OSSTF Provincial Communication

Message From Provincial OSSTF here.

Release from Ontario Labour Relations Board  OLRB Case No: 1228-20-HS.

“We are extremely disappointed in the decision of the Chair of the Labour Relations Board when he dismissed our health and safety case without even hearing the evidence. Our case challenged the lack of effective health and safety measures in the Province’s Guide to Re- Opening Ontario Schools, which set out the legal requirements for re-opening our schools.”   Pierre Côté, General Secretary

Sad news indeed.
In solidarity,
Aileen~

COVID-19 Investigative Process

As a result of the recent case at Adam Scott, yesterday in conversation with the Peterborough Health Department the following process was discussed:

  • Health Department Contact Tracer employees have a series of questions that they use to determine risk when interviewing someone who has been exposed to a positive case.   
  • Teachers who properly wear their medical grade mask and a face shield in class will likely be downgraded to low risk.  
  • Time spent close to a positive individual who is actively displaying symptoms must be in excess of 15 minutes. 

The health department stated that there are many misconceptions with the public about transmission.  

  • They expressed confidence in our current PPE and practices to limit transmission in teachers, indicating these are the medical standards in our hospitals. 
  • They caution that teachers should show as much diligence in interactions with each other by not congregating without social distance in staff rooms to eat,  not carpooling without a mask, and not participating in large social gatherings on the weekend.   

They encourage mask breaks and exercise for students and staff.  Getting outside to create social distance  is helpful.  Teachers should also practice regular hand washing or sterilizing hands and practicing what they called cough etiquette. 🙂
 
They encouraged seating plans and an accurate student contact information database to assist the notification and tracing process. 
 
I have requested any information they would like to be shared with members be sent to me for distribution but no doubt it is available on our public health websites.

Associate Teachers During Covid-19

Regarding practicum placements, these are unprecedented times, and the decision of whether or not to take on the role of an associate teacher is difficult. Many teachers did not know what, or where, they were teaching when schools opened for the 2020 – 2021 school year. To compound the challenges, many Faculties of Education and School Boards are dealing with a situation where many TCs did not move to the cities where their program is delivered. This means that they may be looking for placements in different parts of the province, and each Faculty has its own assessment and reporting criteria and forms. In principle, if a teacher who has volunteered to supervise a TC is teaching in person, the TC will be able to do the same. If the teacher is teaching online, the practicum would have to be online too. There are more health and safety concerns for in-person practica and the potential for more boundary considerations in an online environment. Advice for those wishing to be an Associate teacher for a teacher Candidate. 
Provincial Document

QECO Information

Document
Please be aware that if a member submitted a QECO evaluation in the past for elementary that is higher than their current OSSTF/FEESO certification rating on file with secondary, HR may not be aware that you are entitled to be paid at a higher category. Members who previously had submitted a higher QECO rating for elementary teaching purposes are responsible for informing HR that this document is on file.

In solidarity,
aileen~

REPORTED COVID CASE

A message regarding the Covid-19 case that occurred at Adam Scott will be forth coming later in the weekend. Members who have questions or concerns regarding this should reach out to our office.  You are also reminded that in stressful times we have an excellent EAP program available.  Call Posaction Plus through OTIP (partially owned by OSSTF) 1-800-668-0193 (plan 48069 / certificate 902)

  • Offers you and your dependents up to 12 sessions
  • Sessions can be in person/phone
  • Line is open 24/7

 

SINCERE APOLOGIES

 

The name of one the workshops was provided as “anti-Black racism workshop” but it should have read “a workshop on addressing anti-Black racism”.   It was not our intention to offend anyone and we offer our sincere apologies for the oversight.

 

In solidarity,
Aileen~

Three Great OSSTF Provincial Opportunities

This message is from Ellen Hinan (D14 Education Services Officer and TBU VP)
We have several really interesting provincial OSSTF opportunities available for which our members can apply.  Please contact Ellen Hinan know if you have more questions or would like any help with the application.  OSSTF is always looking for fresh faces so do not worry about your experience level. Just put your name forward.  Participating on workgroups and writing teams are very rewarding experiences.

 Due dates are coming up quickly so please consider putting your application in soon!

Full Provincial Update Report Available in Links

This message is from Harvey Bischof (OSSTF/FEESO President)

1. Updated OLRB appeal timeline chart and OSSTF/FEESO outline of oral arguments
OSSTF/FEESO and our other education affiliates AEFO, ETFO, OECTA, continue to argue our case against the Ford government’s return to schools plan at the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB). This week saw the hearing begin with preliminary issues and expert reports presented by the unions.
Included in this update are:
• OSSTF/FEESO’s outline of oral arguments as presented at the OLRB hearing this week
• The updated OLRB hearing timeline

2. New OSSTF/FEESO safety for all website
In response to COVID-19 and the reopening of publicly-funded schools, OSSTF/FEESO has focused on the need for improved health and safety protocols in our schools and communities. Part of these efforts include a new Safety for All campaign that includes new social media graphics/branding, resources to promote A safe return for all: OSSTF/FEESO’s framework for reopening schools in 2020–2021, and a new Safety for All section on the provincial website. The page is designed to offer a combination of advocacy tools, resources, community outreach, and other items aimed at fostering greater support from members, parents, and other allies in our quest for improved learning and working conditions during the pandemic and beyond. This page will evolve as the issues and challenges related to the pandemic continue to unfold. 

3. A summary of information, messages and media from OSSTF/FEESO
Information and messages OSSTF/FEESO Provincial Office issued to members between September 9–22, 2020 around school reopening plans are available in the full report
4. General Articles/Items of Interest
Media links are provided in the full report.

Stay well and be sure to focus on wellness this weekend,
In solidarity,
aileen~

Financial Planning Towards Retirement

Webinars focus specifically on pension planning and retirement. Common sense financial strategies and retirement planning ideas. The webinars are approximately 75 minutes long and provide opportunities for members to ask questions of the OSSTF/FEESO and Educators Financial Group presenters. Members may submit a request for individual follow up through the following web link: https://educatorsfinancialgroup.ca/.
OTPP members should choose from one of the following dates for the OTPP Pension Webinar. Please register using the link below for the date that you have selected. 
• Tuesday, October 6 from 4:00 pm – 5:15 pm 
• Wednesday, October 21 from 4:00 pm – 5:15 pm
• Thursday, November 26 from 4:00 pm – 5:15 pm

OLRB case update

Please find linked OSSTF’s Outline of Oral Arguments at our ongoing OLRB complaint in
relation to health and safety concerns on re-opening of schools during the pandemic. The
OLRB is still dealing with the Crown’s preliminary objections.  
Full outline here

HVAC update from the co-chair of Joint Health and Safety 

The following pertains to KPR for both panels 
1)      KPR Immediately hired a 3rd party consultant to provide “best use” of the money recommendations. OSSTF, ETFO, CUPE will continue to work with them as we utilize the $800,000+ dollars that have been allocated by the ministry.
2)      The plan we have conceived was further confirmed through a provincial seminar sponsored by COSBO and put on by ASHRAE (Professional Association for HVAC).
3)      We have changed the “minimum” fresh air point in our exchange systems from 20% to 35%. This is a minimum.  At times it may be 100% depending on the humidity, outside air temperature etc. This is not a simple equation though as outside air temperature and humidity have to be considered as it can create an uncomfortable environment or a better environment for COVID 19.
4)      We are upgrading the filters in our HVAC systems from MERV 5 to MERV 8 right away. MERV is the rating system used to qualify filters. It is based on the size of the particle that is trapped from going through. When we can get them we will change them out for MERV 13 which is what HEPA filters are.
5)      Purchase stand-alone HEPA filter units (400) for the classrooms that do not have any mechanical means of moving air in and out of the space. These units have to move a minimum of 250 cfm to have any impact on the classroom space. The versions purchased at Home Depot etc. will not provide any benefit to the room. They do not move enough air. There is an on-going cost attached to these units for replacement filters. Approximately $100 every 2-3 months.
6)      With the balance of the allocated HVAC funds we will address components of our systems that are already in place that can occur while school is in session. We will work with our 3rd party consultant to decide where the need is and the largest impact on the most students.
7)      Our preventative maintenance program will continue with their regularly scheduled inspections.

Clarification for Relief teachers 

Thanks to those who reached out seeking clarification about the email sent to Members on Wednesday September 24, 2020:

  • the classroom teacher should be the individual who creates and leaves instructional materials 
  • the teacher coming into the classroom, either for 37 minutes or 75 minutes, should facilitate the learning left
  • the teachers should communicate with each other so the materials being left are valuable to the learning of the students and in completing reasonable aspects of the curriculum AT THE SAME TIME respecting the comfort level of the coverage teacher (skills and qualifications, desire to physically distance because they are covering 3 classes, etc.)

In solidarity,
aileen~

Message from Provincial

 

The Office of the Auditor General of Ontario is currently conducting an audit of curriculum  development and implementation at the Ministry of Education and school boards across the  province. As part of its audit, the Auditor General’s Office will be administering a survey to all  elementary and secondary school classroom teachers.  

The purpose of the survey is to solicit feedback on overall curriculum delivery and student  assessment, as well as to hear from teachers directly on how useful you find implementation  timelines, resources and other supports that are provided by the Ministry of Education and/or  school boards.  

We encourage you to participate in this survey. Responses are anonymous and go directly to  the Auditor General’s Office. The results of the survey will be reported in aggregate in the  Auditor General’s Annual Report, which will be tabled in the Ontario Legislature in December  2020.  

Please click this link to complete the survey: AG Curriculum Survey

The survey will be open until September 28, 2020.

It’s a new year. It’s a different year.

Welcome back to school.  By now many of you will be settling in a little and finding new ways of managing the change in school operations and scheduling. Some important reminders regarding expectations:
  • Expectation during prep coverage is to supervise students as they complete course work already assigned. LLS coverage may be the exception.  Contact our office.
  • Teachers providing prep relief are not co-teaching or performing the duties of an on-call teacher.
  • Teachers may not choose to refuse prep time, but should a relief teacher be away you will be credited with the on-call.
  • Instructional hours in courses are effectively reduced in both the virtual school and face-to face schools to approximately 90 hours.
  • Teachers will need to determine what the “Big ideas” are in each course and teach to those.  KPR resource from spring regarding identifying these.
  • Be patient with yourself and others, students are entering the classroom less well prepared than previously and may not have fully completed the pre-requisite.  This may also impact the content you can reasonably cover.
  • Use your break for you.  You are not required to accompany your students as they move from one area to another or to supervise your own class during breaks or lunch.
  • Work days will feel longer and more challenging being with the same group all day, Self care will be critical.
  • Please reach out to your union if you are experiencing conflict with colleagues.  Support is available.
We recognize that there has been a lot of information to digest coming from a lot of different directions.  If you have remaining questions, or just need to talk, please reach out to our office.  Email service is still sporadic but our phones are working 🙂 We are together, In solidarity, Aileen~

Caution should be taken

We want to advise members to exercise caution when posting images and accounts of problems or concerns in your workplaces on social media and websites. Employees have a fiduciary duty to their employers, which includes the duty of loyalty and good faith. Any public representation by an employee that reflects negatively on an employer could be considered to be a violation of that fiduciary duty. Provincial Office has become aware of some incidents of members who are currently under investigation by their employer as a result of this activity. You may have seen a new website being shared on social media, protectourschools.ca. On the site, Ontarians are invited to submit COVID-related safety concerns in publicly funded schools, which will become part of a publicly accessible database.  The website is a project of grassroots parent and education worker groups. Although these groups have been supportive of our members and the federation, and the intentions behind this particular initiative are undoubtedly good, there is potential for the website to create issues for members. Our understanding is that the website is anonymous and not moderated, meaning that anyone can submit a complaint and it will not be scrutinized before being added to the database. Users are requested not to identify individuals, but this could still create circumstances in which members are blamed for unsafe conditions in schools. OSSTF/FEESO members are strongly advised not to share or promote this website. Furthermore, you are reminded that any safety concerns you have about your school should be brought to your health and safety representative and your local OSSTF/FEESO bargaining unit. On behalf of the Provincial Executive In solidarity, aileen~

Update from Provincial

See full communication HERE regarding the OLRB Case.
Should a full hearing be necessary, the following timelines were set:
• September 14 – Unions to submit will-say statements for their witnesses with respect to the preliminary issue;
• September 18 – Government to provide their will-says on the issue;
• September 22 and 23 – Hearing on the preliminary issue;
• September 23 – Unions to provide the expert reports they intend to rely on with respect to the merits;
• September 30 – Government to provide its expert reports for merits;
• Before October 5 – Fishbein to issue decision on preliminary issue, likely just bottom line with reasons to follow. If the decision favours the Crown, the appeal is dismissed;
• October 5 and 6 – If the preliminary issue decision favours the unions, hearing on merits commences, union experts provide their evidence;
• Beginning week of October 13 – Unions continue their case, further dates scheduled as needed to complete the hearing.

Orange Shirt Day- September 30th 

See full Provincial Message with resources HERE
Members are encouraged to talk to fellow staff and students about the legacy of the residential school system, as well as how we can all work together in the spirit of reconciliation and hope for generations of children to come. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many events and activities are occurring virtually this year.
Members can participate virtually by sharing images and messages on social media that demonstrates their support for this day using the hashtags – #OrangeShirtDay, #EveryChildMatters, #residentialschools, and #OSSTF.
To order the “Every Child Matters” orange shirt, visit the Orange Shirt Day website.

In Solidarity,
Aileen~

How to Reach Us

Our sincerest apologies.  The communications company we have been using to run our website, email system and the newly launched APP had a serious complication with their server rendering us completely disabled.  Although we remained hopeful each day the issue would resolve we are now forced to move in a different direction until further notice.

Contact Information:
Aileen Fletcher –  tbupresidentd14@gmail.com  cell 705-931-5638
Ellen Hinan – ellenhinan@gmail.com  cell 705-933-4252
Kevin McFadden – kevinmcfadden@nexicom.net   cell 705-931-6086
Deborah Bevan –  info.osstf@gmail.com  main office 705-748-3444
Erin Leonard –    osstfd14otbu@gmail.com cell 705-761-0348

IF YOU SENT AN EMAIL THIS WEEK TO ANY OF US and have not had a response through another means, please resend to the newly provided emails above or call or text.

We recognize the timing of this communication break has been very difficult and stressful.   Our thoughts remain with each of you as you plan and prepare for the return of our students.  I did have occasion this week to watch as the students of Midland Secondary returned.  The excitement and energy was palpable.  I  am confident that as we too are reunited as a school community, youthful exuberance will fill our halls and classes. 
Staffing met again this week to address any classes over 34, and to review school class size averages.  They are in compliance with contract through sincere efforts by central admin but not what where we would like to be with addressing COVID-19 as a result of Ministry interference.

In solidarity,

aileen~

Easy and Free to Download and Use

D14 FINALLY has an App!!!!  It operates in both Apple and Android environments.
Simply search google play or the apple app store for OSSTF D14 and you will recognize it by our logo.

To log in use the same credentials you use to log into the member only area of our website. Your username will be your osstfd14.ca email address and your current password for the site.  There is a password reset feature on our website if you have forgotten.  

The APP features:

  • Contact information for Release Officers
  • District and TBU documents which we will be updating regularly to reflect the 20-21 year including the PD funding form
  • News section where you can read my Presidential updates
  • Direct link to message about getting involved – you know you want too!!
  • And notification alerts so I can send a brief message to members quickly and efficiently

Please join me on our new APP and stay connected!

In solidarity,
Aileen~

All Member Teleconference

The first day is now behind you and you have finally had an opportunity to see some of the Board plan for a safe workplace. 
Here is our updated OSSTF FAQ.   Questions 41-64 are new.  Some prior answers have also been modified.  Many of you have continued to ask other important questions of your Principal.   We want to support these efforts.
We will be hosting a teleconference today at 4 pm.  Kevin McFadden will speak briefly providing a Health and Safety update and Ellen Hinan will share important information regarding accommodations.  The majority of this event is for you, our members, to ask your questions.

Please call 1-888-259-6580 to listen in.  Conference ID 24110348  Guest Code 7265944#
When participating use *4 to mute or unmute  and *0 for operator assistance

We hope you will join us for this conversation.  

Provincial Opportunity to Serve on Equity Work Group – could be you!!!

The Equity Advisory Work Group provides insight on reducing barriers to member participation and fostering equity and inclusion within OSSTF/FEESO.

The Provincial Executive is seeking seven Members-at-Large from across the province to serve on this work group. This will be very competitive but we would love to see a KPR teacher involved.  The work group expects to meet approximately four to five times per year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all meetings will take place in a virtual setting until further notice.
 
Interested applicants should submit their application no later than 4:00 p.m. on September 16, 2020. Please click on this linked application form. You will need to indicate your suitability and outline your demonstrated experience working with equity issues, either personally or with members of equity seeking groups. OSSTF/FEESO values the participation of members with different voices from lived experiences.  See the full memo here.  Please contact our office if you have questions or need support with applying.

In solidarity,
aileen~

Hello District 14 TBU,
 
Welcome back! I hope you were able to spend some quality time with your family and friends this summer.   My portfolio includes all health-related issues so please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have questions about sick days, short term sick leave, an upcoming surgery and/or about medical accommodations in the workplace. 
 
Linked Documents:

 Additional Information:



I am here for you.
 
Your Sister in Federation,
 
Ellen
Ellen Hinan, (She\Her)
D14 TBU First Vice-President
Office (705) 748-3444 cell: (705) 933-4252

The Art of Motorcycle Riding 

Driving on two wheels is a lot different than four.  For those of you who know me, you know I love cars, and the faster the better.  I drive a stick with confidence. Now, I am learning to ride a motorcycle.  I say learning because even though its been just over a year, every ride I go on, I still encounter something new: Potholes, gravelly roads, uneven railway crossings, busy roundabouts, and various hazards.  Suddenly, every road I have driven a thousand times before, looks and seems different.  Everything  feels unfamiliar and I am full of uncertainty; What’s around the next bend?  Will my tank run empty? Or my tire go flat? Will I get lost on the back-roads trying to avoid the highway? Will I survive this?

Motorcycling has also taught me some things that apply to this fall:

  • safety check every time and gear on
  • start slow and know your limits
  • it’s not a race, find a comfortable pace
  • have patience with yourself and others
  • practice, practice, practice the basics again
  • know the rules, they keep you safe
  • chin up and look where you want to go
  • communicate and help others avoid hazards
  • ask for help, give help
  • gas up regularly
  • stick together, it’s more fun that way!

Learning to ride on two wheels is totally scary!  I had a white knuckle grip in the beginning but in time I learned to relax.  Riding became more familiar and I knew I wasn’t alone out there, even if I was responsible for my own bike.  A friendly little two finger wave from ever biker I would pass told me I was part of something much bigger.  We all know there is a risk but also the joy of discovery and adventure in travelling a familiar road a new way.  I remind myself each time, to be smart, be safe, and that we got this.

We are all master learners.  It is the heart of being a teacher.  As we embark on this new journey, we will move through the trepidation and develop confidence. Slowly but together!  In the words of Eric Hoffer, “In times of change, learners inherit the Earth; while the others find themselves equipped to deal with a world that no longer exits.”

Today marks the beginning of a new world in education; travel safe out there friends. We are two wheeling it!
In solidarity,
Aileen~

Message from Provincial Executive

Link to message .

Labour Day Plans and Updates

Northumberland Labour Council Information:
General Information
Art Contest for Children
Labour Day Car Caravan

Peterborough Labour Council Information:
Facebook Live event – Musicians, Activists and Labour Leaders
Scholarship Opportunity
CUPE – Restore Our Rights Rally at MPP Smiths Office September 29th

In solidarity,
aileen~

Teacher and education worker unions taking legal action as Ford government fails to meet health and safety obligations

TORONTO – Following the failure of the Ministry of Labour to adequately respond to their requests for appropriate health and safety standards in publicly funded schools, Ontario’s four major teacher and education worker unions say they have been left with no choice but to file formal appeals with the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB).

The Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens (AEFO), the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO), the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA), and the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF/FEESO) – which together represent more than 190,000 teachers and education workers – say they will each be filing an appeal with the OLRB arguing that the Ministry of Education’s “Guide to Re-opening Ontario’s Schools” does not take every reasonable precaution to protect workers, as required by Section 25(2)(h) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Representatives of the unions met with Ontario’s Minister of Labour and Chief Prevention Officer on August 24, and raised a number of concerns regarding the Ministry of Education’s failure to put in place all reasonable precautions for a safe return to school. Following the meeting, the unions issued a request to the Minister of Labour that orders be made requiring the Ministry of Education to set standards around physical distancing, cohorting, ventilation, and transportation. It was also requested that the Ministry of Labour review these orders monthly, in case scientific developments dictate more stringent standards, and that school boards be given additional time if necessary to implement proper health and safety measures.

As of August 28, the date upon which it said it would respond, the Ministry of Labour had failed to comply with these requests.

The unions say the actions they are seeking are in line with those that have been put in place in workplaces and other public spaces throughout the province. The measures, especially those that would help facilitate two metres of physical distancing, also accord with advice given regularly to Ontarians by Premier Doug Ford as well as Chief Medical Officer of Health David Williams, Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health Barbara Yaffe, and many other health experts.

The unions contend that the government’s claim about its reliance on “layers of prevention” does not follow widely accepted standards and practices around workplace health and safety, based on the “hierarchy of controls” from the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). In the August 24 meeting, Ministry of Labour officials repeatedly referred to personal protective equipment (PPE) for teachers and education workers as a key part of the government’s strategy. However, the NIOSH says PPE is only one of many measures and the least effective control against a workplace hazard. Other measures, such as adaptations to the physical space, including improved ventilation, or changes to policies and procedures, are more likely to reduce a worker’s exposure to the hazard.

The unions strongly object to claims by the Premier and the Minister of Education that by raising concerns about the government’s school reopening plan, teachers and education workers are failing to do their part to help Ontarians navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The government is attempting to deflect blame for their inadequate school reopening plan by creating division among Ontarians. But union leaders have a responsibility to protect our fellow teachers and education workers, and we know we have the support of many parents, students, health experts and others,” says AEFO President Rémi Sabourin.

“Schools and classrooms are unique workplaces, with upwards of 30 people sharing small spaces,” says ETFO President Sam Hammond. “Smaller class sizes would help make schools safer. Should teachers and education workers not be able to expect at least the same standards and precautionary measures as have been put in place in stores, offices, and other spaces across the province?”

“The anxiety Ontarians are feeling around reopening schools is directly related to the government’s lack of leadership and their haphazard, incomplete planning,” says OECTA President Liz Stuart. “The Premier and the Minister of Education say they will do everything possible to make sure schools are safe. All we are asking is that they make an honest, exhaustive effort to follow through on this promise.”

“The accusation that teachers and education workers are not willing to step up and get back to schools is preposterous and insulting,” says OSSTF/FEESO President Harvey Bischof. “No worker in the province of Ontario should be expected to sacrifice their health and safety, especially when there are such obvious measures the government could be taking to reduce the risk and prevent potential tragedies.”

For more information, please contact any of the following media relations representatives:
AEFO – Marilyne Guevremont at 613-850-6410, or via email at mguevremont@aefo.on.ca
ETFO – Valerie Dugale at 416-948-0195, or via email at vdugale@etfo.org
OECTA – Michelle Despault at 416-925-2493, ext. 509, or via email at m.despault@catholicteachers.ca OSSTF/FEESO – Paul Kossta at 416-751-8300, ext. 225, or via email at Paul.Kossta@osstf.ca

More last minute directives from the Ministry

I have provided links below to the two most recent documents sent to the Boards of Education from the Ministry. This may be of interest to members wanting detailed information about communications that are influencing Board decisions:

Revised Additional Funding information
Optimizing Air Quality

A response from Provincial OSSTF/FEESO is expected in the days ahead. 

Please try to enjoy this weekend, and look for things to laugh about with others.  Our humour is likely our best ally these days.  

In solidarity,
aileen~

Clarification About Recent Staffing Changes

Good Morning TBU Members,

I write to try and explain why staffing numbers have been fluctuating lately and to provide some clarity about how various teachers will be teaching this year.

It is important to note that staffing is completed as a “snapshot in time”. System Staffing uses the best information that we have at the moment a decision is made. As you know, the Ministry’s announcements are not timely, causing confusion. Minister Lecce’s announcement of additional funding added sections to schools. Additionally, as a system, we are finding new situations concerning the Virtual School (VS), which has allowed us to return sections back to schools. While it might feel a bit chaotic, additional sections in schools is good news.

