In 1998, delegates to the first ETFO annual meeting unanimously passed the following motion: That the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario work to restore free and full collective bargaining rights to teachers and education workers.
During the past four years there have been tremors and shockwaves across the education landscape, but for the most part educators, parents, administrators, and trustees have been lulled into passive acceptance. Most are oblivious to the devastation that is coming.
This will be my last column as ETFO president. I have served on the ETFO provincial executive for nine years, the last ﬁve years as your president. It has been a privilege and a joy to watch this organization evolve into the accomplished union that it is today.
This is the ﬁrst of a four-part history of Ontario public elementary teachers and their federations. We will learn about ETFO and its predecessor organizations, the challenges they faced and the victories they achieved.
The job of ETFO first vice-president blends responsibility with opportunity.