Watkins, Greater Essex
Rachel Gencey, Durham
Shelly Jan, Peel OT
Martin Long, Toronto
Mike Lumb, Limestone
Gayle Manley, Algoma
Lynda McDougall, Upper Grand
Rian McLaughlin, Hamilton-Wentworth OT
Sharron Raymond, Peel
Helen Victoros, Toronto
ETFO scholarship and bursary winners
Bursaries – Sons and Daughters of ETFO Members
Allison Dickie (daughter of Donna Dickie, Bluewater Teacher Local)
Julie Hillaby (daughter of Mary Hillaby, York Region Teacher Local)
Jennifer McMaster (daughter of Jeannie McMaster, Keewatin-Patricia Teacher Local)
Wayne Russell (son of Brenda Russell, York Region Teacher Local)
Gregory Jozef Violot (son of Raymond Violot, Waterloo Region Teacher Local)
Bursaries – Persons with Disability/Visible Minorities/Aboriginal
Ariel P. Vente
Anjili Pant, Hamilton-Wentworth Teacher Local
Nina Danielle Anaman
Douglas Thur, Hastings-Prince Edward Occasional Teacher Local
Doctoral Scholarship – WP
Arlene Campbell, York Region Teacher Local
Master ’s Scholarship
Linsday Adams, Rainbow Teacher Local
David Banerjee, Elementary Teachers of Toronto Robin Dashnay, Simcoe County Teacher Local Luisa Giaitzis, Halton Teacher Local
Douglas Jones, Elementary Teachers of Toronto Jill Mountford, Upper Grand Teacher Local Tania Sterling, Peel Teacher Local
Master ’s Scholarship – WP
Jennifer Hart, Elementary Teachers of Toronto
Flora Joskolka, York Region Teacher Local
Jodi Lynne Regier, Avon Maitland Teacher Local
Alyson Shearer, Durham Teacher Local
Mejalla Skrinda, Thames Valley Teacher Local
Laura Smith Christian, Hamilton-Wentworth Teacher Local
Alice Te, Elementary Teachers of Toronto
Other Awards and Honours
Aboriginal Women in Education
Nikki Soliman, Durham Teacher Local
Betty Gunner, James Bay Teacher Local
Robyn Turgeon, Thames Valley Teacher Local
Adelle Lewis, Elementary Teachers of Toronto
Ontario Teachers’ Federation Fellowships
James Bartleman, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario
Ron Gugula, ETFO Staﬀ
Barbara Richter, ETFO Staﬀ
Harold Vigoda, ETFO Staﬀ
Deadline for applications for ETFO awards
- Anti-Bias Curriculum Development Award
- Arts and Culture Award
- Curriculum Development Award
- Curriculum Development Award—Women’s Program
- Multi-Media Award
- Multi-Media Award – Women’s Program
- Rainbow Visions Award
- Women Who Develop Special Projects in Science and Technology – Women’s Program
- Writer’s Award (Published)
- Writer’s Award – Women’s Program (Published)
- Writer’s Award (Unpublished)
- Writer’s Award – Women’s Program (Unpublished)
- ETFO Local Website of the Year Award
- Health and Safety Activist Award
- Honorary Life Membership
- Humanitarian Award for an ETFO Member
- Humanitarian Award for a Non-ETFO Member
- Innovative Projects on Behalf of Children Living in Poverty Award
- Local Leadership Award
- New Teacher Award
- Newsletter Editor’s Award (single and multi-sheet categories)
- Occasional Teacher of the Year Award
- Outstanding Role Model for Women – Women’s Program
- Women Working in Social Activism on Behalf of Women and Children – Women’s Program
- Aboriginal Women in Education – Women’s Program
- Bev Saskoley Anti-Racist Scholarship
- Children’s Literature Award
- Doctoral Scholarship
- Doctoral Scholarship – Women’s Program
- Educational Support/Professional Support Person Bursary
- ETFO Bursaries (for sons and daughters of ETFO members)
- ETFO Bursaries (for persons with a disability, visible minorities, Aboriginal, and LGBT members)
- ETFO Bursaries – Women’s Program (for persons with a disability, visible minorities, Aboriginal, and LGBT members)
- Master’s Scholarship
- Master’s Scholarship – Women’s Program
- Women’s Studies Scholarship
For information about ETFO’s awards program:
Please contact Jerry DeQuetteville at provincial office; or visit our website, etfo.ca, and click on Getting Involved.
Honoured for their Federation work
Ellen Chambers-Picard (left) received the 2006 Humanitarian Award for an ETFO Member for outstanding service to education and the community. Chambers- Picard is a member of the Lakehead Teacher Local. Chambers-Picard advocated for her gay son who came out and was harassed and bullied by his peers. She had to choose whether to speak out for her child or quietly comply with her employer. With ETFO’s assistance, Chambers-Picard ﬁled a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission. Its resolution resulted in signiﬁcant changes in the school board’s practices and policies.
Chambers-Picard also founded a community group to counteract homophobia and will be lobbying Thunder Bay city council to support Gay Pride Day. Jan Heinonen received the 2006 President’s Award. Heinonen is the president of the Near North Occasional Teacher Local whose 290 members staged a three-week work stoppage in May in support of their demands for fair pay.