I am basing all the things that I say below on teachers who are teaching full time. Some aspects of the work will be modified for part time teachers. If you are part time, or if you have questions, start by contacting your Branch President or Protective Services Committee Rep. If they can’t assist you, either they or you can reach out to me: Kevin_McFadden@osstfd14.ca

Teachers Who are 100% Face – to – Face

  • will teach 6 classes, with a day schedule including 225 minutes of teaching time and 75 minutes of preparation time (same as a normal year) for a total of 300 minutes daily
  • will report to their assigned worksite to work
  • will serve up to 25 on-calls and 54 supervisions
  • during the period which would normally be their prep, will provide colleagues with prep time (their 225 minutes of teaching time will be reassigned to provide coverage)

Teachers Who are Partially Face – to – Face and Partially Virtual Teachers

  • will have the same working conditions as 100% Face – to – Face teachers
  • e-Learning (NOT Virtual Teachers) will follow the same quadmester system in place in their worksite; if the e-Learning course was in Period One of the teacher’s timetable, it would happen in the first week of quadmester one, and every other week after, for 9 weeks

Teachers Who are 100% Virtual Teachers (& the Implications of Teaching 8 Courses)

  • will have a day schedule of 225 minutes of synchronous teaching daily (as per PPM 164); the remainder of their day will include 75 minutes of preparation time. This means that they can teach 8 courses during the year and maintain having 75 minutes of prep daily.
  • will follow the quadmester system
  • will be exempt from on-calls and supervisions, in lieu of teaching 2 additional courses and the added 2 classes for report cards
  • will be required to report to their assigned worksite
  • the only teachers who will not report to a worksite are those whose medical documentation permits them to work from home, and they know who they are
  • The change from 6 to 8 means that 76 sections were returned to face – to – face classrooms, which will be used by schools to either not cut courses or to split courses, meaning reduced class sizes (leading to reduced marking workload and a greater ability to physically distance)
  • Some surplussed teachers will be returned to schools through this process, but likely not all (depending on the school)
  • Teachers who voluntarily joined the VS will be asked if they wish to change their minds, as the new workload wasn’t what they thought they would be teaching

Final Notes

Look for a revised Yearly Calendar and a Health & Safety – Returning to Work document, coming soon ….

We do not yet have an answer about whether or not EQAO will happen this year.

In Federation,

Kevin

 

Staffing Update

Additional money has been released creating more sections for face to face schools.  Local staffing committees should expect to hear from Principals again as sections are returned to schools.  This may impact those who have been declared surplus.  KPR and OSSTF share frustration in the ever changing resources being provided by the Ministry but feel progress is being made in the right direction.  A Letter of Understanding will be created to support the new Virtual school model.  More details about this are expected from KPR in the days ahead.

Survey Results and Local Working Conditions

Thank you to those members who completed our short survey.  It was clear that both working conditions and safety are critically important to our teachers, and making a compromise on either is not acceptable.  Provincial OSSTF was consulted and supported our search for better local decisions.  Your involvement in this process helped inform critical discussions around potential scheduling structures and expectations of what relief coverage will look like.   Updated FAQ will be distributed again soon.

Call in Meeting for All Members

Thursday, September 3rd at 4 pm, Teachers may call in to discuss an remaining concerns or questions regarding Health and Safety after Board training.  Please connect by calling  Toll Free – North America (+1) 888 259 6580 and using Conference ID: 24110348 Guest Passcode: 7265944# 

Media Interview

For those interested I was interviewed last week by Rob Washburn of Northumberland Consider this.  you can hear the twenty minute interview by going to his blog page 

We will continue to help one another,
In solidarity,
Aileen~

 

Important steps being taken provincially

PLEASE READ FULL MEMBER COMMUNIQUE 
This message is being distributed to all 190,000 teachers and education workers represented by Ontario’s four major education unions.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

A meeting yesterday between the leaders of Ontario’s four major education unions and Monte  McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, ended with no clear commitment from the Minister to address the specific serious health and safety concerns raised there surrounding the reopening of the province’s schools next month. Those concerns are: class size and physical distancing; cohorting requirements for teachers and education workers as well as students; ventilation standards with respect to COVID-19; busing standards with respect to COVID-19; and flexibility for school boards to reopen when health and safety standards have been met.
OSSTF/FEESO, along with the other unions, stressed repeatedly in the meeting that these standards are not just necessary for the safety of teachers and education workers, but also protect the safety of students and their families. The August 13 letter to the Minister from the Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens (AEFO), the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO), the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) and the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’
Federation (OSSTF/FEESO) noted that the government’s “Guide to Re-Opening Ontario’s Schools” fails to “take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances to protect teachers and education workers,” as is required by Section 25(2)(h) of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act.
The unions raised the urgent concern that there are no clear health and safety standards being set out or ordered by the Ministry so that its inspectorate and workers can apply known and commonly accepted precautions as schools reopen. The Ministry confirmed that no such standards have yet been set.
The Ministry put strong reliance on the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as the response to concerns that were raised by the unions in the areas of class size and physical distancing, cohorts, ventilation and busing. However, the Ministry also stated that it relies on the Hierarchy of Controls in considering the appropriate health and safety response to COVID- 19.
The Hierarchy of Controls relies on layers of different kinds of protection for workers. The idea behind the hierarchy is that, together, the layers provide protection to the worker. In the case of a school or classroom setting, the layers include physical distancing, cohorting, masking/PPE, hand sanitation and proper ventilation. Methods at the top of the hierarchy are potentially more effective and protective than those at the bottom. Following this hierarchy normally leads to the implementation of inherently safer systems, where the risk of illness or injury has been substantially reduced. PPE is at the bottom of the Hierarchy. It is seen as the least effective of the controls. The areas of concern which the unions raised address the other four layers of protection, which rank above PPE. The Ministry does not yet have standards on these other important layers of protection.
The Ministry also stated that class size and cohorting are matters only within the Ministry of Education’s or public health’s control. However, this rigid view of the division of responsibilities was challenged as not providing appropriate protection to workers or students, having regard to person-to-person contacts.
The unions also raised with the Ministry that the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers’ (ASHRAE) ventilation standards had already been accepted by the government with respect to health and safety in Ontario’s court system as it reopened earlier this summer. The Ministry was asked why, if those standards were good enough for judges and lawyers, they were not good enough for students, teachers and education workers. There was no answer at this time to that question, although the Ministry did indicate that it had sent the ASHRAE standards to the Ministry of Education for review but had not yet heard from that Ministry.
The Ministry of Labour also stated that responsibility for health and safety regarding busing lay with the employer school boards and perhaps the Ministry of Education, and indicated that it had not issued health and safety standards regarding busing. The unions requested that an inspector be brought to the meeting to deal with the health and safety concerns raised. Unfortunately, the Minister did not bring an inspector. Nevertheless, the unions requested that orders be issued by the inspectorate to deal with these other layers of protection.
In light of the shortcomings in the “Guide to Re-opening Ontario’s Schools,” the unions have asked the Ministry of Labour to issue orders to ensure that appropriate health and safety standards in four critical areas are in place to protect teachers and education workers, and by extension the students with whom they work every day. This will not preclude updating such orders, and expanding them as health and safety dictates. But the need for clear, actionable standards for the reopening of Ontario’s schools was repeatedly raised by the federations in this meeting. Among the orders requested are:

  • class sizes of 15 to 20 students, to ensure physical distancing where the two-metre distance cannot be maintained in a given classroom;

  • cohort maximums set at 50 and to be applicable to all education workers as well as students

  • adherence to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air- conditioning Engineers’ “School and University Reopening Standards,” which deal with reopening during the pandemic, with respect to school and education worksite ventilation, all as updated by that Association from time to time;

  • adherence to standards set out by the Ministry of Labour’s Public Services Health and Safety Association for student transportation during COVID-19; and 

  • a monthly review of all Ministry orders to ensure compliance with the best science available at the time.

The unions are also encouraging the government to give school boards the flexibility to delay the beginning of the school year, where necessary either board-wide or for specific schools, to ensure that health and safety measures are in place.
The Ministry is considering the requested orders, which have been reduced to writing and sent to the Ministry, at the request of Ministry staff. At the meeting, Ministry staff indicated that there would be a response to such requests by the end of this week, August 28, 2020 and the unions have requested that the response be provided by then. This is about a week before the anticipated start of school in most areas of the province.
In the absence of a commitment from the Minister with regard to these requests, OSSTF/FEESO, along with the three affiliate unions will be bringing their concerns to the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB), and asking that the government be ordered to comply with its own health and safety legislation, proactively set appropriate standards and enforce them province-wide.

FURTHER OSSTF SPECIFIC ACTIONS

please read this linked Bulletin

 

ALL MEMBERS ASKED TO RESPOND PLEASE

Working conditions survey

In solidarity,
Aileen~

 

Members being asked to volunteer

Important information to know when considering volunteering

  • The Virtual school will be synchronous learning for 300 minutes for students per day.
  • Placements will be done by seniority and subject need.
  • Staff, except those in medical isolation as approved through Health services, will teach virtually from a board work location. 
  • Those teaching in the virtual school from a work location may still be assigned on-calls and supervisions in that school.
  • Our current face-to-face model has been altered and at this time working conditions, prep coverage, and on-calls etc will need to be renegotiated.
  • Staffing has made adjustments to try and reduce class sizes in face-to-face learning environments.
  • Protections to program are being considered for traditional hands on courses that are not well suitable to a virtual synchronous learning environment.
  • Staffing committees will be consulted in the allocation of teachers locally.
  • A priority of health and safety over collective agreement will be strongly considered.  Letters of understanding may be drafted for this situation.
  • Teachers will retain the right to be assigned within their home school once virtual learning is completed.
  • The virtual school is being staffed for the year and will also run on a quadmester schedule.  

To assist our discussions regarding working conditions, please respond to the following two question survey by 3 pm Tuesday, August 25th:  Survey of TBU members

In solidarity,
Aileen~

 

No progress occuring centrally

Please find the full report from Provincial Executive here.
In solidarity,
Aileen~

 

Ministry Destabilizing Plans Around the Province

Time is running out. Despite best efforts to make the unreasonable Ministry parameters work around the province and solid progress being made to date, the Ministry has rejected many board plans and directed some with plans similar to ours to make further changes to existing models.  Members should anticipate this may impact KPR in the week ahead.  I continue to receive creative ideas from members to inform remaining discussions.

The Numbers are In

The Boards new Virtual school will be the largest school in the Board.  Staffing numbers at each of our other worksites will be significantly impacted as the board looks to redistribute staff.  Major shifts to scheduling may result.  The potential reallocation/displacement of teachers to this new Virtual school will be reviewed tomorrow and Monday.  This restructuring will present many challenges to existing expectations of what a September start may look like. This level of disruption is understandably stressful and a lot of questions we had answers to, have now changed.  Frequent, long meetings are impacting response times from our office.  We appreciate your patience.  

Health and Safety Plans Continue

We continue to meet to discuss utilization of a staggered start but no specific details have been released to date.  We again visited Crestwood to discuss Health and Safety needs of Specialty subjects, traditional classes and the unique needs of LLS programs.  Concerns remain regarding social distancing. This issue may be partially addressed as students are moved to distance learning, creating more space in our buildings. These frequent meetings also permit us to bring forth other issues that are surfacing as we examine the many exceptions to our general principles towards safety.  We have requested that other school health and safety teams be permitted an opportunity to do walk throughs and identify unique concerns for that specific worksite.  The Ministry of Labour met with the chairs of our Joint Health and Safety Committee today to review current plans.

Provincial Summary of Information provided to date related to the School Reopening

Please see the document provided here.

 

KPR timetable structure released.

Today, senior Admin shared their programming plans with Principals.  We worked collaboratively in the development of these plans.  Please see the linked document here.
You will note that all teachers will get 75 minutes of prep every day, although they may not be consecutive.  Every member should also have a minimum of a 40 minute break somewhere on their schedule in which they would not be eligible for supervisions.  This model has a lot of moving parts.  If at any time you feel you are being scheduled in such a way that these portions of the collective agreement are not being honoured, please speak to your Principal or your Branch President to have this corrected.
School administration is creating teacher pairings.  Ideally, this will mean, the relief teacher will be familiar with the students and classroom routines and safety.  Optimally, they will also be qualified in the same or a related discipline but this will not always be possible.  This model minimizes the total contacts for any individual teacher.  Should a relief teacher be absent, we have requested that the classroom teacher be allowed to simply remain in class rather than take a break and be credited with an oncall. POR’s will participate in these relief assignments but be exempt from traditional on-calls per the collective agreement.  

It will be challenging to balance this out in many of our schools.  Conversations continue to address the unique situations and numbers in our three smallest schools as well as CIS.  We are making slow but steady progress towards the reopening of our buildings.  A staggered start to the school year has been requested.

Additional funding from reserves is being released and the board and OSSTF are collaborating to identify staffing needs that could be addressed, once final numbers are known. Please see the information from Provincial below.

Local discussions include a request for full time unassigned LTO’s that could participate in this model and dedicated full time elearning instructors.  The board and OSSTF will strive to not impact program or collapse existing sections.  Without numbers yet, this cannot be confirmed.   As professionals, we are creative, adaptive and resilient.  As adjustments to this and any safety plan are needed, they will be made to best protect staff and students.

Wellness Support

These are definitely stressful times.  Many of you feel anxious every fall and this year has more uncertainty than ever.   We have been out of our buildings for five months and are seeking opportunities to get back in to prepare our spaces and minds for the work ahead.  If worrying thoughts are impacting you, please consider reaching out to the supports offered through EAP.  You can call 1-877-207-8833 and ask about the programs that might work best for you.  You can also simply log into Life works website and take advantage of some of the self-directed modules for dealing with anxiety and wellness or a myriad of other concerns that life creates for us. 

Provincial OSSTF Message and additional funding information.

Video message from Harvey Bischof to members   Link

For those curious, funding numbers have been provided by OSSTF for each Board. 
At KPR:

  • 2019-2020 Surplus $8,987,243   Includes amounts that are unrestricted or internally restricted by school boards. 
  • Projected GSN  $405,721,805  – 2% of GSN is $8,114,436
  • Government remote learning funding 413,361
  • Government additional staffing dedicated funding 461,228 for all bargaining units

See the most recent full memo from Lecce to Board Chairs here.

 

New Ministry directive is concerning

The Ministry released a new program and policy memorandum yesterday regarding distance and online learning PPM 164.  The agenda to privatize and dismantle public education continues.

Minister Lecce makes derogatory remarks about education workers

Provincial OSSTF has responded to the inflammatory remarks by Lecce at yesterday’s press conference.  Read the communication from President Bischof here.  Government relations continue to erode further.

Local reassurances
Synchronous learning is being mandated by the Ministry.  Local talks have already begun to ensure protections are in place for elearning teachers who will be engaging in this style of instruction.  New policies will be developed and parent communications will direct student learn at home expectations.

In solidarity,
Aileen~

 

Provincial  Communication

Today your local executive attended a virtual meeting with the Provincial Executive and the Secretariat.  Items discussed included actions being taken, and health and safety in our schools as we return to work.  Although the content of some of the discussions remains confidential at this time we did learn that research is being conducted into our legal position regarding a safe work place.  Polling also continues regarding the education community and public support.  Efforts to work collaboratively with all labour affiliates and some parent organizations are being leveraged to increase political pressure.  The affiliates have released an open letter to the Ministry and a copy is available here.

KPR Communications

Many of you were able to tune in to watch the Board of Trustee meeting last night.  If you missed it or want to review it, you may catch it again on the  Board youtube channel.  A direct link is available here.  The Board also provided additional communications which included some FAQ’s.  I have formatted them for easy access for members here.

Local OSSTF Progress

Link to Local Q and A 
Thank you for your patience today and every day.   We have been working very hard to find answers to the many questions provided.    This document will continue to be updated and posted as new questions arise.  We appreciate the perspective our members bring to inform our leadership.  Please continue to share your thoughts and concerns by emailing.   I will do my best to respond within 2 working days.

We continue to make progress locally and are engaged in regular discussions protecting the working conditions of teachers and the learning conditions of our students.  There remains a lot of work to do but progress has been steady and positive.  We met with a group of educators at Crestwood as we began subject specific discussions of health and safety on the front lines and examined practicalities.  We will meet again and continue to seek examples of excellence to create a high standard of safety in KPR.  We are confident that risk will be minimized as we approach the fall.   Parents are being surveyed and although numbers may be higher than originally anticipated, the Board has expressed commitment to meeting the needs of at home learners with dedicated teacher support.  This however, may mean disruption to programs in high schools and adjustments to teaching schedules.   We will be reviewing the raw data as soon as it is available and looking for the best solutions to redistributing staffing and topping up as necessary.  We will be working  collaboratively to support programming, honour qualifications, addressing specific documented staff needs and balancing the unique challenges of our small schools as well as large schools equally.   We continue to remain solution focused.

I missed my deadline by ten minutes!  Darn!  and no time to check my grammar.  Should not have stopped to eat those wild blueberries.  They were yummy though. I am trying to keep the work life balance in check.  I hope each of you will continue to strive to that as well!

In solidarity,
Aileen~

 

Q and A will be distributed later tonight

Thank you for those who have been looking for my message today.   I have been in long meetings the last two days with both the Board and Provincial OSSTF and want to make sure that the information shared is captured in the document and my message accurately.  I will get it out to you today, but it will be late tonight.

My apologies for the delay.
In solidarity,
aileen~

 

KPR Secondary Plan

The information sent to our school communities earlier today contain only the structure that pertains to students and basic health and safety details. In an effort to gather data and information from our students/parents to declare plans, this very limited plan was released by the Board.  Working conditions and specifics continue to be discussed and negotiated.  I recognize that for many of you this has raised new questions about staff expectations.  We continue to move collaboratively through planning while respecting our collective agreement.
All are encouraged to tune into this week’s streamed Board of Trustee’s meeting  at https://www.youtube.com/user/kprschools.   A copy of the agenda is here 

Important factors for teachers:

  • Conversations continue on how the student schedule can be achieved while meeting the collective agreement.
  • Various options to limit teacher instructor time to 225 minutes a day are being explored.
  • Supervisions and on-call structures have not yet been determined.
  • Alternate models of lunch supervisions are being considered.
  • Part-time teacher schedule considerations will be examined to ensure compensation and benefits remain unaffected.  This may impact timetables.
  • CUPE has been directly involved in all health and safety plans surrounding cleaning.
  • Electrostatic sprayers have been obtained to improve cleaning/sterilization efforts. 
  • Details of models of supporting non-attenders are not yet fully determined. This will include a range of considerations.
  • Numbers of non-attenders have not yet been determined. Parent surveys go out this week.
  • Using Durham data as a guide, we expect approximately 60 secondary students across the system not to attend.  Alternate solutions are being looked at on an individual basis.
  • Both the union and our employer have been in conversations with other districts to extract best practices and consistencies.
  • Working conditions for alternate learning sites are being examined as well as impact to certain programs.
  • Health departments will be taking the lead on responses to any suspected or confirmed cases of covid COVID-19
  • At all times, we must be prepared to move to full teaching from a distance.  This would need to include synchronous learning, full evaluation and assessment and would look different than the provincial school closure.

Time lines:
August 12 – Review of Health and Safety secondary plan and itemized checklist
August 12- Trustee Board meeting- high level plan/structure to be approved
August 13 – OSSTF Return to work Q and A provided to members as promised last week 
August 13 – Provincial OSSTF update to local executives
August 14- Staff accommodation requests deadline
week of Aug 17 – continued discussions regarding working conditions 
August 19th- Parent opt out deadline
Week of Aug 24 – System staffing accommodation review of all teacher placements, and identify necessary changes
Week of Aug 24 – Discussions of any outstanding Labour issues
August 24/25 – P/VP updated – final details/suggestions considered
August 28 – Full detailed plan released to teaching staff prior to return
August 31/Sep1- optional access for teachers to begin preparing
Sept 2 – PA Day Topic Health and safety- School specific needs discussed- plans implemented
Sept 3 – To be determined – potentially SIP
Sept 4 – Mental health and Wellbeing focus
Sept 8 – Students return to school


I understand the strong desire of teachers to have all of their questions answered now.  I understand that the pace seems slow.   Board leadership must solve the unique challenges of secondary while also creating a comprehensive plan for our elementary colleagues and education support workers.  We are vying for our fair share of time at the table.  In many regards, this is bigger than us.  The Ministry has established deeply problematic parameters. 
Locally:

  • Subject work groups are being established and supported. 
  • More consultant support is being put in place for e-Learning.   
  • Additional resources are being put into custodial supports as well as mental health. 
  • Additional training opportunities for teachers are being arranged to best prepare and support teaching and learning in these new challenging times. 
  • Remaining unassigned sections will be used strategically and additional sections will be considered where no other solution exists. 


We, as a profession, are in the midst of a paradigm shift.  Change is always stressful.  I encourage you to consider the time you have remaining within the summer break to disconnect and build upon your own resilience.  We must fill our own cups to be able to effectively give to others.
As educators, we should be proud of the change we have already navigated.  We have proven ourselves to be creative, flexible, professional and dedicated.  Now we must exercise our patience, trust and tolerance for the not yet known, as plans continue to unfold for our return to our schools this fall.   

Please know that I deeply appreciate the communications I have been getting from members.  Our team continues to strive to represent the many diverse interests and needs of our members and consider all implications of each decision and constraint we are dealing with.

Stay strong, stay well and I will message again this Thursday.  This remains my commitment to you to keep members apprised of weekly developments.
In solidarity,
aileen~

 

Fall Plans for KPR Continue

Following the Ministry announcement, discussions with KPR have intensified.  The constraints have squashed initial visions. Students are required to attend a traditional school day for 300 minutes daily and direct and indirect contacts need to be minimized to 100 people; all without any real additional funding.  As government parameters are more clearly established, local energy has become more focused.  Director Leclerc has indicated we will be deviating from our standard timetable in some respect.
Our Board has been taking a very measured approach and considering all creative options.  Although the pace of communicated information seems slow, the employer is working hard to ensure it is the right solution not just the fastest solution.  This week, I have met with Senior Admin repeatedly and our team is scheduled to attend an extensive Joint Health and Safety discussion tomorrow.  The possibility of different solutions by region may also impact plans.  The Board of Trustees will meet next week to hear the plan and then it will be shared more broadly. 
It will be important that teachers remain flexible and patient as we prepare to welcome students back.  Every effort is being made to ensure you feel comfortable and, in turn, can extend that same comfort to our students within our communities.  The public is watching for our leadership. 
Thank you to those members who have taken time to share your questions, comments and concerns.  They have provided good insights for conversations.  Answers to questions will be put into a form and shared next week.

Newly Scheduled Retirement Planning Workshop, August 11th 

We recognize that many of you are still feeling a lot of trepidation about the fall and how the Board will be able to meet the constraints imposed by the Ministry and still keep staff safe.  For some of you in your later years, you may be rethinking retirement.  Educators financial is offering a virtual workshop next week to help you answer some of the difficult questions. 

Click on the poster to link to the registration and view system requirements here.
 

Last Call for Accomodations

One final reminder that if you have concerns about your own health, please communicate  with Employeehealthservices@kprdsb.ca, and please copy our VP Ellen Hinan.  If you have other needs/concerns that may require considerations or impact your ability to report to work please reach out to labour relations in the north via amber_mcphee@kprdsb.ca and in the south lindsay_flood@kprdsb.ca and please copy me.  We are here to support you and answer your questions. 

Collectively we are stronger, wiser and braver,
Together
In solidarity,
aileen~

 

Provincial Consultation meetings non-productive

The following report is a summary of the meetings held for the past two weeks.


Week of July 20 – 24
The regularly scheduled calls for the Deputy Minister of Education and All Affiliate Table  continued and the Provincial Working Group – Health and Safety resumed this week. Once  again, the topics were limited and information shared by the government at the tables was sparse.


The following topics were discussed:
School reopening
Ministry officials continue to be cautiously optimistic that in-person education could resume in September in most areas. Ministry officials shared reopening plans from Alberta and Nova  Scotia, and indicated that they had been in touch with those provinces. Both Alberta and Nova Scotia are planning conventional in-school education. While they continued to acknowledge that one month is a long time in a pandemic, they also said they continue to believe that full school reopening is possible for September.
The General Secretaries of the education affiliate unions pressed ministry staff on the necessity of the government to be honest with Ontarians on the government’s true intentions in reopening schools and the risks associated with full reopening. We also pressed them on the additional funding that will be necessary if full reopening were to occur.

Provincial Working Group – Health and Safety
Government Officials reiterated that school board plans had to be submitted by August 4, 2020. Union representatives raised several issues that must be considered by both the government and school boards. These included:
• Transition of high needs students and their safety
• Enough time to prepare for this transition
• Protocol around parents picking up students who become sick
• Understanding how many children will be attending schools come September
• Committee at the local school board level to look at unique situations (i.e. risk assessments, PPE protocols, etc.)
• Additional challenge for French boards who deal with multiple local health authorities
• Work refusals and how they work – noting that the current process has not been modified
• Understanding of who will be driving their kids to school vs. students taking transportation
• Children going into school on alternate days who attend daycares adds risk of exposure
• Additional funding be provided to school boards to help transition kids back to school
• WSIB process for occupational illnesses has not changed and should be adjusted

Redeployment
The Ministry again thanked the unions and all members who put their name forward for assisting in this endeavour. They confirmed that one member had been redeployed and that the need is no longer present for additional redeployments.

