2006 ETFO Annual Meeting

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.


Sandra Pupatello

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.


Howard Hampton

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

REVENUE                                                                                    $57,232,920

Fees from Teachers, Occasional Teachers, ESP/PSP

& associate members + interest

Defense Fund (10,885,247)
Political Action/Public Relations Fund (1,404,548)
OTF/CTF/EI Fees (3,393,130)
QECO Fees (1,008,000)
OFL/CLC Fees (821,255)
NET REVENUE $39,720,740

Projected Expenditure

OTHER PROFESSIONAORGANIZATIONS                         $ 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

PROFESSIONASERVICES                                                         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 SALARIE & BENEFITS                                                 12,239,457 provincial staff salaries & benefits

ORGANIZATIONAL SERVICES & SUNDRIES                            490,000 legal costs, consultants, insurance & auditors

TRANSFER TO RESTRICTE 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 Womens 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


Executive members  

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

Amanda Williams-Yeagers

Satnam Parmar

Ariel P. Vente

Anjili Pant, Hamilton-Wentworth  Teacher Local

Israelita Olaez

Nina Danielle Anaman

Yollanda Zhang


Doctoral Scholarship

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 Scholarshi  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

December 1

  • 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)

February 1

  • 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


April 30

  • 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 ETFmembers)
  • 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 informatio about ETFOs 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), Parvanas Journey (2002), and  MuCity (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.