In presenting the award, President Emily Noble described Heinonen as a focused and strong-minded leader determined to achieve a fair wage settlement for her members. “She has worked tenaciously, quietly and tirelessly serving and assisting members,,” Noble said. “She is very much a team player who always talks about the team and others...”
Deborah Wells (left) and Allan Hasketh (not shown) from the Limestone Teacher Local received the award for Best Local Website. Kim Pearson (centre) and JoAnne Chapman-Beauvais, from the Waterloo OT Local produced the Best Local Newsletter.
Honorary Life Members Patricia St. Laurent, a teacher for 35 years, worked for 20 years as the collective bargaining chair of the Kawartha Pine Ridge Teacher Local. ETFO staﬀ oﬃcer, Barbara Richter, is retiring after having worked for ETFO and its predecessor organization the Federation of Women Teachers’ Associations of Ontario for more than 30 years. Ruth Behnke, is a former ETFO ﬁrst vice-president and executive oﬃcer, and former president of the Lambton Kent Teacher Local. Recently retired as president of the Hastings- Prince Edward Teacher Local, Dave Patterson was a teacher for more than 35 years.
Teacher of the Year: Dave Patterson, recently retired Hastings-Prince Edward Local president, received the Teacher of the Year Award. Beverly Ferlatte, second vice-president of the Upper Canada Occasional Teacher Local, was named Occasional Teacher of the Year. The Health and Safety Activist Award went to Sharlene Smith from the Lakehead Teacher Local.
Two more ETFO locals reached agreements with their boards during the past year to allow payroll deductions of 10 cents per member per day for the ETFO Humanity Fund. With Emily Noble (centre) are Margaret Crawford, president, Grand Erie OT Local (left); and Ruth McLean president, Upper Grand Teachers Local.
Honoured for their work in the community
Kaysandra Curtis thought parents should be more involved in helping their young children learn how to read. So she set about educating them about how to do that.
“Read to your bunny until your bunny reads to you” is the catchphrase of the Pediatric READ Committee, a group Curtis helped found. The group distributes book bags – complete with a book, a library card and a bookmark – to new moms in hospital.
It’s just one of numerous activities Curtis has undertaken to promote literacy in her community. Curtis received the 2006 ETFO Award for Women Working in Social Activism on Behalf of Women and Children, which recognizes individuals or groups who have been outstanding social activists on behalf of women and children in Ontario.
Curtis began her eﬀorts as a member of the Parent Advisory Council at Princess Anne Public School in Windsor. She has raised funds for a wide variety of literacy resources. The Christopher Paul and Kaysandra Curtis Children’s Learning Centre at the Windsor Central Library is named to honour her and her husband, a prize-winning children’s book author.
A pamphlet describing hands-on environmenal projects helped kick oﬀ Ian Naisbitt’s long involvement in environmental activism.
Naisbitt was teaching science and social studies at Concord Public School in Windsor when he read the pamphlet and decided he and his class could make a contribution. They adopted a four-kilometre stretch of the Little River and began cleaning it up.
“Anytime you can make the connection for kids between the class- room and the community, it’s always an easy motivator,,,,” Naisbitt says. He and his stu- dents pulled discarded cars, appliances, tires – sometimes as many as 300 – and other waste from the river and its banks. And after a couple of years they began planting trees as well.
That school project spawned the Little River Enhancement Group, which today involves scores of people who look after a watershed of more than 60 square kilometres in three municipalities. The group has raised thousands of dollars to build nature trails.
Naisbitt received the 2006 ETFO Humanitarian Award for a Non-member, which recognizes an individual who is not an ETFO member and who has given outstanding service to education and the community. Naisbitt retired from teaching in 2004.
The award is the latest in a string of awards Naisbitt has received, both for his teaching and for his environmental activism.
Debora Ellis received the ﬁrst ETFO Children’s Literature Award for her book Three Wishes: Palestinian and Israeli Children Speak.
The award recognizes quality children’s literature that is in keeping with ETFO’s positions on social justice and equity.
Ellis’s book portrays the current real- ity of the Israeli–Palestinian conﬂict from the perspective of 20 Israeli and Palestinian youths who describe how the war has aﬀected them.
The book also won the Vicky Metcalf Award for juvenile ﬁction as part of the 2005 Writers’ Trust of Canada’s literary awards.
Children who struggle to survive and rise above challenging circumstances are a recurring theme in Ellis’s work. Her ﬁrst book, Looking for X, won the Governor General’s Award for Children’s Text in 2000. The heroine, an 11-year- old girl, Kyber, lives in a low-income part of Toronto with her mother and autistic twin brothers.
The Breadwinner (2001), Parvana’s Journey (2002), and Mud City (2003) make up The Breadwinner Trilogy and tell the story of young Afghan girl, Parvana and her friend Shauzia, and their eﬀorts to survive under the Taliban regime.
Ellis’ latest books, The Heaven Shop (2004) and Our Stories, Our Songs, deal with the pandemic of HIV/AIDS in Africa and the prejudices and hardships faced by children orphaned because of AIDS.