Week of July 27 – 31
The regularly scheduled Affiliate General Secretaries, Deputy Minister and Ministry Senior Staff meeting for July 30th was delayed until later in the afternoon to allow the Premier and Minister of Education to make their announcement on school re-opening.

The only item on the agenda for the thirty-minute meeting was school reopening. The General Secretaries took the opportunity to express their deep concern and dismay on the government’s choice not to share details of the reopening plan with the affiliates in advance of its release. We also indicated in very strong terms that not having the details shared in advance was deeply troubling. More troubling was our exclusion from the technical briefing prior to the announcement of the reopening plan in which press were invited to.
To the best of our recollection, exclusion from a technical briefing was a first for us, and this represented a new low for this government. Senior Ministry officials suggested that they might be looking for unspecified amendments to the Central Collective Agreement, to which all affiliates indicated that we have no interest in entertaining any changes. At another Ministry table, we raised a number of concerns and questions with the government’s proposed reopening plan including, but not limited to, funding, preparation and planning time, safety protocols, training for occasional and temporary staff, social distancing protocols for students, class sizes in both elementary and secondary, and process for parental opt-out.

The overall takeaway is that the Ford government is not interested in real and meaningful consultation with unions representing frontline teachers and education workers.

Harvey Bischof

 

COVID-19 Pandemic Information Update – Government of Ontario Reopening of Schools Plan

Yesterday, the Ford government released its reopening of schools plan to the public. OSSTF/FEESO did not receive any advance notice of the release of this plan and was not permitted access to the technical briefing or documents prior to the announcement.

There was little to no real or meaningful consultation with OSSTF/FEESO or other education unions representing frontline workers on this plan. Follow up meetings with the Ministry of Education are scheduled to take place next week. 

Provincial Office and legal counsel are in the process of analyzing the reopening plan and we will provide additional information to local leaders and members as soon as we are able to. In the meantime, we will continue to work with local leaders to monitor the implementation of the plan
by school boards and employers.
Resources:

As the COVID-19 pandemic crisis continues to unfold, OSSTF/FEESO will be issuing frequent
updates to provide members with as much pertinent information as possible.

Please frequently check the myOSSTF section of the OSSTF/FEESO website for updated information.
Harvey Bischof
President OSSTF/FEESO

 

Ministry Announcement, OSSTF full response still expected

A copy of the technical briefing from the Government is available here.

KPR is among the non-designated boards and will be permitted to return to full instruction for K-12 with health measures in place.  Director Leclerc has also announced a potential modification to school day structure.  Read her email here.  For some of you this announcement will be met with relief, for others trepidation.  The Board and our local union have been engaging in discussions at length about what a safe return might look like.  Our Board has already made investments to acquire Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for staff, including:

  • face shields,
  • reusable masks(3 per teacher),
  • some plexiglass barriers,
  • sanitizer stations,
  • portable sanitizers for classrooms and
  • a lot of signage. 

Although many questions still remain outstanding, today’s announcement will allow the team to focus their energy on a singular plan.   Thank you to those who have submitted their concerns to our google form.  https://bit.ly/reentryfall2020

KPR will be surveying families to gain a better understanding of how many families will be choosing not to send their children back to school this fall. Locally we are advocating for members to be either teaching face to face or at a distance but limit those expected to manage students in both within the same class.  Central staffing will be reviewing school plans prior to school return and dealing with any reassignments that may be required to accommodate medical needs.  Teaching assignments may change for others in order to meet legal requirements.  Expect disruption
In a prior communication (link here), members with medical concerns were asked to reach out to Ellen Hinan and Health services.  Others who reside with individuals who may be immune compromised or who may be requiring an unpaid leave for other reasons were directed to reach out to labour relations.  In all cases documentation will be required and the accommodation being sought may NOT be the accommodation granted.  If one of these applies to you please do the following:

  • Contact our office
  • Arrange for supporting documentation
  • Request accommodation, special consideration or leave BY AUGUST 14th for equal consideration using the mechanisms described in my last communication
  • Await notification of the decision of the Board, monitor your board email regularly from the 17th onward.  There will be no guarantees.

Additional communications from Provincial OSSTF will continue to roll out in the days ahead.  I will forward information as it becomes available.  You may also check the provincial website regularly.

Please feel free to reach out if need be or submit new questions or comments to our form https://bit.ly/reentryfall2020 .
These will be compiled and shared with answers as they become available.

It is important to remember that our strength is our unity, equity is different than equality and we will need to continue to be kind and patient with each other and ourselves.

In strength and solidarity,
Aileen~
“Let us not take thought for our separate interests but let us help one another”

 

KPR updates

Health and Safety
 A comprehensive Health and Safety plan will be shared with all staff once it is fully developed and reviewed.   As part of  collaborative discussions, it would assist us to have a broader understanding of the questions our individual members currently have.  Collectively, we have a stronger voice.  Please take a moment to complete the following google form to assist our team:   Re-entry Feedback

The Board has tentative health and safety standards necessary to reopen the Board office prior to the fall.  Plans for schools continue to expand on these standards and will inform what is needed to safely reopen our schools to staff and students.  Considerations include:

  • PPE provisions and guidelines
  • access to soap and water and/or sanitizer
  • room occupancy capacities
  • restricted entrance to buildings by unscheduled guests
  • cleaning protocols
  • clear and sufficient signage
  • potential for isolation of symptomatic individuals
  • limited or restricted use of lockers and some common areas
  • site specific considerations
  • consequences for non-compliant behaviour
  • self-assessments 

This is by no means an exhaustive list and our leadership team continues to meet with health and safety personnel at the board. 

Programming

Board presentations of programming plan options to the Ministry by Boards will begin next week.  KPR is expected to be among the first to meet with the Government.  At this time, it seems likely, we will be returning to schools if we remain on track and  obtain health organization approval.  It is still unknown if students will be returning full time with protocols in place or some form of modified timetable with limited class sizes and daily structure.  The Board will release details as soon as these are known.  We continue to provide input to the process.

Circumstances continue to evolve daily.  I hope each of you are finding moments to enjoy friends and family as re-opening begins to occur in various regions.  Please stay well.

In solidarity,
Aileen~

Associate organizations planned protests of Bill 195

The imminent passing of Bill 195 into law as early as this Wednesday has labour members very distressed.  In a prior communication the urgency and concerns of this Bill have been articulated.  If you have not had an opportunity to read about it, please do so now.
http://documents.ofl.ca/communications/2020/07/20200709LETHOUEBBill195.pdf

Ontario Federation of Labour
URGENT – Oppose Bill 195. Call Conservative MPP’s and Tell them to Protect and Respect Front-line Workers and Democracy in Ontario
https://www.powerofmany.ca/opposebill195   There is a direct link and script to assist you in calling your MPP.   
CUPE
has also set up an email campaign  https://cupe.on.ca/stopbill195/

Last Friday July 17th Protests in many communities occurred.

Read the complete release from OSSTF here  with associated OFL attachment.

Parent groups organize protest of underfunding the return to schools for this Wednesday

Two parent organizations have reached out to OSSTF/FEESO seeking our support for their upcoming MPP community action challenging the Ford government’s dismal 7 cents per- student, per-day in funding to support the reopening of schools in September across Ontario.

Please make time:
Ontario Families for Public Education and the Ontario Parent Action Networkhave joined forces to organize community action at all MPP offices on Wednesday, July 29, 2020 at 12:00pm. Follow the embedded facebook link to these organizations for more information.
Beginning today, Monday, July 20, 2020 you can register your attendance through the
registration link Safe September Schools

Despite this being summer break for educators this government is stepping up the damage being done and your support, voice and last bit of energy are needed.  Those of you able to engage, please do so.  Share messages on social media and get the word out.

In solidarity,
aileen~

 

Local plans continue- Medical or family status accommodation update

Many of you are undoubtedly continuing to follow the government announcements. It still remains unclear what September will look like and we understand that makes it challenging to plan. The Board and OSSTF continue to work in the background to address the concerns of teachers regardless of the scenario.  The health and safety of all is a priority at KPR.

We have teachers who are immune compromised or have a family member/dependent who are immune compromised and the thought of returning to school creates a lot of stress. We are currently in discussions with the Board about teachers who may need accommodations if we return to full time in-person school or a blended version and understand that there will need to be time to plan and prepare for accommodations.

If you are immune compromised or have a family/dependent member that is immune compromised you need to provide documentation to KPR as soon as possible. We do not know what types of accommodations can be made at this time but we will work together to find the best accommodation we can, for those that require one.

Member Immune Compromised:

If you are already working with Employee Health Services regarding your health condition, please connect with them and see if you need updated medical information. employeehealthservices@kprdsb.ca 
If this is a new concern as a result of the impact Covid-19, you will need to see your healthcare provider and get some medical documentation. Please contact Ellen Hinan VP, to discuss the process for getting medical documentation required for accommodations. Ellen.Hinan@osstfd14.ca  

Family member/dependent Immune Compromised:

If you have a family member that resides with you or a dependent that is immune compromised, you will need to connect with Labour Relations. Please also connect with us at the local office and we can support you. 

If you work in Peterborough your Labour Relations Consultant is Amber McPhee; amber_mcphee@kprdsb.ca 
If you work in Northumberland or Clarington your Labour Relations Consultant is Lindsay Flood; lindsay_flood@kprdsb.ca 

Keep Safe and in solidarity,
Aileen~

 

For your information

Link to full memo  Ontario’s Action Plan to Address Systemic Racism in Schools

Main points:

  • New foundational math curriculum for Grade 9 by Fall 2021
  • De-streaming of Grade 9 for other subjects not indicated
  • Elimination of suspensions for Primary students K-3
  • Mandated PD by Feb 2021
  • OCT Professional conduct regulations may change
  • Identity based data collection to occur with more rigour

The implications of many of these changes are significant; compressing Math even further, potential safety issues in elementary schools, higher suspension rates of teachers being brought before the OCT, and the removal of freedom to not self-disclose in order to meet a political agenda.

Please refer to the prior email sent today which contains a partial response from Provincial regarding this memo
In solidarity,
aileen~

Ford government plan to address inequities in education falls short 

 

July 10, 2020 – The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF/FEESO) is troubled by the Ford government’s refusal to provide details about major changes planned for publicly-funded education in Ontario, and the government’s unwillingness to commit adequate funding to accommodate those changes. An omnibus bill introduced by the Ford government earlier this week, supposedly to address the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, proposes significant changes to the education system. Characteristically for this government, these proposals have come forward without any consultation whatsoever with frontline educators. 

OSSTF/FEESO strongly supports the need to address anti-Black racism and discrimination in all forms in our education system. The proposals laid out by Minister of Education Stephen Lecce, however, fail to provide any significant details on how that will be accomplished. By all appearances, the Minister’s proposals fall far short of that goal. 

Also, the “additional funding” the Minister continues to announce for the support of marginalized students and students with special needs is really just the partial restoration of the funding that was carelessly cut by this government when it came to power two years ago. Those ruthless cuts significantly disadvantaged the province’s most underserved students, and the government’s recent announcements fail dismally to address that problem, particularly in light of the significant extra challenges posed by the current pandemic. 

The Ford government’s vague plans are a far cry from the decisive actions that are required to address the inequities that Black, Indigenous and racialized students face. In the absence of proper funding for additional resources and supports, Ontarians cannot expect to see improved outcomes for these students. 

This week’s announcements demonstrate, yet again, that the Ford government understands neither the needs of Ontario’s most marginalized students nor the education system upon which those students rely. Minister Lecce’s habitual failure to consult frontline educators suggests that the government is simply not interested in gaining that understanding. 

OSSTF/FEESO has learned that the government plans to rush the omnibus bill through the legislature and finalize these important decisions in a matter of a couple of weeks. We have serious concerns about the lack of consultation and transparency in the process for making these changes. To package all of these important changes into one bill and to circumvent meaningful public consultations is deeply troubling. 

We will continue to reach out to the government to request genuine and thoughtful consultation with OSSTF/FEESO, an organization that represents over 60,000 experienced frontline education workers and teachers in Ontario.

Omnibus Bill deeply concerning 

Please read the Memorandum sent to Board Chairs and Directors of Education by Minister Lecce, that outlines changes introduced today to the education system through an Omnibus Bill.  LINK Covid 19 Economic Recovery Act

While the changes to Director qualifications and suspensions in elementary schools are concerning, of particular concern to OSSTF/FEESO are changes that would provide TVO/TFO with an accrued and expanded role in “developing new online course content and establishing a centralized course catalogue to allow students to easily access the online courses they need or wish to take.”
 
A briefing meeting was held yesterday with the Deputy Minister, the Assistant Chief of Staff to Minister Lecce and the four affiliate General Secretaries, including Pierre Cote of OSSTF.  Several questions were asked about the proposed expanded role for TVO/TFO in on-line learning, but few answers were provided.  We also do not know at this point what the consultation process will look like nor what the House Management Process for the Bill will be.  
 
We have assigned staff and legal counsel to conduct a thorough analysis as more information becomes known. OSSTF/FEESO is treating this Omnibus Bill and its contents as a very high priority and we will be sure to keep you informed of further developments as more information becomes known.

Local Conversations continue with no decisions yet made

The Ministry also recently directed Boards to resubmit their school year calendars to include three PA days prior to the school year starting.   OSSTF expressed concerns regarding the structure of those days, and advocated for maintaining the four day weekend prior to classes resuming, it is likely however, that teachers will be working a PA day on Friday September  4th.  To accommodate this the PA day in April will be cancelled and a board holiday added the friday before March Break as compensation.. This conversation also permitted the opportunity to discuss merits of considering a future fall break, similar to other Boards who have moved to this model.
LINK to memo School calendar

Upcoming Dates

July 16- Update email
July 23 – Update email 
July 30 – Update email – KPR plans due to Ministry this week
Aug 3 – Civic Holiday
Aug 6 – Update email – Health department confirmation of plans this week
Aug 13 – TBU Executive meeting and fall planning – Update email
Aug 20 – Update email
Aug 27 – Update email
Sept 2, 3, 4 – PA Days
Sept 8 – School resumes

Please take time for you to replenish; rest and stay well.
In Solidarity,
Aileen~

Passing of Port Hope teacher

The news of the death of long serving member, Jim Spencer, creates deep sorrow in the hearts of those who knew and loved him.  Jim became a teacher in September of 1992 and has previously served as a Branch President.  Scott Parr, his long time friend, colleague and union proud member has provided the following eloquent words and thoughts:

Jim Spencer, the longtime teacher and heartbeat of Port Hope High School passed away on July 1st after an eight month battle with pancreatic cancer.  Jim was well known throughout KPR as a teacher, coach, branch president and friend to all.  Here are a my thoughts on my close friend.
I first met Jim Spencer in the fall of 1996.  The Mike Harris cuts had hit and my spot at CDHS disappeared.  I remember talking to Brian Wood, my department head at CDHS, before I left and being told that I was lucky to be going to PHHS, because Jimmy Spencer was running the Canada and World Studies department there, and he was absolutely first rate.  Expecting a 50 year old veteran teacher, I was initially taken aback when I met Jim, who was 26 at the time.   But Brian was right, Jim was a top notch instructor and a great guy.    He was also the branch president of PHHS, and we were lucky to have him during the job actions in 1997-8.  It was his calm and steady leadership that helped get the staff of PHHS through “Days of Action” and through all the other stuff that the Harris Tories dumped on us in those next few years.
Professionally, I cannot say enough about Jim.  He was a consummate professional in his approach to curriculum and a real innovator in both instructional methods and the use of technology.  Jim would sit with me for hours developing unit plans for courses or presentations for the many conferences we attended.  When Jim moved to Special Education his interest in technology and instruction only increased.  He saw himself as not just a resource for students, but for his colleagues as well.  Jim was always generous with his time and knowledge.
Most of you reading this will not have known Jim in the ways listed above.  Instead you will have met him at an AGM, on a sports field, or in some other KPR setting.  Jim was a great athlete and he could coach any sport, and to the best of my knowledge, he pretty much did.  He coached badminton, hockey, basketball, volleyball, golf and of course, his favourite, soccer.  In 2014, my senior boys soccer team qualified for OFSAA, but I had a conflict with a school trip to Italy.  I turned to Jim.  He was happy to help and coached the team to a bronze medal.  Simply amazing!  When I left PHHS Jim took over the Reach for the Top team, which is a team “Jeopardy-style” competition, and he loved it.  In fact, his PHHS senior team was on course to win the league this year, until Covid-19 changed all of our plans.  That was Jim. Whether it was in the classroom or on the field, Jim would get involved, start learning new things himself, and make the experience better for everyone.
If you met Jim at a meeting or KPR in-service, then you know that he had an uncanny ability to cut through the nonsense and get to the point.  But he did that in a way that did not alienate anyone, and that only made you respect him even more, even if you did not agree with him.  If you ask the principals who worked at PHHS these past 27 years, they all sought out Jim for his insights and advice.  He was a Port Hope lad.  He knew the students, he knew the parents, he knew the character of the school and he knew the soul of the community.
Finally, I feel the need to briefly comment as a friend, because he was my friend.   Jim was the type of friend that makes you feel like you have a backstop.  If something really terrible happened, I always knew Jim had my back.   He was my conscience and my sober second thought on so many personal and professional decisions that I cannot count them.  Typing though the tears, I struggle to really describe the loss.  With feelings this raw the best I can do is quote Alexander Pope,
Good God!  How often are we to die before we go quite off this stage?  In every friend we lose a part of ourselves, and the best part.”
Alexander Pope
Jim Spencer was the best of us.   – Scott Parr CCI

As a Federation, we stand together with Jim’s wife Julie, their families, and friends, his colleagues, and students in our collective grief over the loss of a truly remarkable educator.  Jim was a member of our bereavement fund and we will be collecting money in September from those who had also joined.  The value of the fund has been advanced to his beneficiary in order to support any immediate expenses incurred.  Should others also wish to donate, any additional monies collected beyond the value of the fund will be sent directly as a gift.

We must continue to take care of one another, and ourselves, reflecting on the fragility of life and our own good fortunes.
In solidarity,
Aileen~


Provincial Message

OSSTF/FEESO has attempted to engage in meaningful consultations with Ministry of Education officials regarding the reopening of schools in September.  Despite our attempts to provide sound advice to the government on the reopening of schools and other matters related to emergency remote learning, they have ignored most of our advice. We provided Ministry of Education officials notice last week that we will issue reports to our members on these discussions throughout the summer.  This is in response to the misleading assertions by the Minister of Education that his government has listened carefully to unions, and front line teachers and education workers ever since schools closed in March 2020. Link to the first issue of Reopening of Schools – Report on Ministry of Education Discussions

Looking Forward, Looking Back

No doubt, many of you are spending some time thinking about what the future of education looks like in the near and distant future.  For a portion of you, what remains of your career as an educator, is a sprint; for others more of a marathon remains.  We will each bring our own perspectives, concerns and challenges to our approach to the work we love and do.. As your President, I will be meeting regularly with the Board over the summer, with a critical and detailed eye to support the local development plan that will address the large spectrum of needs both you and your students have.  The greatest challenge will be trying to maintain fair and reasonable working and learning conditions for all.   With no clear direction being provided by the Ministry at this time, all options are being explored.  This time is stressful and uncertain.  A lot of consultation is happening and comfort comes in knowing we are certainly not alone.  Collaboration continues with local health authorities, neighbouring districts and Provincial office taking a lead.   I am committed to emailing you every Thursday morning with a progress update.   I will continue to listen and respond to questions, concerns and ideas throughout the summer months although my office hours will be considerably reduced. It is a time to step back, breathe, and rejuvenate.  Please take time for you and those you love to focus on other things.  Try and let go of what is beyond your control.  This past year presented challenges and opportunities which contained both a lot of  frustration and reason for celebration.  We all entered into a steep learning curve in March as we tackled distance learning, which confronted us with definite equity challenges but we can be proud of our efforts.  Student learning disparity will continue to make clean delivery a challenge for the foreseeable future.  Any plan will need to acknowledge that.  The little stability we do have moving forward comes from a signed contract but the losses within the no cuts agenda still hurt.  There is a lot of work still to be done and important conversations ahead.  We have continuing political battles towards 2022, and must strive to remain united with our union friends in other sectors, supporting our mutual struggles. Although we are traditionally closed for the summer if you have needs please reach out and we will do our best to respond in a timely fashion.

Upcoming Dates

July 1 – Canada Day- Office closed July 9 – Update email July 16- Update email July 23 – Update email July 30 – Update email – KPR plans due to Ministry this week Aug 3 – Civic Holiday Aug 6 – Update email – Health department confirmation of plans this week Aug 13 – TBU Executive meeting and fall planning – Update email Aug 20 – Update email Aug 27 – Update email Sept 2 and 3 – PA Days Sept 8 – School resumes Please be kind to yourself and others and stay well. In Solidarity, Aileen~

Local Contract Ratified by 93.5%

Good Afternoon,

We are pleased to announce that D14 TBU members have ratified the terms of the D14 Collective Agreement, with 93.5% of votes being in support of the new terms.

The Branch Presidents and PSC Reps have been informed, as has the Board. Within about 30 minutes, a joint OSSTF and KPRDSB press release will be issued.

KPRDSB plans to have the 1% retroactive to September 2019 salary increase included in the pay released on the last working day in June.

Although this phase is concluded, we know there is still much work to be done in the lead up to the next Provincial election.

In solidarity,

Aileen, Ellen and Kevin

 

Dial 1-888-259-6580; passcode 7265944#

Use the number above to participate in today’s Question and Answer  at 3:30 pm regarding our tentative contract

The vote to ratify our contract will begin at 4:30 pm today, Wednesday June 17th  and close at 1 pm Friday June 19th.  

All registered members will receive an email with a link to your individual ballot.  This process is identical to the one used for our TBU elections.

The ballot will have one question only:

CALL IN DETAILS

Dial 1-888-259-6580; passcode 7265944#

I will be hosting/chairing the call and Kevin will open with remarks outlining some minor corrections identified during provincial review and answer questions posted to our question forum.  Additional questions can be included by submitting them here or live during the conference call.

MUTING Please use *4 to mute or unmute yourself in the meeting
ASSISTANCE  *0 for operator assistance.
MAKING A COMMENT Please text your name and school  to 705- 931- 5638 to get in cue to ask questions or make comments.  I will reply with OK when I have recorded your name. I will announce you on the call to speak.  When you hear your name please unmute and make your comment. 

When questions have been exhausted the meeting will be adjourned.  

Results of the vote will be shared with members Friday afternoon just prior to our joint  Media release.

In solidarity,
aileen~

Important Q and A regarding Covid-19

The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has recently posted an updated Q&A page answering questions related to COVID-19. The OHRC considers COVID-19 to be a disability. Accordingly, employee rights and employer obligations under Ontario’s Human Rights Code (HRC) that apply to people with disabilities are engaged. In addition, OSSTF/FEESO collective agreements generally provide greater protections than the basic features of the HRC and the Employment Standards Act (ESA). This is a summary of the document, with some additional OSSTF/FEESO advice added.
Please follow the link below to read the entirety this most recent communication from Provincial OSSTF.

Provincial Bulletin

CONFIDENTIAL TO MEMBERS

We are pleased to announce that local negotiations have concluded and we have a tentative deal to present to members for consideration.  The summary and draft copy will be made available on Monday June 15th, via a link sent to members which will include a presentation by our Chief Negotiator, Kevin McFadden.  If you or someone you know is not yet registered on our local website, please contact me directly to ensure your access to this information.

An interactive information session will be held Wednesday, June 17th, at 3:30 pm via teleconference.  This will be a question and answer session.  Members will be able to submit questions in advance or live.  Details regarding this process will be sent out Monday.

Voting will commence immediately following the Q and A and conclude at 1 pm on Friday June 19th.  

Retroactive pay will be received within 30 days of ratification, so likely prior to July 20th, 2020.

A huge thank you to our team comprised of our Chief Negotiator, Kevin McFadden, VP Ellen Hinan, Trish Bevan, Peter Mullins, and Patrick Steeves.  Your dedication, professionalism and extensive time volunteered to make this happen in a timely fashion, is deeply appreciated.  It was a pleasure to participate in the process alongside each and every one of you and to learn from your various perspectives.  

Please watch for further communications throughout next week.

Branch Elections

Your voice is needed.  All members are encouraged to consider serving as a leader within your worksite.  We value your perspective.  Your more direct involvement will support our effort to continue to improve the service we provide members.  Branch Elections will be occurring in the next two weeks for Branch: President, VP, Secretary/Treasurer, Protective Services Rep, Equity Rep, Member Engagement Rep, Health and Safety Rep, and School Council Rep.  These reps form our committees.  Expenses to attend committee meetings are covered , including mileage and dependent care and usually a nice meal.  Questions about the roles can be directed to your current Branch President, by contacting our office or by looking on our web site for more information. It’s a great opportunity to grow as a leader!

AMPA

This past Saturday, a revised remote Annual Member Provincial Assembly (AMPA) occured to approve the Provincial Budget and attend to other urgent constitutionally required business. The TBU was represented by a small dedicated group: Kristen Longley, Daen Kivari, Jeff Bird, Marc Paxton, Marty McCallum and myself. A few others attended as observers.  There were significant challenges as a result of the forum and after a 2 and a half hour delay to the adjournment the business concluded.  A full report of the meeting will be provided at a later date.  There is certainly much work still to be done as an organization.

Canadian Teachers’ Federation – Pandemic Research Study 

 CTF/FCE is conducting a teacher survey in partnership with provincial teacher organizations called Canadian Teachers Responding to Coronavirus (COVID-19). The views of teachers collected in this survey will provide us with evidence to inform advocacy and programming going forward. All responses will be anonymous and treated with the strictest confidence.  The survey can be accessed from Monday, June 1 – Thursday, June 18, 2020 by clicking on the following link:  http://ctf-fce.covid19survey.sgizmoca.com/s3/ 

Preventing Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking PD

 
 

From: Harvey Bischof, President 


The following statement was issued by OSSTF/FEESO on June 1st. It has been suggested by members that, given the importance of the issue and knowing not all members are active on social media, we should reissue this statement to all members through a D/BU memo.
The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF/FEESO) offers our solidarity with the Black members we represent, students we work with, as well as staff members who work for the union. We condemn all acts of anti-Black hate, racism and discrimination.
The outrage, fear and pain that many in the Black community are experiencing because you do not feel safe, is clear. As an education and labour community, we must stand together and speak up when people are facing violence and discrimination because of their skin colour.
As an organization, we reaffirm our commitment to end anti-Black oppression. We will continue to work to identify and address systemic discrimination and racism in publicly-funded education. We will continue to create space for these conversations to take place in our union and in our communities.
We will listen. We will learn. We will act. We must do our part in the work for racial justice and equality.

Important Information from Provincial

Must be almost June because the Ministry and Provincial have been busy and need you to know a few things, sorry this is soooooo long!!

Personal Property Retrieval

Full Memo from Provincial  here   and Ministry guideline addendum here

I have spoken with Supt. Mangold.  He has stated clearly that no teacher is obligated to enter the building during student access to reclaim belongings or drop items off.  The health department actively encourages teachers not being there unless there are extraordinary circumstances.  Given the risks members should not be volunteering
Key information for community access:

  • Ministry has provided a plan but allows boards to deviate.  Any deviation concerns OSSTF
  • Any student accessing the building should be self screening or have entry denied if in self isolation related to recent exposure to a known case
  • 15 minute time slots are recommended and waiting lines should have delineated 6 foot spacing indicators.
  • Students should enter secondary schools alone unless extenuating circumstances
  • one entrance, and exit with sign in and out
  • Sanitizer should be provided
  • no washroom or drinking fountain use and limited elevator use
  • no congregating
  • designated area to return items and then left for 3 days before use or being moved, unless disinfected
  • Custodial staff should be present to regularly disinfect high contact surfaces

Assessment and Reporting


The Ministry has released this guideline   and  addendum.  OSSTF has not yet formulated a response
Key information:

  • Elements of Growing Success have been adjusted during this time
  • second half credits in civics and careers there is an expectation that some demonstration of learning will be provided by students in order to successfully complete the course. otherwise an I  designation should be given with no credit. 
  • Boards should provide sufficient time for report card completion and any expectations regarding comments.
  •  School boards will work with their respective report card vendors and provide necessary training/support for teachers who may require support completing report cards. 
  • Teachers do not need to follow the 70/30 mark breakdown. Teachers can adjust and individualize the weighting of assigned tasks in their determination of a mark and if needed, weigh a final culminating task as zero to benefit the student. 
  • There is specific information provided to report card comments around workskills
  • The use of the “I”  for incomplete (insufficient information)  on a report card has been expanded to all grades where a student was failing as of Mar 13th and did not progress during the closure.
  • For grades 11 and 12 full disclosure has been waived
  • Admin, guidance and parents may communicate with post-secondary institutions where the offer of admission rely’s on a semester 2 course. for consideration
  • Also contains recommendations or directions for Dual credits, SHSM, Literacy requirements and community hours
     

Supporting Special Education and Student Mental Health 

Read full Ministry release  here. 

This memo is primarily a restatement of the directives to the Board for which KPR has been compliant.  It also includes an offer for boards to consider a platform that meets the thresh hold necessary for the privacy acts;
To support access to virtual care for students working with school board-employed regulated health professionals, the ministry has partnered with Ontario Health (OTN) to provide school boards with a free trial of OTN’s video conferencing platform to support video visits with students, until October 31, 2020.  Ontario Health advises that its platform complies with the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004.

School Mental Health Ontario will provide learning to school board employed regulated mental health professionals to support the use of virtual care for student mental health. 

Injured Workers Day June 1st


Ontario Network of Injured Workers Group  is hosting a province wide online social media event to commemorate Injured Workers’ Day on June 1, 2020 beginning at 11:00 a.m.  ONIWG is also asking its supporters to record video messages of support and send them in by May 25 at 5:00 p.m. (see Attachment 1). We strongly encourage OSSTF/FEESO members to support this event 
 
Please see the Facebook link below, and attachment 2, for further information www.facebook.com/OntarioNetworkIWG 
 

 QECO now fully implemented for Certification Purposes


Effective the date of ratification of the central agreement, those members who require a new rating statement should apply for a QECO certification rating statement or re-evaluation through QECO’s online application form. 
QECO’s website and link to registration and online application forms can be found at apps.qeco.on.ca.  

The meeting link will function at the corrected time regardless

The TBU AGM will follow the District AGM as advertised in all prior communications.  This should be around 4:30 pm at the latest. Apologies for the odd behaviour of webex that seems to shift meetings times on me if I open a meeting and change any detail,  which was the case this time.   Members who have registered for the TBU meeting should get an email invite reminder reflecting the correct time prior to the meeting.  You are strongly encouraged to be at both meetings.  The district meeting begins at 3 pm.  You are responsible for your own refreshments 🙂
Thank you for your patience and understanding.
aileen~

Please attend the AGM, Wednesday May 27th @ 3 pm

If you have not yet registered please do so at AGM Registration

Key information:

Related Documents are all posted under the AGM tab on our local member only website.
Please read reports in advance.  
You may connect by webex or by phone for audio only.  Details below.

Voting will be done through the polling feature of webex, or by emailing responses through a dedicated gmail account; d14voting@gmail.com
Requests to ask Questions, or make Comments are done through the chat feature or by emailing the steering team via the same gmail account.

District AGM
Hosted by Erin Leonard’
Wednesday, May 27, 2020
3:00 pm  |  (UTC-04:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada)  |  1 hr 30 mins
Meeting number (access code): 796 228 464
Meeting password: Det7MR5AwF5 (33876752 from phones and video systems)
https://osstfdistrict14.my.webex.com/osstfdistrict14.my/j.php?MTID=maedde183f9b850177cc77ef8e2fd9015
To join by phone begin the process of connecting by webex and select the audio call out feature.  

TBU AGM
Hosted by Aileen Fletcher
Wednesday, May 27, 2020 10:40 pm | 1 hour | (UTC-04:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada)
Meeting number: 795 727 077
Password: d14tbu (314828 from phones and video systems)
https://osstfd14tbu.my.webex.com/osstfd14tbu.my/j.php?MTID=m4627343fb3b4535029b9a3d22d791d84
To join by phone-  select the toll number, if you incur additional charges not covered by your usual long distance plan, please submit those expenses to Darcy Wight, treasurer.

In solidarity,
aileen~

Video Conferencing

Pursuant to COVID-19 Update #3 and #10, and the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) Video
Conferencing Guidelines, OSSTF/FEESO would like to provide an update on further advice with
respect to the use of online, virtual communication with students and families.
Full Memo here
Key information:

  • Live videos make members more vulnerable to unpredictable audience behaviour.
  • Communicating with students and families can happen effectively without the use of video.
  • Members are strongly advised to avoid having one-on-one video sessions with students. 
  • Members should ensure that the student is not physically isolated from others, and that your interactions can be observed.
  • Members should exercise professional judgment on strategies and formats they use for curriculum delivery. 
  • Members should follow the direction of the employer and contact us immediately if they believe that employer-directed behaviour puts them at risk.

Facebook Revisited

While recently reviewing archived union newsletters, I came across an article from 2009 giving cautionary advice to members about the use of facebook.   What was true then, remains true now, more than a decade later.  Although our private lives are private, it can creep into our professional realm and have negative consequences.  Teachers are held to a higher standard than most professions.  We must be extra cautious about how we conduct ourselves in the public domain.  Once something is on the internet, it is available for all to see.  We can never be sure who has viewed it, captured it or redistributed it.  OSSTF provincial advises “don’t post anything you would not be proud to have your principal, a parent or student see”.   Comments we might share with our friends could lead to discipline.  Stating you are playing hooky,  frustrated with parent apathy or losing patience with  student attitudes or complaints about the feedback you spent a lot of time reflecting on professionally, can draw negative attention from the employer.  KPR has an active attendance monitoring system and has disciplined members previously for comments they deemed negatively impacted the esteem or dignity of a student.  With the expansion of our workplace to a distance platform the on-line monitoring risk increases.
Although OSSTF recognizes the stress members are under, we need to remember to think twice before sharing our frustrations and thoughts in writing with others.   Ellen, Kevin and I, are here for you.   
Stay safe.
In solidarity,
aileen~

OSSTF response and released Ministry Report

OSSTF important update and concerns:
Full content here

In response to the Ministry announcement Tuesday  Provincial OSSTF stated the following:
OSSTF/FEESO has not yet received any details about the government’s summer learning plan beyond those contained in the provided Ministry document (see below). In reviewing the document we have begin to identify concerns, including how the expanded programs would be staffed.

Members of D14 are encouraged to remain politically engaged by 
Sharing your feedback with the Ministry 
You can provide a written submission with your input, ideas or data by sending an email to EDUconsultation@ontario.ca.
Make sure to:
• include your name and the name of your organization
• use “Ontario’s Plan to Reopen Schools” in the subject line
• attach your submission as a PDF or Word document

View the Full Ministry Plan and Report  click here

Summer Learning highlights from report:
Ontario’s Summer Learning Plan includes seven areas of focus:
1. Expanded core programming represents ‘traditional’ summer school courses focused on grades 9 to 12, with additional opportunities for grade 8 students to reach ahead.
2. Introduction of upgrading courses, which will allow students to upgrade their mark in a course in half the time it would have taken them previously.
3. Targeted supports for vulnerable students to ensure vulnerable students have access to non-credit ministry educational programs and leadership supports.
4. Focused programming for students with special education or mental health needs, including dedicated learning supports such as access to EAs and existing after-school programs that could be delivered through summer school
5. Communicating volunteer opportunities for students so that students can leverage virtual volunteer opportunities where possible;
6. Summer programming in Provincial and Demonstration Schools to focus on continued learning for our students with particular needs and specialized integrated programming, including students with physical disabilities, and, finally,
7. Key concept mapping for next year’s learning to focus on compulsory, high demand and pre-requisite secondary courses

Please take time to read the documents linked to understand the potential full implications. 

I hope everyone is keeping well and being kind to yourself and others.   These remain incredibly stressful times for us all.
In solidarity,
aileen~

D14 Annual General Meeting

Please register for our Digital AGM this year at https://bit.ly/D14AGM

We will hold our District meeting @  3 pm 
followed by the Bargaining unit Meetings starting no later than 4:30 pm

The agenda, constitutional changes, last years minutes are now posted under the AGM tab on our Local OSSTF website.  Remaining reports will be added this week. 



In solidarity,
Aileen~

T/OT Central Terms Ratified

Education Worker and Teacher/Occasional Teacher Central Ratification Results

The ratification vote results for both the Education Worker and Teacher/Occasional Teacher tentative agreements have now been tabulated. OSSTF/FEESO requires a “double majority” for ratification, meaning that an overall majority of members must vote in favour, as well the majority of members in a majority of bargaining units.

OSSTF/FEESO education worker members voted 90.1 percent in favour of ratifying the Education Worker Central Agreement.

OSSTF/FEESO teachers and occasional teachers voted 77.5 percent in favour of ratifying of the Teacher/Occasional Teacher Central Agreement.

The majority of members in 100 percent of local teacher and occasional teacher bargaining units and in100 percent of local education worker bargaining units voted in favour, thereby fulfilling the double majority requirement for ratification.

The results indicate clear support for the recommendation of the Provincial Executive and local leaders that these central agreements be ratified. OSSTF/FEESO members recognize that these deals provide needed stability in these trying times. While we were able to fend off some of the Ford government’s most egregious attacks on education, members will not forget that the government has still weakened publicly-funded education in Ontario by imposing larger classes, mandatory e-learning, and reduced funding for student supports. OSSTF/FEESO will continue the fight to reverse these destructive policies.

Harvey Bischof

Urgent Message from Provincial

Online voting for ratification of the tentative agreements is extended to 4:00 pm on Saturday, May 16  due to a high volume of late requests for registration support, resulting in difficulties for some members.  Inquiries to Membership Database received after 4 pm today will not be processed.
 
If members are having issues accessing the ballot, they need to ensure they are logging in to the provincial website with their Membership ID number and password, not their email address.
 
Voting results will be announced tomorrow.
 
Brad Bennett
Associate General Secretary of Protective Services

Saturday June 6th 9:30am-4:30pm

Any member interested in attending Remote AMPA (Annual Meeting of the Provincial Assembly) as an observer, must pre-register.

Forward your request to the AMPA Coordinator at ampa@osstf.ca
indicating your interest in attending  No later than June 1, 2020.

Please include the following in your request for observer credentials:

  • Full name
  • Membership number
  • District  14 
  • Bargaining unit TBU
  • Email address

Once credentials have been approved, members can expect to receive two emails:
1. A confirmation email of their approved request
2. A second email, detailing information for accessing Remote AMPA at least 24 hours prior to the meeting

Please note, only those pre-approved as observers will have access to the virtual meeting and will be required to enter the provided email address to gain entry into the virtual meeting.

AMPA is when representatives approve the budget for Provincial, debate and vote on changes to policies, by-laws and the constitution.  This is a unique opportunity to gain a better understanding of the structure and issues faced by  OSSTF as a union, representing members in many job classes and education sectors all across the province.  

Your TBU Voting Representatives for this meeting will be Aileen Fletcher, Daen Kivari, Jeff Bird, Marc Paxton, Marty McCallum, Kristen Longley and Jessie Woollacott.

In solidarity,
aileen~

Edsby ‘last active’ feature update

The ‘last active’ bubble should have been removed from all classrooms.  In active groups, if the group is setup to show membership, the ‘last active’ bubble is visible to those within the group. For all of our board level groups, KPR is turning off visibility of membership, so this won’t show. They are working to make this change on as many groups as possible.  Edsby continues to work on a plan/timeline to get rid of the ‘last active’ bubble on all groups (everything) within Edsby. 

Voluntary Redeployment during COVID memo 

On the weekend OSSTF Provincial sent out a memo regarding voluntary redeployment of 10 month employees outlining the conditions under which this would be acceptable.  Contract teachers in the TBU are not eligible.  For your information I have included a copy of the memo here  COVID update #9 

Synchronous Learning

The Ministry released a memo to Boards late Friday night indicating synchronous learning must be a part of distance learning.  A copy of the full memo is linked here:  Ministry memo  
I am also including the response from Provincial OSSTF here:  Covid Update #10
The union summary paragraph:
OSSTF/FEESO believes that synchronous learning can, under appropriate conditions, be an effective tool for educating students. Where employers have addressed equity issues and concerns about privacy, consent, and access for both teachers and students, and where they have also provided sufficient technical support and professional development, synchronous learning can be a viable option. Ultimately, teachers and education workers should use their professional judgement to decide what is best for them and for their students, and those decisions should be respected.

I encourage members to read both messages fully and consider writing your own response to your local MPP, the Premier and the Minister of Education with your questions, and concerns   Find your MPP information here Contact your MPP 

In solidarity,
Aileen~

Edsby ‘last active’ feature update

The ‘last active’ bubble should have been removed from all classrooms.  In active groups, if the group is setup to show membership, the ‘last active’ bubble is visible to those within the group. For all of our board level groups, KPR is turning off visibility of membership, so this won’t show. They are working to make this change on as many groups as possible.  Edsby continues to work on a plan/timeline to get rid of the ‘last active’ bubble on all groups (everything) within Edsby. 

Voluntary Redeployment during COVID memo 

On the weekend OSSTF Provincial sent out a memo regarding voluntary redeployment of 10 month employees outlining the conditions under which this would be acceptable.  Contract teachers in the TBU are not eligible.  For your information I have included a copy of the memo here  COVID update #9 

Synchronous Learning

The Ministry released a memo to Boards late Friday night indicating synchronous learning must be a part of distance learning.  A copy of the full memo is linked here:  Ministry memo  
I am also including the response from Provincial OSSTF here:  Covid Update #10
The union summary paragraph:
OSSTF/FEESO believes that synchronous learning can, under appropriate conditions, be an effective tool for educating students. Where employers have addressed equity issues and concerns about privacy, consent, and access for both teachers and students, and where they have also provided sufficient technical support and professional development, synchronous learning can be a viable option. Ultimately, teachers and education workers should use their professional judgement to decide what is best for them and for their students, and those decisions should be respected.

I encourage members to read both messages fully and consider writing your own response to your local MPP, the Premier and the Minister of Education with your questions, and concerns   Find your MPP information here Contact your MPP 

In solidarity,
Aileen~

OSSTF Pension workshop available virtually

OTPP workshop for our Districts were cancelled.  As an alternative way of providing the content of the OSSTF Retirement workshop, Educators’ Financial Group and OSSTF will be holding 2 OTPP Webinars later this month.  The content is very different from the OTIP Retirement workshop.  Both are recommended.
Since space may be limited, D14 has early access for the registration today

May 20 from 4:00 pm – 5:30 pmhttps://register.gotowebinar.com/register/7730986619486391056
May 26 from 4:00 pm – 5:30 pmhttps://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8889828994208839440

In solidarity,
Aileen~

Provincial Message regarding Ratification

Full letter from provincial click here

Key information:

  • Ratification vote begins at 9:00 a.m.Thursday, May 14 and concludes at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, May 15.
  • All OSSTF/FEESO members are eligible to vote.
  • Voting will occur exclusively through the Voting Centre on the provincial OSSTF/FEESO website.
  • A double majority is required; majority of Members and Bargaining units.
  • You will be asked to vote on multiple ballots in the Voting Centre. One as a general member, one within the bargaining unit. 
  • A practice ballot has been set up in the Voting Centre until 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, May 13.  unable to log into the Voting Centre, please contact Membership-Database@osstf.ca.  (email link)
  • Voting Instructions handout

Call for Focus Group Participants

White Ribbon’s Digital Resource on Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking Prevention

Full notice available here

Key information:
  • Provide feedback to  ensure the lesson plans are user-friendly and effective.  
  • Identify areas of improvement to ensure a trauma-informed and meaningful learning experience for educators and students.
  • Discuss accessibility and entry points to encourage the digital resource’s use.
  • Focus group 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm on Tuesday, May 26th, 2020 via Zoom.
  • White Ribbon will share all relevant documents one week before the meeting.
  • Participate in this initiative will receive a $20 gift card.

Important Dates


May 8 – Local Constitutional amendments posted on D14 website
May 8- Openings shared with redundant teachers
May 12- Redundant teacher placements
May 12 – Tentative Agreement Provincial information meeting 3 pm
May  14-15 – Ratification voting
May 27 – D14 AGM

In solidarity,
aileen~

OSSTF Pension workshop available virtually

OTPP workshop for our Districts were cancelled.  As an alternative way of providing the content of the OSSTF Retirement workshop, Educators’ Financial Group and OSSTF will be holding 2 OTPP Webinars later this month.  The content is very different from the OTIP Retirement workshop.  Both are recommended.
Since space may be limited, D14 has early access for the registration today

May 20 from 4:00 pm – 5:30 pmhttps://register.gotowebinar.com/register/7730986619486391056
May 26 from 4:00 pm – 5:30 pmhttps://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8889828994208839440

In solidarity,
Aileen~

Education week May 4-12.

Theme “We Stand Together for Public Education”. 
• Social Media Thunderclaps – Will occur every day during Education Week at 4 pm (using the Education Week graphics)  available at 
https://bit.ly/educationweekosstffeeso
• Selfie Days – Will occur on Tuesdays and Thursdays to positively
highlight our new reality during this time of social distancing and ‘Distance Learning’.

Mental Health week May 4-12

CMHA is hosting this and resources can be found at this website mentalhealthweek.ca      #GetReal  

PD Reimbursement

Reimbursement claims must be received at the District Office no later than May 8th , 2020 by 4:00 pm. (email:  info@osstfd14.ca)  For any PD activities completed after May 8 th, 2020 requests for funding will fall under next year’s funding and guidelines.
PD FORM

Important dates

May 6, 7 – Staffing
May 8 – opening available to redundant teachers
May 12 – placement of redundant teachers
May 12 – Tentative Agreement Provincial information meeting 3 pm
May  14-15 – Ratification voting
May 27 – D14 AGM

Proposed Contract Details

Full Provincial Memo click here
Summary:
Documents can be found on myOSSTF (link) in a new section called Central Tentative agreements,  you will need to log in.

PROVINCIAL INFORMATION MEETING:
Meeting is deemed CONFIDENTIAL to the relevant Bargaining Units
Meeting date: May 12, 2020
Meeting time: 3:30-6:00 p.m.
Streaming Link (visual and audio) and  Dial-in Number (audio only): To follow
A PowerPoint presentation will be available through the streaming link.

D14 District, TBU and OTBU AGM

 

 

 

 

 

 

PLEASE REGISTER HERE  https://bit.ly/D14AGM2020
Awesome Gift card giveaways for those attending
Hope to see everyone there!!

Survival

Last week it was announced that we have another month of school closure and distance learning ahead. Your union is here for you. For those experiencing:

  • financial difficulties; we have our local and provincial benevolent funds which can provide some relief.
  • distress or anxiety; sick days are there for you to use.  We can assist.
  • need of paramedical services; OTIP covers virtual appointments.  Check out OTIP COVID.  You pay for your benefits, so if you need them, use them.
  • a steep learning curve; funding to support this is available locally.  Applications are on our website.
  • feeling alone, unsure, confused; Please contact our office.  These are difficult times and we are in this together. I am available to listen, and find the answers you need.

Provincial Information meetings to be scheduled before ratification. Date TBD

Meetings will be conducted remotely via telephone and computer.  Various bargaining units from different districts will be grouped together so that the entire province can be reached within a reasonable amount of time. The meetings will be organized and run through provincial office and will involve the Provincial Executive and Secretariat. Meetings will be up to 2.5 hours long and fall somewhere between the hours of 3:30 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. beginning on Thursday, April 30 and concluding Thursday, May 14. Our date and time is still unknown.  It will be shared ASAP.  Any ratification vote will occur online separate from these meetings and on the provincial myOSSTF website. Please confirm you are registered.

New EDSBY feature

Thank you to the members who have reached out expressing concerns over the new feature which provides last logged in information about teachers and students to the edsby community.  I have been in communication with Senior Admin already and requested a meeting this week to discuss the ramifications to student and member privacy among other possible misuses. It has been sent out to the developer for more information. Please feel free to message me regarding the impact. Thank you for your patience.   

Collectively we are making a difference in the lives of the students we advocate for and serve.  Stay Proud!
In solidarity,
aileen~

Tentative Agreement endorsed by Presidents and Chief Negotiators,  heading to membership for consideration

Monday, your Chief Negotiator, Kevin McFadden,  and I spent 6 hours in meetings listening to the presentation of the tentative agreement from Provincial Executive and discussions with union leaders from around the province.  The summary documents will be made available Thursday, on the
Provincial Website, and are considered confidential to members for their consideration.

Branch Presidents will be meeting with our executive this Wednesday to discuss process and seek clarification.  

Link to OFFICIAL MESSAGE FROM HARVEY BISCHOF

EDSBY concerns update

I met with IT and EDSBY has been working to fix the last logged on feature. This will address privacy issues raised by members.  The feature will retain the advantageous elements but eliminate the more problematic components.  Your concerns were heard and you should see adjustments today or later this week. 


IMPORTANT DATES AHEAD

TBD– Regional teleconference regarding terms of offer
May 6, 7 – Local System Staffing
TBD– Ratification vote on myOSSTF
May 27 – Digital AGM
May 31– current end date of school closures

In solidarity,
aileen~

Survival

Last week it was announced that we have another month of school closure and distance learning ahead. Your union is here for you. For those experiencing:

  • financial difficulties; we have our local and provincial benevolent funds which can provide some relief.
  • distress or anxiety; sick days are there for you to use.  We can assist.
  • need of paramedical services; OTIP covers virtual appointments.  Check out OTIP COVID.  You pay for your benefits, so if you need them, use them.
  • a steep learning curve; funding to support this is available locally.  Applications are on our website.
  • feeling alone, unsure, confused; Please contact our office.  These are difficult times and we are in this together. I am available to listen, and find the answers you need.

Provincial Information meetings to be scheduled before ratification. Date TBD

Meetings will be conducted remotely via telephone and computer.  Various bargaining units from different districts will be grouped together so that the entire province can be reached within a reasonable amount of time. The meetings will be organized and run through provincial office and will involve the Provincial Executive and Secretariat. Meetings will be up to 2.5 hours long and fall somewhere between the hours of 3:30 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. beginning on Thursday, April 30 and concluding Thursday, May 14. Our date and time is still unknown.  It will be shared ASAP.  Any ratification vote will occur online separate from these meetings and on the provincial myOSSTF website. Please confirm you are registered.

New EDSBY feature

Thank you to the members who have reached out expressing concerns over the new feature which provides last logged in information about teachers and students to the edsby community.  I have been in communication with Senior Admin already and requested a meeting this week to discuss the ramifications to student and member privacy among other possible misuses. It has been sent out to the developer for more information. Please feel free to message me regarding the impact. Thank you for your patience.   

Collectively we are making a difference in the lives of the students we advocate for and serve.  Stay Proud!
In solidarity,
aileen~

April 22nd Updates.

OTIP’s “Walk into Retirement with a Plan” virtual workshop
Retirement workshops are now available via webinar for ALL members to enjoy from the comfort of their own homes.  Click on the registration link to be fully informed about their coverage options before you retire: www.otip.com/events
 

POSITIVE social media messages
The recent implementation of distance learning is a little bit like riding a roller coaster, as they hastily build the track just ahead; filled with frustrations and uncertainty.  As educators, we are each doing an incredible job trying to fulfill obligations of the Employer and Ministry announcements.   It is yet to be seen what portion of our school community will engage remotely but barriers are significant for many students and teachers alike.  Collectively, we will continue to advocate for face-to-face learning with all supports in place for identified learners after wellbeing has been restored in our communities.  Until then, it is important that we publicly encourage engagement and any attempts to achieve some form of success. We must remain publicly optimistic. Let us hope our efforts result in smaller gaps when we get back to doing the work we love, in a manner we know is best for all, sooner than later.
 

CERB changes
The Government of Canada continues to make changes to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

  • Anyone residing in Canada, currently employed but making $1,000 or less per month (before taxes) due to COVID-19, is now eligible for the CERB.
  • Anyone who has exhausted their EI regular benefits since January 1, 2020, and who have been unable to return to work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, are also eligible for the CERB.
  • CERB is a taxable benefit. Unlike EI payments, however, payments received through the CERB will have to declared when filing their 2020 income tax returns.
  • Linked is the latest set of criteria to be eligible for the CERB (as per the CRA) from OSSTF.
  •  For specific questions on the CERB, members should use the COVID-19 EI helpline at 1-833-381-2725. 



In solidarity,
Aileen~

Posted to the Provincial Website
and Youtube

To view President Bischof’s message on the website click here 
 
It is also available on YouTube by clicking here  

Are you registered on myOSSTF? 

  • Bargaining Today OSSTF/FEESO reached tentative agreements with the Crown and the school boards associations 
  • In order for member ratification of these agreements to move forward, the agreements must have the endorsement, or agreement to forward for ratification without endorsement, of local presidents and chief negotiators.
  • Meetings of local leaders will be convened via teleconference. A date for those meetings will be announced as soon as details can be finalized.
  • Members will receive a summary of the tentative agreement soon after the meeting of local leaders.
  • Membership meetings, via teleconference and webinar, will be scheduled in all Districts in the coming weeks.
  • The details of the agreements will be outlined at those meetings, and the ratification process will be outlined.
  • Specifics regarding participation in these information meetings will be forwarded as soon as possible.
  • Ratification votes will take place in May. Details will follow when available.
  • Note that these votes will be conducted using the voting function that resides in the Members Only area of the OSSTF/FEESO provincial website. Every member who wishes to participate in a ratification vote must be a registered user of the Federation website. If you are not yet registered, we urge you to do so as soon as possible. Instructions on how to register, as well as video tutorials on navigating the website, can be found on the website’s Member Login page (https://www.osstf.on.ca/en-CA/protectedspace). If you require assistance in accessing the Members Only area of the OSSTF/FEESO website, please contact Membership Database at Membership-Database@osstf.ca.

In solidarity,
aileen~

Tentative Agreement Reached

For Immediate Release: Monday, April 20, 2020

OSSTF/FEESO reaches tentative agreements at central bargaining tables (Toronto)—The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF/FEESO) has reached tentative agreements with the government and the province’s school boards associations at both the teacher/occasional teacher and education worker central bargaining tables.

OSSTF/FEESO President Harvey Bischof has released the following statement: “These are extraordinary times. When we began negotiations nearly a year ago, no one could have anticipated the situation we face today. “Our main priority has been to protect the education system by reaching a deal that respects our members and ensures students get the best education possible. We thank our members for their support, solidarity, and sacrifice during these many months of negotiations. Our union remains stronger and more united because of their demonstrated commitment on the front lines across this province. “With the support of the public and our members, we mounted a strong public awareness campaign that highlighted the government’s dangerous approach to education. As a result of our combined efforts, this government, although early in its term and holding a majority, was pushed back from some of its most egregious proposals. “While this tentative agreement does not satisfy all of our concerns, we recognize the current environment we are in and the need for students to have stability once this emergency is over. “Even now, educators continue to do their best for students during this crisis and look forward to welcoming them back to the face-to-face support we know is best for most students. “We will continue our advocacy to protect the world-class education system that we have been instrumental in creating. Our members and our students deserve that never-ending effort.”

OSSTF/FEESO’s local leaders from across the province will meet via teleconference in the coming days to review the tentative agreements and determine, according to the union’s established processes, whether or not to forward them to the membership for a ratification vote. Member ratification votes are tentatively planned for May.

In solidarity,
Aileen~

Updates – April 20th,  2020.

DISPENSING Fees
Many of you will have noticed that pharmacies are currently only dispensing maintenance medications one month at a time.  In response, OTIP has temporarily lifted the maximum of 6 dispensing fees per year for maintenance medication.  This is to ensure members will not be faced with out of pocket expenses for the potentially extra dispensing fees. 
CRIMINAL Declaration
Teachers are reminded to complete their criminal offense declaration for next year to ensure there will be no disruption to pay.
FEELING Stressed?


PAPER Handling
There have been concerns raised regarding the handling of paper documents from students.  At this time, there is no expectation that teachers will be required to pick up completed work from students.
A solution is currently being developed to ensure that completed work can be safely returned to teachers.

In solidarity,
aileen~

OSSTF Advocating for Pass/Fail system

As your President, I will be beginning talks with our employer to consider the position taken by Provincial OSSTF regarding Ministry directions related to grades and credit attainment.
See the full memo here:  school year
Key desired outcomes:
While schools are closed, students would receive feedback using a pass/fail system.
• Teachers would focus on prioritizing remaining curriculum outcomes/expectations and plan tasks/projects with those core expectations in mind.
• Teachers’ professional judgement regarding curriculum expectations is respected.
• If students return to school in May, every effort to recover credits will be made and a final numerical grade will be assigned. If students are unable to return, OSSTF/FEESO believes the most reasonable method to assess and evaluate course work is using a pass/fail system.
• For students who are not successful in meeting curriculum expectations, principals are able to determine if the student should be granted the credit (as has always been their prerogative according to the Education Act).
• For graduating students, pass/fail grades are provided by the April 23rd deadline and they are treated the same as other students in the situations outlined above.
• Should students not return to school this year, teachers would use the start of each semester to assess learning gaps students may have as a result of interruptions to this school year.

Canada Emergency Response Benefit

Some teachers may have partners or family members impacted by this; see the full memo here CERB Payments
The CRA may have inadvertently paid members or their family members who may have been eligible, more than they were entitled to, or the payment from the CRA may have included retroactive pay. We recommend members closely monitor the amounts that are deposited into their bank accounts and contact the CRA with specific questions relating to their individual claim. It is important to note that if the CRA has made an error, this error will be corrected by the CRA. The CRA may deduct the overpayment amount from the claimant’s next payment, or they may ask for repayment later. We recommend members monitor their accounts closely and set aside overpayments for remittance in the future.

Petition to remove data caps

FULL details of the Provincial ask are available here Data Cap Petition
As OSSTF/FEESO members and student families grapple with remote learning and rely on mobile devices to access educational resources,  Telecom providers’ imposition of data caps, data throttling and overage fees present a significant barrier to learning. Low income, rural and Indigenous communities who lack wired connections
are particularly vulnerable to this form of exclusion.
While some Internet and telecom providers have taken steps to ensure ongoing connectivity,
most have not. 
OSSTF/FEESO is therefore encouraging members to consider signing a petition by Open Media
Canada which calls for “mobile network operators to support our communities during the
COVID-19 crisis by:
1. Dropping data caps
2. Stopping data throttling on unlimited plans
3. Stopping disconnections
The petition can be found here: https://openmedia.org/StopDataCaps
Open Media is a registered not-for-profit based in Vancouver, British Columbia. 

In solidarity,
Aileen~

In the event of a settlement, ratification vote will be held online

As the COVID-19 crisis continues, the Members Only area of the OSSTF/FEESO website will become an increasingly important resource for members, not just as an access point for information, but also as a tool for carrying on certain aspects of the Federation’s business. For example, should tentative agreements be reached at the provincial central bargaining tables during this period of physical distancing, it will be necessary to employ the voting function within the Members Only area of the website to conduct ratification votes.
This means that members who wish to participate in any such ratification vote will need to be registered as users with the Federation website. If you have not yet registered, we urge you to do so as soon as possible. Instructions on how to register, as well as video tutorials on navigating the website, can be found on the website’s Member Login page (https://www.osstf.on.ca/en-CA/protectedspace). If you require assistance in accessing the Members Only area of the OSSTF/FEESO website, please contact Membership Database at Membership-Database@osstf.ca.
As the COVID-19 pandemic crisis continues to unfold, OSSTF/FEESO will be issuing frequent updates to provide members with as much pertinent information as possible.
Please frequently check the myOSSTF section of the OSSTF/FEESO website for updated information

On behalf of Harvey Bischof.
In solidarity,
aileen~

Advice from OSSTF legal department

OSSTF/FEESO has become aware of incidents that have occurred since the introduction of Phase 2 of Learn at Home on April 6, 2020, primarily arising from the use of live online platforms that allow synchronous communication with students and families, either through audio, video, or both. Video streaming with students has inherent risks, particularly when the streaming is occurring from a member’s home rather than a school or work site.
Problems that members have experienced or that can be foreseen include:

1. Technology/internet difficulties

  •  Access to the necessary technology or sufficient and stable internet bandwidth to allow for video streaming.
  • Necessary training to employ these platforms

2. Privacy/security issues

  • Protection of the privacy of educators and students while using these platforms in their homes.
  • Security of information shared over video streaming platforms, and the data mined by these platforms.

3. Inappropriate student behaviour

  • Inappropriate sharing of visual/audio information.
  • General misbehaviour, including disruptive behaviour.
  • Bullying/harassing behaviour.

4.  Inappropriate parent behaviour

  • Inappropriate sharing of visual/audio information.
  • Bullying/harassing behaviour.

Members are discouraged from using video platforms except where necessary for subject matter, such as demonstration of skills.  Members should use only those platforms approved by the employer.  Proper training and parental permission  is strongly advised.  Should any concerns of privacy or inappropriate behaviour happen these incidents should be reported to administration as soon as possible.  Administration is expected to deal with these matters directly, as always.  Teachers should continue to use the forms provided by the Board to report serious incidents, any violent behaviour or concerns of abuse or neglect.

Some helpful references:
Information and privacy commission– online tools
Client notes – of particular interest to Guidance, SERT, SST

Be safe personally and professionally.
In solidarity,
aileen~

Wellness message from Provincial Executive
Please follow this link for a message from PE
Employer resources for wellness

EAP – LifeWorks 1-877-207-8833 login.lifeworks.com download the app from the App Store / Google Play
OTIP – Posaction Plus through OTIP (partially owned by OSSTF) 1-800-668-0193 (plan 48069 / certificate 902)
provides phone counselling or CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) via messaging in a free app “My Migo” working with a personal counsellor
Feeling Better Now – Online OTIP Self-Guided Wellness Supportshttps://www.feelingbetternow.com/otip

These are incredibly challenging times and sometimes it is difficult to not compare other people’s public profile to how you are feeling inwardly.   This can make you feel alone.  Remind yourself that people carefully curate the social media versions of their lives.   It is okay to feel frustrated, sad or lonely but know your limits.  If you need help or a fine tuning to your thought processes, checking in with a mental wellness expert makes sense. It is no different than getting a personal trainer when you just feel you need more fitness.   You are already paying for it, use it!  Help is immediate and available to partners and dependents as well.

Cool free wellness stuff

Bigwhitewall.com  safe peer to peer community for mental wellness
Bouncebackontario.ca a project by CMHA, many resources, free coaching, available in multiple languages
Ontario Teachers Federation webinars  10 free webinars for educators on wellness and health and as a bonus webinars on technology tools for teachers.

The long weekend

You won’t hear from me again this weekend, unless Provincial sends out an urgent communication.  This weekend is a great opportunity to get away from our screens and check back in with the other parts of our lives that bring us joy.  Remember to be patient with yourself as you are learning, reach out to friends and family, be active, be creative and find things to laugh at. Try and disconnect from the news streams, even just for a while.  As always, if you really need me, I am still hear and listening, otherwise I hope you have a pleasant and restful long weekend.

In solidarity,
aileen~

Provincial Bargaining Update

Support Staff and Teacher/Occasional Teacher Central Table Bargaining 

As reported in Bargaining Bulletin Issue 45, OSSTF/FEESO has been engaged in mediated talks with the government and school boards’ associations since Thursday, April 2. These ongoing talks on behalf of teachers and education workers are scheduled to continue over the coming days. 

The Ministry of Labour appointed mediator facilitating the negotiations has directed the parties to observe a blackout during this stage of negotiations and to refrain from discussing or publicly posting the particulars of the discussions. 

Further information will be provided as negotiations proceed. 

In solidarity,
aileen~

Day of Pink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flood social media with your proud pink moments today #stopbullying #virtualdayofpink #osstfcares.

COVID-19 Information
We have a new section related to Covid-19 on our website which includes all the related documents from the Board and OSSTF in one convenient place.
PD Funding

Full subsidy funding for AQ in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is available from the Board  Please use this Expression of Interest FORM
Are you taking a course in how to do Distance Learning or anything else? 
Self directed PD partial subsidy by OSSTF Application FORM
Chance to win additional PD support from Educator’s Financial  FORM

Other Social Media Images

Facebook
Instagram
Twitter 

Stay Strong and Stay Safe, You are never alone.
In solidarity,
aileen~

General Information

Today marks the start of a new era of teaching in public education.  I wanted to take this opportunity to wish each of you a positive week and remind all of us to strive to our best.  What your best looks like today, may look different than your best previously and that is okay.  Be patient with yourself and others, as we learn.  Establish new routines, maintain a comfortable work space and step away from the screen periodically.  Some of you will be facing greater challenges.  Ask for help when you need it.  Some of your roles are still waiting for clarity and direction; more information is forth coming from the employer.  Locally, we have been taking questions and will be posting our own FAQ to the website.  Try and focus just on today and what is possible; leave the burden of future concerns with me and your executive. Stay strong, Stay safe, Believe in yourself!


In solidarity,
aileen~

Update on Teacher/Occasional Teacher Central Table Bargaining

Earlier this week, as reported in Bargaining Bulletin Issue 44, the OLRB appointed mediator invited OSSTF/FEESO back to the bargaining table. OSSTF/FEESO accepted this invitation and participated in mediated discussions along with the Ministry of Education and school boards associations. These discussions were, of course, conducted remotely rather than in person in order to ensure the safety of all during this period of social distancing. Discussions so far have been preliminary with no formal proposals or conclusions reached. Mediated talks are scheduled to resume on Monday morning. Further information will be shared with members as things evolve.


Harvey Bischof

Privacy

Board to release guidelines soon. Some members are finding *67 was not working for their cellphone.
This website explains the steps for some cell phones operating system. 

ANDROID & IPHONE STEPS 

Qualification Services

QECO services remain uninterrupted during the provincial non-essential services shut-down.
Use info@qeco.on.ca. Evaluators will call teachers if they need to explain letters generated through an application. Electronic transcripts may be delivered directly from institutions to transcripts@qeco.ca.

Resource Reassurance

Web Resources have been developed by KPR including:

  • Big Ideas
  • Platform information
  • Curriculum 
  • Support
  • Assessment and Evaluation

In solidarity,
Aileen~

Negotiations resume

Update on Support Staff and Teacher/Occasional Teacher Central Table Bargaining 
 
The Ministry of Labour Mediator contacted OSSTF/FEESO today to ask us to return to  bargaining. We have agreed to the Mediator’s request, and bargaining will recommence tomorrow. To facilitate physical distancing, discussions will not take place in person, but will be conducted through electronic/virtual means.   
These talks will cover both the Education Worker and the Teacher / Occasional Teacher central tables. 
 
The BargainingForEducation.ca website will be updated as appropriate. 

AEFO announces settlement

This item was overshadowed in the news but AEFO was the third of the four major education Unions to reach an offer at the table with this Ministry.   

I know this news will be reassuring to many of you.  

In solidarity,
Aileen~

Wednesday April 1 Update

Provincial OSSTF sent out today their third COVID 19 Bulletin for members.  you may read the full content by clicking this link  Update #3 OSSTF

Key messages include:
 

  • Creation of various work groups including Distance Education, we had one member selected
  • Links to all Government and OSSTF Announcements in the media
  • Information about additional funding for colleges and Universities
  • Changes to professional standards regarding electronic communications with students
  • Privacy issues advice
  • Use employer devices as feasible, and employer platforms 

New social media will be released later today using the #staystrongstaysafe  which can be added to instagram, twitter and facebook.

The Employer will also be releasing a new resource website soon for teachers to support Distance learning. working from home guidelines.  Non-classroom teachers may also expect soon to have more direction provided as to the work expectations for those roles and how we can all work collaboratively to move through these difficult and stressful times.

Please do not struggle in silence.  Reach out and ask for help.  We are collectively more than the sum of our parts.

In solidarity,
Aileen~

Further Information to Follow; 
Please hold all questions

Late this afternoon. The Minister of Education followed up his afternoon announcement about continued school closures by providing the document linked here; Guidelines for the Continuation of Learning    This constitutes the second phase of Learn at Home.  OSSTF and the Director of Education, both reached out to me to assure our members that they are currently reviewing it in order to provide appropriate guidance as quickly as possible.  Please be patient.
 
This announcement will undoubtedly raise a variety of questions for educators. Let me assure you we have been engaged in taking reasonable steps to facilitate the the plans Board is in the process of rolling out.  OSSTF D14 TBU has been working collaboratively with our employer to identify issues and encourage them to put protocols in place to minimize the problems that arise. There are many, many, many issues at play when it comes to providing instruction remotely.  Members may want to review the linked Ontario College of Teachers “Professional Advisory:  Maintaining Professionalism – Use of Electronic Communication and Social Media”  as it provides some initial guidance.  
 
OSSTF/FEESO is preparing further information including advice on costs, safety, and professional standards. This will be provided in the near future.

Thank you for your continued professionalism as we navigate through this and advocate on your behalf.   I remain proud to be your President and thank you for the trust many of you have demonstrated in your communications to date.  

Stay well and try and maintain a positive spirit.  We all need to continue to find something to laugh at each day.:)   I continue to encourage everyone to be okay with going slow now, to be able to move collectively faster later.  We all want to get this right and do what is best for students in our care.  Continue to collaborate and support one another.  We got this, keep being amazing!
 
In solidarity,
aileen~

From your President

Access to Teaching Materials

Some of you will have heard from your Administration already, others will hear today.  Principals were given Protocols, developed in conjunction with the Health Department, to allow teachers safe access to learning resources and materials left in schools prior to March break. Thank you for your patience as this was developed.  Please adhere to the directions provided by Admin.

Free WIFI Access

Students and staff needing reliable wifi are permitted to access KPR networks from the parking lots of any of the Schools. Everyone should still continue to follow public health directives while doing so. This effort by the Board, is in response to issues of equity experienced by some families.  A copy of the full announcement and method of access is found at this link  http://www.kprschools.ca/content/dam/kpr/documents/KPROpenWifi.pdf  Feel free to share this with students.

Provincial Advisory Distance-Learning Workgroup

A huge thank you to the many members of D14 who expressed an interest and willingness to contribute to the efforts of OSSTF to work towards solutions informing our Ministry of Education.  This is member engagement at it’s best.  Only ten people from across the entire Province will have the privilege. I am hopeful someone from our bargaining unit will be selected.  Regardless know that your interest, expertise and leadership is deeply appreciated locally. Any member needing support in over-coming the many barriers are encouraged to reach out.

Public Messaging 

These are stressful times and our natural tendency is to reach out to our peers to discuss or fears, frustrations and criticisms of  the system   It is as important now, as it has been all year, that we continue to send out public messages framed around the care and concern for the learning of all students. We have been long discussing the problems with elearning and engaging in protests but it is important to distinguish that from the efforts being made at this time.  The learning we will be doing with our students as a stop gap measure will be predominantly delivered with technology however this distance learning  has the flexibility to look very different and is only limited by our professional ingenuity.  It may involve conference calls or real time video conferencing or packages of material or any number of variables.  We don’t have all the answers yet, but it remains important that as a collective we remain united in our message to the public.  Invite ideas, share strategies, remain positive and let us all hope that this will be of short duration. I do understand the criticisms, disappointment  and utter frustration at not being able to teach the way we know is best and I am here and listening for those with a need to have their voice heard.

Other Meeting updates

In meetings with Provincial Staff we have been discussing the regular business of the Union and continue to operate in as many areas as possible.   We are awaiting further direction as to recommendations that relate particularly to all aspects of our AGM and will inform members of any directions received.   Any questions regarding this should be directed to me.

I am thankful for the excellent work being done by our Executive on your behalf.  We will be hosting a virtual TBU council meeting this wednesday.  Please share any items with your Branch President that you think require our collective attention.

Gratitude

Let the sun keep shining and the abundance of life beneath the soil spring forth.  As the earth awakens let us all find beauty each day, and reasons to be grateful.  Keep being kind to yourself and one another, stay healthy and well.

In solidarity and solitary 🙂
aileen~

Distance-Learning Advisory Work Group
Call for Applications

Link to full DBU here:  Call for Presenters

Key Points:

  • Interested members should contact me directly with qualifications
  • Deadline to reach me for consideration is Monday March 30 at 10 am
  • Seeking experts in Special Education, or On-line Education subject areas
  • 10 individuals will be selected
  • Expectation to attend virtual meetings/teleconferences

We have come to the end of a very long and productive planning work week.  As plans start to formulate at the Provincial and Board levels, Individuals needing training or support moving forward should participate in the opportunities being offered by the Board. Please also reach out to our office if you have any questions or concerns.  We are here to support each of you.  I hope everyone remains healthy and well.

No doubt you will hear from me again before too long.
In solidarity,
aileen~

March 26th Updates

Provincial message on resumption of Teaching

The full document is linked here  UPDATE MARCH 26th

Key points: 

  • OSSTF is working collaboratively with affiliates and the Ministry to ensure students can and will continue with their education.
  • Teachers will be the leaders in the efforts to define this process.
  • We will all enter this new phase together, as directed by Boards and informed by this Provincial advisory group.
  • Be supportive of one another.

District Office News

Our team welcomes back into service Deborah Bevan, as our Administrative Assistant.  She will be very familiar to many of you.  I personally am thrilled to have her expertise, and experience back to support my efforts as your President through these chaotic times.  I also send a huge thank you to Brenda Mancini and Kathy McLaren for their tireless work filling in over the last months.

OSSTF Retirement workshop scheduled for April 15th has been postponed as a result of COVID -19 concerns.

Confirmation was received by me again today, from the Director, that teachers will continue to be paid. Teachers will continue to be employed as we move forward with planning and eventually teaching from our homes.  You should reach out to your Principal to discuss any  barriers you may be experiencing so the employer can assist.  Also feel free to consult with our local OSSTF leaders.

OTIP Information

OTIP Retirement workshop scheduled for April 14th and 16th  have been postponed as a result of COVID -19 concerns.

 

 

 

 

 

Paying too much for car or home insurance? You could save up to 25% on car insurance, plus up to 50% on your home insurance when you bundle both your home and car insurance with OTIP! https://bit.ly/31SYBRf #OTIPUpdate

We continue to be available to you.  Please reach out.  We are in this together, virtually at least 🙂
In solidarity,
aileen~

Please see the attached message
from Harvey Bischof

COVID -19 Update #2

This will be posted to MyOSSTF later today

ELECTIONS UPCOMING

As indicated Monday, our AGM will look a little different this year.  It had been slated for April 27th.

Although we are awaiting details from Provincial regarding constitutional variance, we will be moving forward this time with the Election portion. This is to ensure those positions which impact staffing will be resolved.  Constitutional changes and Budget will be delayed for now.  

VOTING

Last year we implemented electronic voting for the Teacher Bargaining Unit.   We will be moving to a new platform this year and to be eligible to vote members MUST be registered on our local OSSTF website.  If you have not already done so please please click this link to register as soon as possible.

NOMINATIONS

Nominations may be submitted electronically with supporting emails from two members.  This form provides the modified information.   NOMINATION FORM

The guidelines have also been temporarily adjusted in order to meet the limitations of our current situation.
Candidates should be sure to read this carefully.   ELECTION GUIDELINES

The following TBU positions are up for election: 
President and Vice President for  2 year term
Secretary, Treasurer, 2nd and 3rd VP for 1 year term
 

DISTRICT ELECTIONS

The following District positions are up for Election
District Officer  (Release)  2 yr term
Treasurer (Modest Release – 2 days per month)  1 yr term
Secretary 1 yr term

We will be using the same voting process and a singular ballot for these positions

The nomination forms and guidelines for the election of these positions have been similarly modified.
DIST NOMINATION FORM               DIST ELECTION GUIDELINES


To all those planning to run for a position, Good luck with your campaigns.
In solidarity,
Aileen~

Tuesday Update

We confirmed this morning in our meeting with Senior Administration the following:

System Staffing 

  • Staffing will be funded at 23:1
  • School level staffing committees will be meeting electronically to review information as it starts to roll out April 1st
  • Indigenous learning will  likely form part of the plan upfront with a target average of 18:1
  • Elearning hubs are anticipated to continue
  • Normal dates for transfer/ increase and decreases and surplus will be adhered to

Current Programming

  • These two weeks remain planning focus.
  • Consider ways in which you may move key components of instruction to an alternate delivery method using any practical  Board approved platform.  These include edsby, Google classroom and D2L.
  • No evaluative components are being considered at this time, but this may change.
  • Acknowledgement that a significant number of students will be difficult to engage without a connection to credit attainment.
  • Teaching and Learning will be providing leadership during this time to create potential instructional learning teams within or across schools to support teachers in implementing.
  • Creative ideas are welcome to ensure equitable access to learning for all students, including but not limited to ELL, LLS,  Immersion, workplace, Co-op/OYAP,  Tech and the Arts.  The Board is interested in seeking input from teachers about how to best move forward should this be prolonged.  Feel free to contact our consultant members.
  • Recognition there are lots of barriers for teachers in rural areas or who may not currently have the materials they need from worksites.

Additional News includes:

Provincial OSSTF meeting for Bargaining Unit Presidents and Chief Negotiators

Occurring Thursday evening and will provide an update on Bargaining in the current climate and the current school Board shut down implications.  I will send out a communication regarding the elements I am permitted to share after that confidential meeting.  It typically takes time to process and summarize key points so please be patient.  I welcome thoughts to inform my participation as your representative.   

OECTA DETAILS LEAKED

Affiliate friends have provided the following sneak peak.  We shall await provincial comment.
PAGE 1   PAGE 2   PAGE 3

Stay safe and in solidarity,
Aileen~

Recent Developments

Effective immediately, the Ministry has fully closed all schools, including previously permitted, limited access.  The Board is intending to spend the next two weeks preparing staff to support students at a distance as an interim measure.  It remains unclear what that will involve and if it will only be specific subject areas, grades and pathways or all.  I have expressed all practical concerns about moving to a distance learning model and will continue to do so on your behalf.  In the mean time, we remain in a planning only mode.

There are no doubt more questions than answers at the moment and it will take time to allow the Board to respond to this most recent development.

Please continue to be patient.  I am always happy to hear from any of you, as you help to inform my leadership in this most peculiar time.

In solidarity,
aileen~

 

Touching Base

This morning your release officers met virtually with Dave Warda in attendance and discussed the many concerns we all have in these unpredictable times.   

Work Expectations
You will be receiving communications regarding building access from Principals.  Learning of new material is considered on hold.  There are significant,  if not insurmountable obstacles to implementing distance learning for all.  Conversations continue to occur and your many concerns are being heard.  You are encouraged to be patient with yourself, each other, students and our leadership teams as we explore options.  

Negotiations
I have received numerous questions regarding the state of negotiations;  especially under the pressure of ETFO and OECTA having tentative deals.  Although we all understand the importance of reaching a settlement there remain more urgent, pressing matters.  OSSTF has been putting their energies and efforts towards working collaboratively with Governments and local Boards to address and advocate for the immediate concerns of families and working conditions of us all.  Please know I am here and listening.  We do not anticipate any table updates in the foreseeable future. 

Resources
We will be communicating regularly in the days ahead, information that relates to our AGM, elections, system staffing,  instruction and evaluation expectations, and support for those among our membership struggling with well-being.  A reminder of the resources we have available through Educators FinancialOTIP, and Lifeworks.  

Communities in Need
We determined as a team, that we would like to support were we can people and organizations in need.  If you are aware of any local needs being expressed please let us know so that we may contribute to supporting our communities.  We have reached out to the Board also regarding this initiative.

PD reimbursement
A reminder that members may apply for reimbursement for PD.  In light of some of the unexpected financial struggles people may be facing, we will begin processing these applications and continue to do so, on going.   The form can be found on our website, under the district tab, resource forms, PD reimbursement.  Email scanned copies to me.

Last thoughts
As teachers we are by our nature planners.  It challenges each of us to be in the midst of uncertainty.  Stress is real and has a very steep physical cost.  Please practice all of the things you would encourage in those you love.  Be sure to eat, sleep, be creative, stay active, stay connected and socialize virtually.  Reach out if you need help, support, encouragement or just to vent.  It remains my honour and privilege to serve each of you as President.

Stay well and strong!

In solidarity,
Aileen~

 

Provincial COVID-19 Update
Local updates at bottom of message

Read the full text here  Provincial Update

Key Points:

  • Health resources  LINK
  • Provincial staff/leadership working remotely.
  • Government Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit – For members NOT being paid, this may be applicable for some member partners.
  • Community Projects and Initiatives seeking constructive ways educators may have a positive impact on communities during this pandemic.  Ideas welcome, please contact your President. 
  • Learn at Home    Resources have been developed by OCT educators but the portal does not provide formal curriculum delivery.  * See Lecce quote below
  • Provincial  does not advise attempting to provide alternate learning plans on your own. If contacted by students or parents, direct them to the Learn at Home website.
  • Avoid speculating with students about the possible length of school closure.  
  • All Sanctions are currently cancelled.
  • Your health is the priority.
  • As the COVID-19 pandemic crisis continues to unfold, OSSTF/FEESO will be issuing frequent updates to provide members with as much pertinent information as possible.
     

 From Lecce*
“. . . we propose to work with all education partners to develop a plan to support continuity of learning for students. We will be asking all school boards to use the upcoming school closure period to develop a plan should the school closure period need to be extended. Our goal would be to restore teacher led learning to the greatest extent possible, recognizing the challenges in doing so while respecting public health direction. We will be asking school boards to develop a plan that supports teachers in connecting with their students to ensure the successful completion of the school year for all students, and to support students in advancing to the next school year and to graduate.”

LOCALLY 

The Board will be reaching out to Principals and teachers this week about accessing the items you may need to be able to productively plan and work from home for the upcoming two weeks.  Stay tuned for their communication.  Lastly, I know this has not been the relaxing, restorative March Break many of us dreamed of but I hope that you and all those you love are healthy and remain so.  I am available any time by text or email.
In solidarity,
Aileen~
cell: 705-931-5638

ETFO Tentative Deal Reached.

News broke that ETFO has reached a tentative deal.  Details of both the ETFO agreement and OECTA agreement are still confidential.  Ratification votes are to be held in the weeks ahead.

Communications are anticipated from Provincial regarding next steps.  I will continue to monitor my messages should there be any breaking news or bargaining updates for OSSTF members.

CTV has the story here:  https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/ontario-government-reaches-tentative-agreement-with-etfo-1.4862278

Stay safe and In Solidarity,
Aileen~

All Sanctions Suspended, other updates

SANCTIONS
Provincial Executive will be emailing members directly with an update indicating ALL Sanctions will be suspended until further notice.  Provincial Executive voted unanimously to engage in this action and will provide their reasons in that email.  Information sent will also be posted to MyOSSTF Provincial site.

A press release will be issued around 10 am today informing the public of this decision.  

OTHER NEWS
During the school closures your Federation leadership team will still be available to ensure a number of issues are addressed. Feel free to contact me directly at 705-931-5638 or by email

Key Information

  • New timelines for staffing will be set at a meeting occuring on March 24th
  • AGM to be Rescheduled (AMPA postponed to late May or early June)
  • Class trips cancelled for the month of April 2020.
  • Impact on school activities to be determined
  • OSSLT cancellation announced by some Boards, confirmation pending
  • OECTA contract offer details still unknown, Ratification April 8th

In solidarity,
aileen~

 

Communications from KPRDSB

These are interesting times.  Please continue to check regularly for updates from our employer.  Individual questions should be directed to secondary_staffing@kprdsb.ca.

Generally please co-operate in the following directives:
No access to schools– Closed, no exceptions for teachers.
Home-assignment – you are working remotely during the school day and should be available as needed.
Plan and Prepare – The intention is to not create any new assignments to begin before our full return so as to not disadvantage those students who have barriers.  You may support during the work day on existing assignments.
Do not extend travel after March 22 – follow all directives of the health department and remaining in your home communities is advisable.
School trips are likely to be cancelled through May.
All Day Care Centres closed also and external permits in the Board will be cancelled. 
CURRENT STRIKE SANCTIONS CONTINUE

Any essential Union Meetings may be held remotely.  We are awaiting information about the potential OECTA deal which is yet to be ratified.

I understand these are stressful times with a lot of uncertainty about the usual things we do such as Provincial competitions, Performances, Awards, Post-secondary planning and open houses, Trips near and far.  I will continue to seek answers to any questions members may have.  Thank you for your patience and cooperation.

In solidarity,
aileen~

 

HIS MESSAGE IS BEING SENT ON BEHALF OF PIERRE COTE, GENERAL SECRETARY
FOR DISTRIBUTION TO ALL MEMBERS
 
Good evening
 
Pursuant to Minister Lecce’s announcement with regards to closing of schools until April 6 2020, a phone conference was held with the unions representing workers in the education system.  An Assistant Deputy Minister has shared the following information:
 

  • All schools will be closed and contract workers will be paid
  • The closure does not necessarily apply to child care centres and the Ministry is still awaiting guidance on that issue
  • School based child care centres housed in schools will be a local School Board decision, including the before and after school programs
  • LTO’s and long term casual education workers who had been scheduled to work during the two weeks will be paid
  • There was no clarity or commitment for daily occasional teachers and daily casual education workers
  • Board Administration office closures will be a local School Board decision
  • Whether or not individual employees are called into work will be a Board by Board decision and the government mentioned cleaning and custodial staff in particular but not exclusively
  • The status of staff normally laid off during March break and normally recalled is unclear
  • The impact on the status of the school year is unknown

 
Please note that we are simply relaying verbal information provided to us over the phone.  We have requested further clarification and information in writing, including what is being shared with employers.  We will send further information as it becomes available. 
 
The French translation will follow. 
 
Please send questions to Pierre Côté, General Secretary.
 
Pierre Côté, Ph.D., 
General Secretary
 
 
Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation
Fédération des enseignantes-enseignants des écoles secondaires de l’Ontario
60 Mobile Drive  |  Toronto, Ontario  |  M4A 2P3
Phone:  416-751-8300  |  Toll-Free:  1-800-267-7867
Fax:  416-751-8876 

 

MINISTER’S ANNOUNCEMENT

Hello Everyone, 

The Ministry of Education has just released a statement that all publicly funded schools will be closed following March break for two weeks. Schools will re-open on April 6th.   The director has shared the news release to your work email.

KPR is waiting for further directions from the Ministry and will share those with the Unions and staff as soon as possible. We will communicate further when we have more information. 

We have already received countless questions and have many of our own, about the implications and concerns, particularly regarding pay.  I am working to get an answer and will inform members ASAP.  Please know your concerns are important .  Please reach out if you need anything.  I am listening and will provide information as soon as it is known.  

These are certainly interesting and challenging times for us all.  Be kind to yourself and one another.  

In solidarity,
aileen~

OSSTF/FEESO to pause rotating strikes, increase limited withdrawal of administrative services.

OSSTF/FEESO  paused all full withdrawal of service job actions beginning Monday. Rotating strikes will not occur until the week of March 30th at the earliest.  

In addition, members will expand their limited withdrawal of administrative services in schools and worksites.  A full list of sanctions has been provided previously.  Direct any questions to your Branch President.

Please take advantage of this current Provincial direction to rest and restore.

In solidarity,
aileen~

New Sanctions Announced

This email includes an urgent, confidential email to all members from Provincial President, Harvey Bischof.

This communication includes a long list of new sanctions to be added effective March 9th.  (5 day notice not required)

Click to read the letter here . 

There are many new sanctions and below is not the entire list but highlights key points impacting most members:

Members shall NOT

  • Provide anything other than a mark and learning skills on any formal or interim report card. In non-credit courses (eg. special education K courses), a single comment will be provided.
  • Organize/attend group/department meetings at any time
  • Attend Position of Added Responsibility meetings at any time
  • Attend central (board) committee meetings/councils with the exception of joint union/employer meetings including Joint Health and Safety Committee meetings and Staffing Committee meetings
  • Deliver/organize PD/training seminars or present at PD seminars
  • Participate in any aspect of School or Board Improvement Plans
  • Update and post on school/board-related websites, excluding individual teacher/class curriculum websites
  • Assist with “admin” tasks including photocopying and distribution of school/board documents with the exception of student course selection materials
  • File EQAO/OSSLT results
  • Provide co-op worksite visits outside of the regular instructional day
  • Engage in any work related email or phone calls outside of the regular instructional day or paid work day. Communication with parents outside of the regular instructional day about urgent student matters will be at the professional judgement of the member.
  • others listed in letter

Our Leadership team will be meeting with Branch Presidents and Protective Service reps this afternoon to discuss implications of this pending announcement.   Also on the agenda will be Staffing.

We ask at this time you refrain from sending in questions until after your Branch President has been to the meeting and can report back. 

Please continue to engage in all your efforts to apply political pressure.  You make a difference!!

In solidarity,
aileen~

Message to Members from Harvey Bischof- President

Provincial requested that the linked document be distributed to all Members.  Please share this with any members who may not be on our distribution list.  Please click on the following link for the latest:
Bargaining Bulletin #42

In solidarity,
aileen~

What a difference a day, an hour, a minute makes

I spent today representing OSSTF by presenting a workshop on Mental Health in a neighbouring District.  Conversations were dynamic and emotional and we all left having learned about the real impacts of stress and how to make a difference.  Never before in our history has the importance of  understanding mental health been more critical.  

Provided here, is the initial response  (Bargaining Bulletin #41) released by Provincial office earlier today.  Although there seemed reason to feel  hope,  we must remind ourselves to be ever vigilant;  we can not relent.  A lot is still unknown and we continue to see a Government adept at deception, distraction and evasion.  We remain skeptically optimistic.  Moments before I was to send this message another announcement arrived.  “As a follow up to Bargaining Bulletin #41, exploratory talks have now ended.  We have no future bargaining dates scheduled at this time.”  This will hit media shortly.

Here is the pdf of the Public Consultation report from last spring that the Government refused to release because it contradicted every decision they were making and supported our stance as educators proud of a strong education system.  As a caution when reading the document please note the summary is commissioned and does not reveal the full contents of the report.

In other news Provincial has provided a Queen’s Park update

We must hold tight to one another in solidarity.  Know that the hard work you have done to date has created movement and is deeply appreciated.  An end to disruption will come one day but today is not that day.. Thank you for your efforts and demonstrating the power of many.   I am exceedingly proud to be your President.  

In solidarity,
aileen~

Exploratory Talks and Informal Meeting Regarding Negotiations to start Sunday Night

Sanctions continue

The following Districts will be on strike next Thursday March 5th;
District 4, District 5B, District 12(Toronto), District 15(Trillium-Lakelands), District 17, District 23, District 29(Hastings-Prince Edward) and Portions of Districts 32 and 33.  The full communication is here.  In D14, We will be continuing with the same limited withdrawal sanctions   A copy of the strike rules summary is available here…STRIKE RULES

This represents the first wave of the third round of one-day full withdrawal of services. Previously, D14 has been in group two.  In anticipation of future possible full withdrawals, members they must report to their assigned line on-time and must complete a full three-hour picket duty. If you need a membership card or replacement, request them here:  http://bit.ly/D14membercard.

Progress Reports:

Lastly, I have heard from a number of members about your disappointment regarding progress reports. I understand the perception that we are not acting in solidarity with ETFO on this matter.  Each union makes their own sanction and strike decisions; provincially, the unions have been communicating frequently.  The rationale for completing progress reports is to balance the fine line keeping parents on side while still sending a message to the government. Recent polling and the released results of parent consultations confirm we are fighting the right fight.
 
OSSTF has been slow, steady and intentional with each action. Please continue to share questions, concerns, and ideas.  As your President, I am listening and share your messages forward. Our struggle is the same as our affiliates though tactics vary.
In solidarity,
aileen~ 

Trustee Engagement

Tuesday night, at our annual OSSTF ETFO Member Art Show we had an opportunity to speak with a group of Trustees who attended.  The conversations clearly indicated they share our concerns but continue to be reluctant to speak out publicly.  

Afterwards, Our ETFO friends held a silent protest in the galley of the Board meeting, again expressing a desire for them to break their silence  They pointed to evidence of  the actions of Trustee Boards in Halton and Waterloo and more are breaking their silence.  Although Opsba has made public statements they get very little media traction.  Their website is found here  https://www.opsba.org/

We have heard from Provincial that the Catholic Trustee association https://www.ocsta.on.ca/   has been working closely with OECTA to achieve a resolution at the negotiation table.  Provincial Executive expressed a concern that despite private attitudes of concern for the deep cuts Boards and Trustees have remained relatively uninvolved.  Locally we continue to ask our elected reps for the courage to speak up against what is harmful to Education.

Previously you, our members,  shared your thoughts for our trustees.  This comprised a presentation that was given to the Program committee on Feb 11, 2020 with the majority of trustees in attendance. Your VP Ellen Hinan delivered a 10 minute presentation and I aided in the Questions portion. The content of this presentation and package of materials provided are included below  for your information;

SUMMARY of Results for trustees
Follow up formal communication includes talking points of presentation
Provincial AD by joint affiliates
Letter to Government from OPC
Economic Case for investing in education
Small classes, Big Learning
The effectiveness virtual learning report – PDF too large  original web link

Thank you for your contributions to our conversations and please continue to raise your political voice in our efforts.  

In solidarity,
aileen~

United in the fight- What will you remember?

We will remember this day, each in our own way.   In many ways, this day feels like the one we were all hoping for;  The day when every publicly funded teacher in the province and many of the education workers went out on strike together.  We all sacrifice a day of pay.   It feels like a thankless gesture at times.  Like we are just giving the government what they want in savings.  We crunch the numbers. There is however, a larger narrative.  One in which the accusation that this fight is about money fades away.   We know it is not.  Despite the longevity of our sanctions thus far, we have maintained public support and, in some areas, even seen gains.  It is working.  The strike may annoy portions of the public but more and more of that is directed properly towards the Government.  Our majority support will influence conversations when we finally return to the negotiation table.   Slowly perhaps, but in time an agreement will be reached.  We will dig deep and maintain this steady pace.  We must continue to encourage each other to keep our movement in the same direction.    Each of you  provides your own leadership on the line; Some with drums, or a chant, others with amusing stories, a deck of cards, providing wood to burn or a box of yummy snacks.  I am partial to the snacks. 😊 Through these actions we lift each other’s spirits.

Fill your mind with memories today as we walk side by side with our affiliates, each proudly waving our flags or carrying our signs, united in a common message that cuts hurt kids.  Take advantage of this opportunity to share.  Some schools will remain as quiet sentinels rather than bustling places of learning, as we congregate in ever larger numbers at shared sites.  We will experience a new energy.  I deeply appreciate the willingness of many of you to lift your roots and picket somewhere unfamiliar.  This is symbolic of our fight not only being ours but a collective war.  We unite for a future of quality education in all of our work sites.  A fight based on hope and a belief that this resistance will make a difference for our students. This strike will warn all future governments regardless of their political ideology, that targeting education and the future of this province will not be tolerated.  We will not be divided. They can not turn us against one another.

To each of you whether I see you personally on the line today or not I say “Thank you”.  I wish I had better words to express the deep genuine way I appreciate each person who will be out there today.  I recognize you would rather go to work today, inspiring young people.  I am so very proud of this teacher bargaining unit because when called, you answered.  Even those who didn’t vote for this.  You’ve shown up and made the very best of it.  Your passion for this profession is evident.  The love from your communities, parents and students steadfast.  I hope that is what you remember.  The outpouring of encouragement from those who will most directly benefit.  Remember the trust they continue to place in you  to stand up against this injustice. Our students truly matter.  They are watching and learning from our resolve.  Today especially, you ARE inspiring young people.  Arm in arm with our colleagues in OECTA, ETFO and AEFO we shall be heard and impact history.   Thank you, thank you and thank you.
As always, stay warm and safe.   Be kind to yourself and others and I hope I see many of you again tomorrow in Niagara Falls as we gather with even more of our Labour allies.

In solidarity,
Aileen~

REMINDERS FOR THIS WEEK

Teachers who wish to change their picket location should complete the online request for this strike before 3 pm today  REQUEST FORM

Those in need of a membership card may request one here  NEW CARD

If you want to join the massive rally in Niagara  Falls this Saturday, register for a bus  BUS REGISTER

February Provincial Council Summary – lots of information and opportunities

Strike Breaking

It is important to fully participate in strike actions.  Please read the attached Provincial rules release

President Harvey Bischof- remarks

Affiliates are working in coordination where possible and will not undermine one another at the bargaining table; he is confident we are all on the same page.

Members’ relentless messaging remains a critical component of the strategy and is swaying public opinion.

Lecce appears connected to the individual who paid for the education attack ads that appeared in several major papers recently.

To date, our OSSTF staff association has donated $30,000 to our strike and protective services fund at the provincial level.

Labour Rally against conservative Cuts on Feb 22- we need you there.

New Member Conference

There will be a New member conference for those in the first ten years of their career who may be interested in getting involved in the union but are not yet.  (Contact your TBU President for details)

Bright space in D2L

Concerns have been raised around ownership of all  teacher-generated content in D2L  This gives D2L, a for-profit organization, ownership of teacher material in perpetuity.  The Terms of Use is under legal review;  Provincial will  have specific advice going forward.

OCT fee

The OCT fee has increased and OSSTF Provincial has voiced their objections.

Line of Credit with Educators Financial

Educator’s Financial’s line of credit rates are the lowest and only for educators-. 4.95% currently

Women’s Advocate positions

Three members from our District will be sent to training April 24-25 in Toronto
Trained advocates have a role to play in supporting members who are victims of Violence.  See your Branch President.  Minimum commitment of two years

Election leaders

Eight members will be appointed Provincially.  A motion is coming to AMPA as part of the strategic plan.  This will be an exciting new opportunity for those who wish to get involved in political influencing.

 

LGBTQI2S  Youth SURVEY

Egale is conducting a national survey of LGBTQI2S youth, ages 14 to 24, about the personal experiences with dating violence, healthy relationships, and support services. The survey is being done in partnership with the University of Manitoba and will result in a comprehensive report. The results of this survey will help inform policy decisions and programming options to combat gender based violence, and will provide insight into our understanding of the unique contexts in which LGBTQI2S youth experience dating violence.  The survey is live now and, as part of our ongoing equity strategy, OSSTF/FEESO is encouraging members to share it as part of their equity, health and physical education curriculum, and any other suitable curriculum channels, in order to reach those young people who can complete the survey. The survey closes March 2020.

 Access the EGALE survey here.

Strike Readiness for Feb 21st – Be Loud, Be Proud

As we move towards next Friday Feb 21st, we are preparing with our union partners in ETFO, AEFO and OECTA to have a strong show of solidarity against cuts to education.

If you have lost or damaged your OSSTF D14 membership/strike card, please enter your information in this google form:  MEMBER CARD REQUEST 

If you would like to request an alternate picket location,  please complete this form:   FEB 21 Strike picket change 


Your local leadership team met or communicated with the leaders of ETFO and OECTA to identify 18 collective picket sites.  Members are being redirected to create large high visible numbers at specific locations. We know this may create some disruption to past routines. OSSTF picket captains will be present at each of the sites and will be connected to the captains from the other unions to facilitate each site.  We have divided responsibility to identify parking, washroom and warming sites among the affiliates.  In some cases, we will be providing bus shuttles to and from parking areas to certain sites. 

As plans continue to unfold the information will be communicated to strike/picket captains. Look for more information and specific details early next week. Please be patient.  If you have questions we may need time to seek answers.  I am sure you can understand coordinating our collective  3700- 3800 members will take a lot of energy, time and consideration as this is new for many of us.

We will be seeking opportunities on that day to have pictures of  mixed groups sharing the same message.  We care about our students, we care about quality education and we won’t back down!   

Remember to stay safe and warm. Be kind to one another and try and have some fun out there! 
In solidarity,
Aileen~

Province Wide Strike by all Affiliates Feb 21st

This email serves as formal notice to all OSSTF members that we will be participating in a full strike day on Friday February 21st.  Picket locations will be coordinated with ETFO, OECTA and AEFO.  We will be gathering in large numbers and targeting specific sites in order to effectively raise our collective voice against this Government. Every member will be doing a three hour shift as assigned.  We will do our best to consider past requests.  Your Strike Captains will be given details in the days ahead and will be responsible for communicating them to you. Our day is finally here to shut this province down.  The day after (Feb 22) many OSSTF and Affiliate members will be joining in a mass rally at the Conservative Conference in Niagara Falls.  We are hoping to fill our buses so our district is well represented.  You can sign up here I am including here a release from Provincial Office STRIKE FEB 21   as well as message There is also a link to a recent video message sent by Harvey Bischof speaking about the importance of the plight of our Education worker members.  MESSAGE

Trustee Presentation

Much appreciation to all members who contributed their voice to the presentation that was brought to the Trustees last night.  Ellen Hinan (TBU VP) did an excellent job presenting and high lighting the impacts to our local and our strong need to have Trustees take a visible courageous stance against the Government actions that are eroding education.  A copy of the materials presented to Trustees will be sent in a second communication later today.

Strength and Hope

We are poised once again, ready to walk the picket line; though in these moments it feels hard. Hard to willingly sacrifice for the fight.  The stress of it all seeming insurmountable.  This time of year is hard regardless.  Scrambling to settle into a new semester, long dark nights, cold and ice and February blahs.  We are struggling, we see our colleagues struggling.  But as I reflect back on where we were a year ago, before Ford’s announcement of the move to 28 to 1, we were collectively hopeful.  Hopeful redundancies were at an end, promises of diverse programming as students began to immerse themselves in selecting courses  We were blind to the difficult decisions looming regarding courses and deep cuts.  Students and staff excitedly still planning and imagining, excited for the March break we’d planned or even the next year.  A new era perhaps.  Things that are hard to dream of just now.  We simply couldn’t anticipate or even imagine what that spring and fall would bring.  Yet here we are in the shadow of worries of when and how this will all end.

Sunday was ground hog day.  It is one of my favourite days of the year.  This past Sunday the Groundhog saw no shadow and predicted an early spring.  The earth will begin warming and life will burst forth with promise just as we now are longing for resolution.  We must allow those thoughts to re-enter our minds.  Thoughts of hope.  Tackling this government has been a little like fighting a Gorilla.  We don’t stop when we are tired;  we can only stop when the Gorilla is tired.  When we are tired it is difficult to see the gorilla is also weakening.   But he is.  Dates for negotiation for both OECTA and ETFO hold promise.  We have polls indicating continued support for our fight for our classrooms and student quality of learning. I meet people regularly who want to extend their encouragement.   Daily press in all legitimate media continues to resonate with our story.  Our negotiating team patiently and strategically preparing for our moment.  We continue the fight and although the progress seems difficult to measure and we have our own desires for time at the negotiation table, you need to know movement is  still happening.  Forward progress, no matter how slow it seems is still forward progress.
 
As your president I am here listening to your concerns, hopes, fears and frustrations.  It is our third day on the line and as we again raise our picket signs we are collectively ready to do our part.   We are so much stronger than we feel, and spring is coming.  That ground hog wouldn’t lie. He wouldn’t dare.  🙂   Our strength and hope resides in each other.  We need to lift ourselves up as proud professionals.  We need to listen for the voices that cheer us on, ignore the hecklers and trolls and commit to one another; commit to this fight. 
 
Tomorrow,  I am meeting with our Director. This provides an opportunity for us  to discuss the messages you provided in our survey. Later this week, I will travel on your behalf to Toronto to meet with the Provincial Executive and Council of Presidents. Again I will take forward with me your thoughts and ideas.   Today however, is YOUR opportunity to remind ourselves that we are not in this alone. We will walk alongside our OECTA allies, and in two days that follow will visit our ETFO friends out on the pavement. They will have been there then as often as we have been, with additional days looming.  They need our encouragement too.
 
We do not know what is next in store for OSSTF in this battle but I can assure you I am deeply proud to be a leader in D14.   I am proud of the collective and individual efforts I witness daily in this role.  I am humbled by the strength and resilience of our strike captains who are committed to organizing and supporting the work we are being asked to do. If you haven’t thanked them lately please do.  Today is also an opportunity for good conversations with colleagues. Search for signs of hope.  Embrace even the small mercy of a somewhat mild February day.  Celebrate whatever today offers you as you gather united. Remember to keep warm and safe and create a little fun.  I will see you out there, hopefully and hope filled.
In solidarity,
Aileen~

POLITICAL RALLY AND RETIREMENT EVENTS

PEOPLE VS CONSERVATIVE CUTS RALLY

CONFIDENTIAL TO MEMBERS UNTIL FEBRUARY 14th 
Free Trip to NIAGARA on February 22nd.  Buses are being provided.  Grab some people who also care about the many cuts happening across  our public sectors and participate in this Rally.  It will be one to remember and you can be there! 
Sign up for a spot on a bus by completing the following form  BUS REQUEST

Retirement Information – 2 workshops

Separate Registrations are required for these two events….
April 14th OTIP @ Baxter Creek

April 15th OSSTF @ TAS

In solidarity,

aileen~

Full Strike For D14 on Tuesday Feb 4th

Important additional Information

This is an official notification to members that Provincial has told the Government that we, along with 7 other districts, will be on a full withdrawal of services Tuesday February 4th.

Members ARE REQUIRED to picket for only 3 hours this time to align with other affiliates.

Members are reminded to please ENSURE you scan in and out with picket captains to avoid delays in pay or record errors.

Members are reminded you may not be on the employers property for ANY reason  from 12:00 am  to 11:59 pm on the day of withdrawal.

We are adjusting some picket locations and details will follow to Branch Presidents/ Strike Captains.  As this is our third full withdrawal and because winter weather is unpredictable, we are accepting REQUESTS from members who may wish to picket closer to home. 
To request a change please complete the following google request form  before 9 p.m. Sunday Feb 2nd. 
If you do not have a gmail email address you may log into the form using your KPRDSB email address.  The address you provide will be used to notify you iIF and ONLY IF a change has been made to your usual picket location.

Members who have changed work sites with the new semester are to consider their new work site as their default picket location.

In solidarity,
Aileen~

January Newsletter

Please read electronic version here and save a few trees One4ALL Jan2020

People vs Conservative Cuts Rally – Feb 22

Confidential until February 14th.  
Please plan to attend the People vs Conservative Cuts Rally on Saturday, February 22, 2020, at Scotiabank Convention Center (6815 Stanley Avenue, Niagara Falls). This rally will take place during the Progressive Conservative Policy Convention.   D14 will be providing a bus.  You will need to register with our office.  Details to follow.

It is imperative that OSSTF/FEESO sends a strong message to the government that we will not accept the cuts to education. This rally is being held in conjunction with other education, labour and community affiliates.  We will be coordinating with local ETFO 

The OFL and affiliates are asking those who live in or close to Niagara area to attend at 6:30 am to take part in the initial gathering at the entrances of the convention center.  

For those further away from the Niagara area, the general rally begins at 10:30 am and we are expecting thousands of affiliates and community partners to attend at that time.   

It is important that we keep social media advertising of this rally quiet until February 14.  We are going old school with word of mouth The PC MPPs surely expect we will be planning an action, but Provincial would like to keep the details and magnitude of this rally as confidential as possible.

Board Presentation Post-poned

Due to the high volume of delegations presenting to the Board meeting Jan 28th regarding the Crestwood Intermediate proposal we have agreed to present to the Program Committee in the interim on Feb 11th at 7 pm. We will likely follow up at February Board meeting. We will be providing a written report this week only and extending an invitation to Trustees for our ART SHOW and open house on Feb 25th prior to the Board meeting. All are welcome!

Strike Cheques are on their way

Members who participated in the December 18th Strike Day should be getting their cheque from Provincial this week. Our apologies for the delay.

Last weeks Provincial Polling Metrics

Included here are the recent Polling Metrics from Provincial. Feel free to share them publicly. They are also be posted on Bargaining for Education

ETFO Strike Tomorrow

Local members of KPR ETFO will be hitting the pickets tomorrow. OSSTF members are reminded to review the picket protocols provided previously. Members are encouraged to demonstrate their solidarity before the work day, at lunch or after the work day. Most schools will be picketing at their home site this round with the following potential exceptions

Adam Scott Intermediate School teachers will be at Dave Smith’s office on Water Street,
Baltimore will be at Merwin Greer
Beatrice Strong will be at David Piccini’s Office
Buckhorn public school teachers will be at Lakefield Public School
Camborne will be at Terry Fox
Courtice Intermediate will be at Courtice North
Dale Road Senior will be at Terry Fox
Grafton will be at Merwin Greer
MJ Hobbs will be at CCIS Bowmanville
North Cavan Public School teachers will be at James Strath Public School
North Hope will be at Millbrook-South Cavan
Norwood District and Norwood Intermediate will be at Highway 45 and Flora St.
Smithfield will be at Brighton
The Pines will be at Newcastle
Westmount Public School teachers will be at the corner of Sherwood Cres and Weller Streets.

Provincial Directions during ETFO and OECTA actions

Please read the attached Provincial rules

We are pleased to see that our affiliates are ramping up their actions including full withdrawal. Indeed reinforcements have arrived 🙂 Many of our worksites are shared with members from these unions or exist in proximity to them. During the times we have been out, many of our lines were visited by member representatives of ETFO, OECTA and CUPE as a show in solidarity. Social media was flooded with supporting messages. This Tuesday we do not have a formal information picket while some of our OSSTF districts are out. As a strong show of solidarity, it would be great if members took a moment to visit those near by or reached out electronically.

At this time we do not know what dates our local ETFO friends will be out. We continue to work closely with their leadership to try and plan for any potential disruptions.

We are not anticipating disruptions to exams at this time as the Provincial intent to minimize impact to students has been clear throughout our actions. Please take time to recharge and be kind to one another. We know our own escalations will present stress and challenges for many of you. Please reach out to your branch leadership or our office with questions or concerns. I remain committed to listening to you and advocating provincially on your behalf as decisions continue to be made in response to Government actions. Stay strong, stay united and continue to stand against cuts to education.
In solidarity,
aileen~

Provincial Rules Q and A follow up to new Sanctions

Please follow this link from Provincial Q and A

In solidarity,
aileen~

Announcement

Click the above link

More information from your local will follow tomorrow. That communication will hopefully address many questions that will arise. Please know we understand this will be stressful for some of you. Branch Presidents have been apprised.
In solidarity,
aileen~

Info Picket for Wed. Jan. 15th

– 20 minutes
Please complete the following survey regarding the impact of Ford’s Cuts to Education:
INFO PICKET SURVEY

Your information will be collated to create a locally-focused presentation at the KPR Board Meeting (Trustees and Senior Admin) on January 28th, 2020 @ 7 pm. This meeting is open to the public if you wish to attend also.

Last evening, we heard from Provincial Executive that there was a hope that Boards would have taken a more active role in lobbying against the Cuts to Education. We want Trustees and Senior Admin to partner with us in defending quality student education. Your participation in this info picket will be instrumental in continuing to take our message forward to create the pressure we need to force this Government to return to the table with the resources to restore learning conditions.

Thank you for dedicating yourself to this and meeting all expectations during these very demanding and stressful weeks of January. You are an appreciated and valued OSSTF member.

In solidarity
aileen~

Provincial Update and impact data

Below I have provided links to a letter from our Provincial executive regarding current actions and political landscape. It also includes a short presentation of statistics supporting the positive impact your contributions are making

http://bit.ly/janosstf and http://bit.ly/osstfmetrics

EQAO Locally

All members involved in Math EQAO should have received an update from KPRDSB regarding the post-poning of Provincial EQAO. Schools are making local decisions as to how to address the component that is usually used as part of student assessment.

Next steps

Local leadership will be hearing next week what a next phase will look like for OSSTF. We are happy to see that all three affiliates are stepping up or beginning actions to join in the fight to eliminate harmful cuts to students. We are no anticipating disruption to exams at this time. Thank you to every member for your participation in this past weeks electronic information picket. I was impressed by the personal messages and concerns shared. We will be continuing this next Wednesday with creative ways to try and get our message out.

In solidarity,
aileen~

We must protect the integrity of collective bargaining and our education system.  Our predecessors fought for it and we will fight for it.  Every generation has been tested.  Every generation has risen to the task.

It is cold out there, but we need to keep our collective fire burning. I am always happy to hear what is on the minds of members.  It helps inform my leadership and properly represent your voice provincially. Thank you to those of you who have reached out to me expressing your concerns, fears, frustrations and stresses.  If you didn’t hear back it is likely your message did not get through. Please don’t hesitate to reach out again or call me directly.  I want to hear from you. Say hi if you see me somewhere out on the line today as I travel through portions of our District.  Your other release officers, Ellen and Kevin, as well as Erin Leonard, Dave Warda, Tracey Germa, Randy Banderob, Gary Fenn and various Provincial staff representatives will be out visiting sites and loaning their support as well.  Please welcome these familiar and some newer faces to your sites.  They will help us have a better understanding of the Provincial landscape.

From my perspective, rotating strikes are but one tool among a lot of other things we are using to combat an ideologically inflexible adversary.  Evidence currently supports that rotating one day strikes ARE having an impact.  We continue to get attention each week at the peak of the news cycle despite competing story lines.  Our messages are repeated and discussed each and every week.  The research and polling that Provincial continues to conduct, reveal that parents and the public are supporting us.  We have collectively worked exceptionally hard at winning public opinion, and portraying ourselves as the trustworthy, dedicated and reasonable people we are.  The Government is forced to pay attention each time we do something, and today’s strike is no exception.  We are turning up the pressure when they want it all to go away.  Dave Warda has assured me that there is a lot of pressure on this government to sort this out.  These disruptions have effectively brought the government back to the table even short term. Letting up now is a signal that we are wavering. We are indeed engaged in a long battle.  Longer likely than any of us wants, and we must conserve our energy and continue to be kind with one another, even when we disagree.  This Government is not about to just roll over.  The Minister wants us divided.  The Minister wants to divide us also from public and parent support. We need to always be mindful of this and remain united.

There are considerable financial pressures on everyone at this time of year.  The individual cost seems deep and counter intuitive.  We are fighting a massive increase in workload, the outsourcing of work through e-learning, and of course the loss of work opportunities for many many teachers in our District and as many as 5000 teachers across the province. If we do not stand up to this now, further cuts will keep coming.  We are fighting for much more than our paychecks, but for the system we want to work in, and the one we want to leave to younger colleagues, and of course our students.

For those of you with questions of our affiliates, please know that they are lending support in any way they are legally allowed and under direction of their leadership. Our local affiliate leaders have been reaching out with offers, encouragement and many similar concerns. They too want to be helpful. Ultimately, we must fight our own battle and not rely on ETFO and OECTA. Their leadership has made decisions. Their fights are similar, but not exactly ours. The target on our backs is much, much bigger from this government as is evident every time the Minister speaks.  We are strong, and they know it.   We must continue to show it.

Our Provincial executive is an experienced and committed team that is using every possible angle and point of leverage to secure a negotiated agreement that will meet the needs of our members.  I know it is difficult to have faith.  We have a communications strategy, a social media war, and clear, consistent messaging about program, opportunity, school safety. These all support the disruption created by these strikes.  We have had maximum chaos, with minimal cost to members, and been keeping the public on our side.   I don’t know what strategies provincial may be holding back but I remain committed to doing everything in my power to implement effectively what we are directed to do and continue to ask the public to join in asking our MPP’s to stop the cuts.  Let us continue to speak with one voice regardless of our separate needs.

Remember to stay warm, stay safe and have some fun out there. Let us hope real progress happens soon and we get this done 🙂 

In solidarity,
Aileen~

Full One day Strike Wednesday Dec 18th

Some details:
• Members will need to have their membership card or a clear picture of it on their phone.
• Members must seek out picket captains (likely in the jaunty red hats) to sign both in and out of their assigned duty.
• Everyone is expected to serve 4 hours on the line. Please make the best of the time, be vigilant, stay safe
• Current weather forecast is partly sunny but a high of only -8. Consider extra layers, hand and toe warmers and sturdy footwear.
• Additional signs are coming that assist in getting our message out to not just our communities, but through social media, every corner of the province. Images and videos shared via twitter, instagram and facebook consistent with the provincial points are encouraged.
Some thoughts:

This is not the news any of us wanted but now more than ever we must pull together, extend kindness to each other and wear our union label proudly. I know there are challenges and questions about the merits of the current strategy and the apparent absence of our affiliate unions but one thing is clear; our outrage should be squarely directed toward this Government. There will be time to debate later. The Provincial Government has demonstrated a complete disregard for safe quality learning environments, recklessly and shamelessly changing our working conditions and funding.
The years that will follow will be dismal should we fail collectively, fracture or dissent. These actions are researched and designed to protect what it has taken us decades to rebuild after the last politically created crisis in education. Our disruptions are a complete aggravation to the government and our local MPP’s and that has them anxious to make us go away. We will not be silenced. This movement will grow. We are here, we are here, we are here!! Each and everyone of you matter in this fight for our collective future. Let us not take thought for our separate interests, but let us help one another. or if you prefer Ne sibi quisque consulat, sed inter nos auxilio simus. (I think Latin should make a come back, no?) Indeed this is stressful, but I trust in your Branch leadership to guide each of you through this difficult process. It will end; albeit we don’t yet know when. The cost of not fighting is so much greater. Kevin, Ellen, Erin, Dave Warda and I will all be out again and we welcome your comments and thoughts. Know that we were all deeply impressed by the strength you have already shown, we have an incredible bargaining unit in which I am proud to lead.

In solidarity,
aileen~

Strike continues; next steps

By now you have likely had an opportunity to see/hear Harvey Bischof’s announcement regarding next week’s potential  actions, either in the news or on social media.  Provincial negotiators continue to try and entice the Government to come to the table and work on reaching a deal by  putting forward a conditional offer to move to a private mediator provided that class sizes are protected, elearning is not made mandatory and cost of living can be considered.  The Ministry has not responded.  The sides have not met since last Monday.  Provincial  announced selected districts will be participating in another one-day walk-out next Wednesday, December 11th,  IF we are unable to reach an agreement.  We were NOT selected for this action, at this time.  However in solidarity, we have been directed to have EVERY member provide twenty minutes of their time that same day to doing more information pickets.  Each work location under the direction of your strike captain is joining this activity.  Information pickets may take place before school, at lunch or after school.  Again, we are encouraged to share the message on social media.

While reflecting on this past Wednesday, I was inspired  and impressed by the solidarity and  kindness demonstrated with one another and the great conversations and questions. Thank you for trusting in your local leadership.  It was interesting to see that many of our community members remain unaware of our concerns or the steps the government has been taking to destroy quality education in the Province.  We need to collectively push ourselves to reach beyond our usual circle of friends, parents and family to educate the public and continue to promote others to message local MPP’s, the Minster of Education and the Premier.  It is simple utilizing the hereforstudents.ca website. 

In addition to our information picketing on Wednesday December 11th, we remain on strike- participating daily in the limited withdrawal of identified services until a settlement is reached.  Please continue to refuse to do work that has been struck.  I recognize that it can be a strain to comply, but it does make a difference.

Going forward we can anticipate the possibility that D14 will be called upon to participate in further one day strikes or other escalating actions. Please ensure you have your membership card for any attendance requirements to ensure you will receive your strike pay from Provincial Office as well as Pension and benefit coverage.   Anyone who does not have their card yet, please contact me directly to resolve that as soon as possible.  

We have received the following plan from HR / Payroll. The deduction for being on strike on Wednesday December 4 will be processed for contract teachers likely on the December 13th pay .  Your pay stub will indicate “DAYS NOT” as a negative number on the earnings side of the pay stub. The calculation for the removed pay is: annual salary / # of days in the school year. So, for a Category 4 Grid Level 10 member, the calculation is: $99,973 / 194 = $515.32.  December 13th is a 6% pay, instead of a regular 4% pay so your deposited earning will still appear higher than usual.

I hope, despite the disruption of snow days and full day of strike, that you are remembering to take care of yourself, making adjustments as required and taking advantage of the weekends as restorative.  A reminder that this approaching holiday season is not always joyous for everyone, that many of us struggle and and we all need to be patient with each other and ourselves.  We are here to support the needs of our members.  Please contact us anytime.

In solidarity,
aileen~  

Thank you and Update from Provincial

On Wednesday, OSSTF/FEESO held its first province-wide action in over 20 years.  It was an absolutely remarkable day of solidarity throughout the province.  Members of the Provincial Executive and OSSTF/FEESO staff visited picket lines across Ontario and were met with high spirits and expressions of resolve that were encouraging and energizing.  We also saw, as you no doubt did, massive public support for our positions and willingness to defend them.  It could otherwise be dispiriting to have a Minister of Education who publicly and consistently discredits your commitment to students, incorrectly claiming that compensation is the “singular” impediment to a negotiated agreement when there are so many quality-of-education issues still unresolved.  But the unity of our membership and support from the public, labour movement, NDP, Liberal, and Green Party MPPs, among others, should tell you our struggle is broadly seen as just and necessary. 
 On behalf of the Provincial Executive, thank you to all of you for the overwhelming demonstration of your willingness to stand up for publicly funded education.  A massive thank you goes, as well, to all the local leaders who have worked incredibly hard over the last weeks and days to make Wednesday’s action such a success.  The work that was done behind the scenes will never be fully recognized but we are aware of it and grateful for it.   
 In the days ahead, we remain prepared to negotiate a conclusion that supports you and your work in Ontario’s world-class education system.  If Doug Ford’s government and his Education Minister have not yet recognized that the will of the membership is being expressed through the union and its bargaining team, we will need to take further action.  That action will continue to be measured and proportionate to the government’s approach.  You will always have a minimum of five days’ notice of next steps.   
 Stay unified.  Stay strong.  There is so much at stake for each of us and for the future of this province.  While we may not have recognized that choosing to become educators meant also becoming unionists, once here, we inherit an obligation to be stewards of publicly funded education because no one knows it better and no one is in a better position to fight for it.   
 Yours in Federation, 

Harvey Bischof President, OSSTF/FEESO 

Strike today- some thoughts from your TBU President

Midnight came and went and there was no settlement reached. It is very disheartening. Today challenges every one of us.  We want to work with students in a meaningful way.  It is what we said to ourselves when we began our road to becoming educators. We are reluctant to enter into this combat in such a personal way and yet we must.  I am grateful to each and every one of you for your time today in bringing a focus in your communities to the issues for which we are fighting.  I have heard the concerns, fears and anger and I believe in our strength.

For those of you who have been teachers long enough to remember the last time we walked the picket line together, I know this day will be difficult.  Please take time today with colleagues to share your experiences in the protests you have known; be it the Harris years and Bill 160, Rae days, Bill 115, teaching 7 of 8,  grid freezes, or the like.  You are leaders today and your experience defending education is one I hope you now reflect on now with pride. Albeit weary, you are called to fight the good fight again and help guide others.  

For those among us earlier in your careers, who have persisted against tough odds into a career in education, enduring precarious times and earning my admiration for your tenacity, I encourage you to trust in this bizarre process.  There truly is strength in remaining together.  In our meetings, we don’t have to agree, but today, we will stand united.  There is a long career awaiting you and it will be built on the foundations of the outcome of this fight.  You are ready!

Remember to thank your picket captains.  Hug them if they will let you 🙂  There will be things that don’t quite go as planned today but this group of individuals have incredible heart and deeply care about each of  you.  They have worked tirelessly and without reward to prepare for this strike.  They dedicated themselves to understanding all they needed to answer questions, address fears and inspire.  As Leaders, they faithfully championed your concerns and I am ever so grateful for their patience and humour.  Lean on their leadership today.

Ellen, Kevin, Erin, Dave Warda and I will be out visiting sites today.  Two very experienced OSSTF leaders will be in the office today; Daen Kivari (TBU 2nd VP) and Lynne Rae (newly retired and OTBU member).  I appreciate their willingness to field calls and address the needs you may have out on the line today.  Please reach out whenever needed and send any pics.

On a personal note, I have moved my  original under dog patch to a newer blue jacket and will sport it proudly once again. As you face today, remember to bring your kind heart and to laugh often.  Stay warm, and safe and find comfort in one another.  Teaching can be a very isolating profession but today, we are together.  We are standing united, as one voice against cuts that would see one in four of us without a job.  It is simply unacceptable.

Today and every day, let us not take thought for our separate interests, but let us help one another.

In solidarity,
aileen~

From Harvey Bischof, President OSSTF/FEESO

To OSSTF/FEESO members who are preparing for job action tomorrow,

OSSTF/FEESO negotiators remain at the bargaining table, attempting to negotiate a deal that’s good for our members and good for students – a deal that defends and preserves the quality of Ontario’s publicly-funded education system.

We will do everything we can to achieve an agreement with the government and the school board associations before midnight.

However, unless you hear otherwise prior to midnight, we will proceed with tomorrow’s one-day walkout as planned.

On behalf of the Provincial Executive, I thank you for your continued support and solidarity.

Harvey Bischof
President

Please stay tuned
In solidarity,
Aileen~

Bargaining Update, Dec 2nd 2019

Update on Teacher/Occasional Teacher Central Table Bargaining 
OSSTF/FEESO representatives met Monday with representatives from the government and the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA) at the Teacher/Occasional Teacher central bargaining table.  
Very limited exploratory discussions about e-Learning occurred on and off throughout the course of the day, but those discussions failed to resolve the issue or advance the discussion forward. 
As reported in Bargaining Bulletin Issues 24, 25, and 26, OSSTF/FEESO, with a view to discuss potential efficiencies and cost saving measures, requested data related to short term voluntary unpaid leaves on November 1, and  data related to short term voluntary unpaid leaves, as well as the grievance and arbitration processes by Board, on November 14th and 15th respectively. Today, OSSTF/FEESO made the same request for data through the mediator and received some, but not all, of the requested data late in the afternoon. 
There are no more scheduled dates for the Teacher / Occasional Teacher table. OSSTF/FEESO remains committed to continuing the bargaining process and remains mystified by the seeming lack of interest being shown by the government in moving toward settlement. 

To be clear, we are no closer to a settlement today than we were last week or last month, as there has been absolutely no progress. OSSTF/FEESO stands by our proposals because they are fair, reasonable and good for students. 

The BargainingForEducation.ca website will be updated with further details within 48 hours. 

Please frequently check the myOSSTF section of the OSSTF/FEESO website for updated information. 

Harvey Bischof

Provincial Requires the following notice to be given and information be shared

December 2, 2019

Dear Member of Teachers Bargaining Unit OSSTF/FEESO District 14
As President of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation, I am informing you that the  Bargaining Unit, as part of a central sanction, will be taking legal job action in the form of a full withdrawal of services for a single 24 hour period from midnight on December 3, 2019 to midnight on December 4, 2019, in the event a tentative central settlement is not reached by midnight on December 3, 2019.  
Our current collective agreement expired August 31, 2019, many months ago.  You deserve a renewed contract.  There are many substantive issues that need to be addressed, and now is the time to push for real improvements.
Provincial has heard you.  They know you are frustrated and angry that the demands of your job continue to grow and the government refuses to address those challenges by bargaining in a meaningful way. Now is the time to take action in defense of our collective bargaining rights and the achievement of real improvements.
We have informed our employer of our intention to fully withdraw our services as of midnight on December 3, 2019. The Ontario Labour Relations Act protects OSSTF/FEESO members when they commence a lawful strike.  Similarly, it is clear that an employer has no right to discipline employees for any lawful strike action.

If you have any questions please contact your Strike Captain or call the Strike Headquarters at 1-877-OSSTF14

Please continue to read below this letter for required information.

In solidarity,

Aileen Fletcher
TBU President D14

What else you must know;

CENTRAL STRIKE 2019 – OSSTF/FEESO BYLAWS-  This includes duties of all members and information about what happens in the event a member breaks strike
https://gallery.mailchimp.com/308bdcef1271f2a62b569fc46/files/4274cce7-5e31-4969-8569-3815b76b0d4f/Bylaws_for_distribution_to_members.pdf

GUIDELINES FOR PICKETING FROM PROVINCIAL OFFICE
https://gallery.mailchimp.com/308bdcef1271f2a62b569fc46/files/1aa7cec1-a60c-4be4-9cb3-c5ceea2e6c4f/Guidelines_for_Picketing.pdf
1. Picket duty is the responsibility of every member during the strike and every member is expected to perform this duty faithfully whenever and wherever assigned.
2. A member who is physically unable to picket will be assigned to other duties during the strike. Speak to your Strike Captain about your need to be accommodated.
3. Members are required to report absence to the picket captain and/or the Strike Headquarters before 7:00 a.m. on the day of absence.
4. Picket school/workplace driveways and/or entrances.
5. Keep moving. Do not block the sidewalk.
6. Do not go on the Employer’s property at any time.
7. Do not use foul or abusive language or threaten anyone.
8. Smile at everyone. Be polite at all times.
9. Be sensitive to concerns of members of the public.
10. Do not bring pets to the picket lines.
11. Wear comfortable footwear and clothing. Be prepared for rain, cold and heat.
12. Picket duties may be altered during the strike. The Communication System will be used to communicate any changes. 13. During the first week in particular, it is important to maintain a highly visible presence and to stop everyone to explain briefly the Union’s position.
14. Ask everyone to respect the picket line. If individuals must cross or insist on crossing, open the line for them.
15. Talk to all commercial drivers to encourage them not to cross. (Some drivers have a clause in their contract that they do not have to cross picket lines.)
16. Picketing members must never resort to violence or willful destruction of property. OSSTF/FEESO does not condone such activities and may not provide support for members charged with these types of offences.

FAQ’s
https://gallery.mailchimp.com/308bdcef1271f2a62b569fc46/files/87b29107-d3bb-43a3-82e8-9f4cef46b38d/FAQs_for_Members.pdf

PLEASE ensure you share this information with any member you are aware of that is not on our distribution list.  Thank you.

In solidarity,
aileen~

Local and Provincial key information

Local need for cell phone numbers please
Members should ensure the phone number listed on our local website is a cell number to permit text blasts in the event of urgent information needing to be sent as relates to our potential full strike action.  Branch Presidents will be asking you to confirm this.
Updating MyOSSTF
The Communications/Political Action Department has launched new video tutorials for members on logging into the Provincial Website, updating personal profiles, and an overview of the features of the myOSSTF portal. Members can access the video tutorials online by visiting the Member Login page on the provincial website. https://www.osstf.on.ca/en-CA/protectedspace . We encourage members to update their personal email address.
Updates on Teacher/Occasional Teacher Central Table Bargaining 
Friday In good faith, OSSTF/FEESO presented a summary of outstanding issues to the management team, as well as some movement in a few select areas. This took a total of eleven (11) minutes. The Federation offered to meet in a small group to discuss Hiring Practices. A discussion took place. The management team has yet to respond with a written comprehensive pass of their own for the Federation to consider.  
Teacher/Occasional Teacher bargaining will continue on Monday, December 2.  
The Consultation Report
November 30, at the Teacher/Occasional Teacher central bargaining table, OSSTF/FEESO negotiators formally asked the Crown to produce the results of the government’s public consultation on class size, e-learning, and other crucial issues in education. That consultation was concluded six months ago, at the end of May.  Government representatives refused our request.
Today we know, with certainty, why our request was declined.  A report from Global News tells us that parents and others who participated in the consultation overwhelmingly oppose larger class sizes.  This is entirely in line with the results of our polling showing that 76% of parents were concerned that increased class sizes would result in students not getting the individual attention they need from teachers.  The poll recently released by the Ontario Public School Boards Association poll shows two in three Ontarians oppose (41%) or somewhat oppose (25%) having larger class sizes where there are more students per teacher in order to save money.
Minister of Education Stephen Lecce has repeatedly claimed publicly that he is listening to parents.  It is obvious that he is not.  His secrecy and misleading statements make absolutely clear that the Ford government is serving an agenda that has nothing to do with the interests of parents, students, or a high quality, publicly funded education system. Even in a statement released Saturday, the Minister has again painted an increase in average class sizes from 22 to 25 as a reduction.
While the education sector is in turmoil as a result of the Ford government’s cuts, the Premier himself is pretending to be Captain Canada, leaving a Minister at the helm who is clearly out of his depth and driven by an ideology that is harmful to students and the future economy into which they’ll graduate. 
We call on Premier Ford to direct his Education Minister to step back from the government’s destructive path and work with us to achieve a negotiated settlement that maintains the high quality of Ontario’s world class education system, exactly as parents have clearly recommended. 

In solidarity,
aileen~

Provincial President Harvey Bischof Message

November 28, 2019
TO MEMBERS OF OSSTF/FEESO

Today we served notice to the Government and School Board Associations that we will engage in a ONE DAYfull withdrawal of services on Wednesday, December 4. The Minister of Education and his bargaining teams at both the education worker and teacher/occasional teacher central tables continue to avoid meaningful progress on the issues that are crucial to a high quality learning environment for our students, and fair working conditions for our members. The Minister has also undermined negotiations through press conferences at which he has publicly announced bargaining positions that have not been presented by his negotiating teams at the table. He publicly claims that compensation is the only issue preventing a deal, yet his bargaining team has simply refused to address our proposals on crucial issues including class size, e-learning and job security for our members. We are now into the eighth month of the bargaining process. You, our members, provided a decisive mandate to our central bargaining teams through your strong strike vote earlier this month. In light of the government’s refusal to engage in meaningful bargaining, it is time to send a clear message that the teachers and education workers of OSSTF/FEESO are ready to defend Ontario’s publicly-funded education system. The job action we began earlier this week–the information pickets and the limited withdrawal of administrative services–was designed to draw attention to our issues while minimizing disruption to student learning. This one-day, full withdrawal of services will cause a short-term disruption for our students, but if we allow this government to continue down the path it is on, students will suffer the negative impacts for years to come. Thank you for your solidarity and continued support of the publicly-funded education system in Ontario.
Harvey Bischof
President OSSTF/FEESO 

LOCAL UPDATE

Please know that there will remain the possibility that this action could be averted by progress made at the central table.  We all enjoy working with students and this step will feel uncomfortable for many of us, should it occur. Strike Captains and Picket Captains will receive information that will aid them in preparing and organizing our local ONE DAY full strike in the days leading up to action.  Supplies will be provided to assist with visibility, messaging and address safety issues. Please consider carefully what your individual reason may be for being out there. Perhaps it is quality learning opportunities, or a colleague who lost their contract or job, defending the gains we have made or knowing that we deserve fair compensation for the work we do.  This is the good fight.  This is the right fight. 
Lastly, please focus on kindness; Kindness to self and others.  We will get through this together and strive to remain united.  We have the power of many!
In solidarity,
Aileen~

URGENT: Bargaining update at 4 pm Today

Harvey Bischof will be giving an update to the Media on Bargaining at 4 pm today.  Information about how that will be delivered is unclear.  Please stay tuned.   Details will follow shortly about the content of that announcement.

In solidarity,
aileen~

Starting today….
Central Table Bargaining

OSSTF/FEESO and the management teams have set bargaining dates for Wednesday and Thursday of this week. On Wednesday, November 27, OSSTF/FEESO will meet with representatives from the
government and the Council of Trustees’ Associations (CTA) at the Support Staff central
bargaining table. On Thursday, November 28, OSSTF/FEESO will meet with representatives from the government and the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA) at the Teacher/Occasional Teacher central bargaining table.
We will update members with a Bargaining Bulletin after each of these bargaining sessions, and
the BargainingForEducation.ca website will be updated with further information within 48 hours of
each session.
Please frequently check the myOSSTF section of the OSSTF/FEESO website for updated information.

On Legal Strike

Today marks the start of our Sanctions. Locally PD sessions scheduled for this week have been post-poned or cancelled. We will be attending to information pickets over the next week and materials should be arriving. Today, I continue to attend the Ontario Federation of Labour conference Honoured to be here to elect an OSSTF member and the first female President to the OFL. Here with 900 plus labour activists from many sectors and all parts of Ontario. Here is the contingency from OSSTF. I am joined by Marty McCallum and we will be joining others delivering information to the public here.

Information Pickets

Members should be completing their information picket sessions over the upcoming days. There are opportunities to picket outside tonights Trustee Board meeting at 6:15 pm or various MPP offices including Lindsey Park on Nov 26, 27, 28 and Dec 2 at lunch 11:15 am Please ensure your strike captain knows when and where you will be serving your picket duty.

In solidarity,
aileen~

Escalating Actions; non-disruptive to classrooms

Locally we have been preparing as much as possible for the various possible outcomes of failing negotiations centrally.  Yesterday we met with Branch President and Protective Services reps as well as members of the Occassional Teacher executive.  

Today President Harvey Bischof announced that the Teachers and Occasional Teachers will be moving to action.  The intention is to create political pressure and limit conflict with local boards.  Community support continues to be critical so members will be mobilized to distribute key messages to the public, and parents. 

Members are required to do 2 twenty minute duties beyond the school day and without disrupting co-curriculars during a focused week of public messaging.

A list of very prescribed withdrawals from Admin activities have also been provided.  Please seek information and clarification from Branch Presidents and Protective servies reps who will serve as your strike captains.  Questions not resolveable locally will be redirected to the district strike rules committee.  

We understand that it is stressful and concerning to take these steps forward towards possible full walk out.  We remain hopeful that these steps will create a climate that permits real meaningful discussions at the negotiation table.   Our communitiy members support our work and know you care about the future of education and protecting the good work we do.  You are the advocates for our students.  That isnt new.  We will continue to share our story beyond this action and we will face any potential challenges together.  We are here to help and listen to concerns.

In solidarity,
aileen~

More local information will follow

November 21, 2019
CONFIDENTIAL TO OSSTF/FEESO MEMBERS
Dear OSSTF/FEESO Member:

After months of fruitless negotiations at both the Teacher/Occasional Teacher and Education Worker tables, the Crown and School Board Association s (management teams) have left us with no choice but to take the next step in defending public education for the common good.
In March, the Ford government attacked publicly-funded education, announcing a reduction of funding through changing the average class size from 22:1 to 28:1 and the introduction of compulsory e-learning courses. This plan would remove 1 in 4 classroom teachers across Ontario. As boards have scrambled to implement the funding cuts, they have also laid off  hundreds of education workers. We are only in the fi rst year of a four-year implementation of this ill-conceived plan. If it continues to its intended conclusion, publicly-funded education will be unrecognizable.
To make matters worse, the Ford government recently passed Bill 124 in an attempt to cap compensation increases. This means that the government wishes teachers and education workers to accept real losses to salary in each of the next three years when infl ation is factored in. They have also indicated a limit of 1 per cent increases to benefi ts funding, which would absolutely lead to reductions in coverage.
All of this is occurring in what the Premier describes as a booming economy–an economy that has supported corporate tax cuts, 14 per cent salary increases for 31 Tory MPPs, and untold millions of dollars wasted in contract-breaking boondoggles. Not to mention the failed Tory candidate who became chair of the Board at the EQAO with a salary of $140,000.
From the moment that the government’s plans became known, OSSTF/FEESO has been working to get our message out, through television ads, radio ads, print ads, social media, earned media and rallies. And our message has resonated. We have been monitoring public opinion on a regular basis and we know that parents trust teachers and education workers on the issue of education and have indicated consistently that they support us in its defence.
We have also engaged in a fully transparent bargaining strategy where all positions from both sides of the table are posted for anyone to see. We are proud of the positions we have tabled and stand behind all of them. You can visit the site at www.bargainingforeducation.ca
PHASE ONE SANCTIONS
Despite our best efforts to look for negotiated solutions, no progress has been made at the bargaining table. Today, we are serving fi ve days notice to the management team to begin the fi rst phase of strike action. The fi rst phase of sanctions will involve information pickets and a Limited Withdrawal of Services by all Bargaining Units impacted by the School Boards Collective Bargaining Act. These actions will commence on Tuesday, November 26.
OSSTF/FEESO members will continue to focus on and support the learning needs of all students. Members will continue to perform their assigned duties and supervisions, outside of any sanctions as part of a limited withdrawal of services.
As with any strike action, it is very important that members understand these sanctions are NOT voluntary and their full participation is not only expected, but is necessary for the successful advancement of our collective goals.
Information Pickets
Educating is what teachers and education workers do best and providing information to members of our communities is at the heart of the fi rst phase of sanctions. The stakes are high for the future of public education and we need to take every opportunity to spread the word. Between November 26 and December 3, information pickets are being set up across the province. We are delivering a message and we need everyone’s help. These information pickets are an offi  cial sanction and each member is expected to participate in at least 2 sessions. You will hear more from your local leadership and will have the opportunity to sign up in the very near future.
It is important to note that our information pickets are not designed to be disruptive. They are meant to be conducted outside of paid work hours, off  employer properties and not meant to interrupt other events and activities, whether curricular or extra-curricular. They are simply meant to put solidarity on display and to share information.
Limited Withdrawal of Services
This action will begin on Tuesday, November 26 and continue until further notice. By targeting the Ministry initiatives, members will have more time to address student needs. Individual school boards are not the target of these actions. Rather, the Ford government and the central school boards’ associations are the problem.
The list of limited withdrawal of services listed below has been designed to send a message with as little impact as possible on students.
Members shall not:
•    Participate in EQAO preparation or testing
•    Complete Ministry of Education Reports—data will be shared with the Board but reports will not be completed or submitted
•    Participate in board PA (ministry or board topics), other than participating in self- directed PA.
PA days organized by OSSTF/FEESO may continue as usual
•    Participate in unpaid staff  meetings outside the scheduled school day
•    Provide comments on any secondary provincial report cards
•    Perform the work of another Bargaining Unit, even if directed by administration
If you are asked to perform any duty that is included in the list of sanctions, respond in the following manner and contact your local rules committee.
“I am on a legal strike and will not be performing that duty”
All around the province members will be engaging in these strike actions. A strong show of solidarity in this phase will demonstrate that our approach is both measured and resolved. We encourage members to take pictures and share them on social media using the following: #osstf #onted. Ensure that Premier Ford and Minister Lecce are tagged and mentioned @fordnation and @sfl ecce.
We are deeply disappointed that the management team led by the Ford Government has forced this confl ict and has such little regard for the excellent work that members of OSSTF/FEESO do every day. We hope that further escalation will not be required, but we are fully prepared to take the next steps required to safeguard publicly-funded education and members of OSSTF/FEESO. We are a proud organization with a storied history. We have been called to action in the past to defend our beliefs and have never hesitated to take on that fi ght. I am extremely confi dent that we will once again rise to the challenge.
Thank you for your ongoing support and protection of our world-class education system.

Harvey Bischof, President
OSSTF/FEESO
Protecting and Enhancing Public Education
Protéger et faire avancer l’éducation publique    Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation
Fédération des enseignantes-enseignants des écoles secondaires de l’Ontario
60 Mobile Drive, Toronto, Ontario M4A 2P3    TEL 416.751.8300
TEL 1.800.267.7867 FAX 416.751.3394 www.osstf.on.ca

VOTES are in. Our next steps

A message for all Members of OSSTF Teacher Bargaining Unit

Today, President Harvey Bischof announced the results of the Central Strike Vote held around the province in the previous weeks.  We are pleased with the result of  95.5% for Teachers and Occasional Teachers and remain hopeful that such a strong showing from all of the major Education Unions will result in true movement at the table.   We, as members, continue to do our part in this political arena by participating in rallies, writing and calling our MPPs and continuing to share the good stories from our work.  The cuts are already being felt and this is a battle worth fighting to prevent further erosion to our profession in the future.  We are truly here for students.

Locally, we will be meeting with Branch Presidents and Protective Services Representatives on Wednesday Nov 20th to outline expectations and procedures for any potential actions that may result should negotiations not progress as we hope.  We will look to find ways we can provide support locally.  Strike Captains will be established as a back up measure, and all members will be notified of their responsibilities should Provincial OSSTF send out direction for actions.

You are in good hands and I have every confidence in our local branch leaders to faithfully support and represent you.  Information regarding all portions of this process will be on our members only section of the web page under TBU Bargaining updates.  We STRONGLY RECOMMEND and request you please register for our website!  https://www.osstfd14.ca/ The website allows for us to do an auto call out to all members which would remove the burden on branch leadership for possible phone trees and ensure a clear, consistent message.  Thank you for your co-operation in this as we continue to try and tighten up communications.  I appreciate the advice and feedback already provided.  I am here to serve you and I am listening.

In solidarity,
Aileen~

Central Table Bargaining update

As your TBU President, I know that potential sanctions/strike actions are stressful on all of us.  I know that you want to remain fully focused on your classroom and students.  We are facing difficult times and the success of this round of bargaining will set the scene for the quality of education and a system we can proudly be a part of going forward.  Governments have, in the past, tried to remove our right to strike, increased workload to 7/8, legislated away our right to collective bargain and in each case through the sweat and anxiety of political actions and striking we have prevailed.  Please feel free to reach out to our team at Federation House with your specific concerns.  We will get through this challenge together, but we can not afford to relent at this time.  Announcements of possible actions will be made next Monday.  Locally, we will do all we can to make things manageable and organized.  Please check in with colleagues to ensure they are also receiving this message.  

From Provincial OSSTF
Yesterday, Nov 14, 2019,  OSSTF/FEESO representatives met with representatives from the government and the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA) at the Teacher/Occasional Teacher central bargaining table.  

During the last day of bargaining at the Teacher/Occasional Teacher central table, OSSTF/FEESO requested financial information in order to facilitate conversations regarding potential savings within Ontario’s education system.  
These areas of discussion included: 
1. Ministry of Education Initiatives and Staffing Levels
2.  Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) Costs
3. Opportunities to find efficiencies in the grievance arbitration process
4. Financial savings through short term voluntary unpaid leaves
5. Sick Leave efficiency pilot and associated savings 

Rather than moving discussions forward in a productive manner, the management team chose to format OSSTF/FEESO’s discussion topics into editorialized comments.  Within this written response, they further speculated as to what OSSTF/FEESO would propose if conversations regarding savings were to occur. While they were happy to provide comments and speculations that serve only to inhibit the productive exchange of ideas, the management team provided none of the financial information that was requested and dismissed these topics as potential areas for savings.  
OSSTF/FEESO is disappointed and does not see how the management team expects these kinds of exchanges to lead to solutions.    

There was also a cursory conversation about sick leave, but no progress was made. 

Central table strike votes will be completed tomorrow, Friday, November 15.  The results of the vote will be released and next steps will be discussed at a media conference at 1:30 pm, Monday, November 18. 

Teacher/Occasional Teacher bargaining will resume on November 18 and 19.  

The BargainingForEducation.ca website will be updated with further details within 48 hours.

Rallies this Thursday at local MPP offices

All members are invited to join OSSTF and other labour groups in gathering outside Local MPP offices from 3:30 to 4:30 pm this Thursday during Constituency week.  Placards will be available for those who want them and have some thoughts to share.  Together our voices matter.  Details are posted on our website and various social media.

Understanding Bargaining  – Provincially and locally

Provincially they have developed short videos and pamphlets that assist you in understanding how bargaining happens and how you benefit from the services you pay for with your membership. I am enclosing portions of that to assist in understanding.  I know jargon and complex tiers of our organization can make difficult times even more challenging.

Money $

Are you a coach in the community? Do you participate in a community event or fundraiser? Do you need a sponsor?
Member engagement would like to highlight members who work in our communities and we are looking to sponsor one community team and one community event in each of our three communities/regions: Northumberland, Clarington and Peterborough.  Applications are available on our web page on the member engagement TBU committee page and have been sent to Branch Presidents.  

EDSBY feedback

 Just a reminder that the Board is in the process of developing a new IT plan and OSSTF is interested in being a collaborative partner in these conversations during planning rather than after the policies are written in stone. We are seeking general thoughts or comments specifically on the assessment components of Edsby and it’s effectiveness as a grade management tool beyond it’s function as a reporting tool.  If you have any strong feelings on the matter; you love it or you loathe it, then please let me know by November 20th.  Thank you.

Provincial Newsletter – known as UPDATE

Update is available electronically on their new website at http://osstfupdate.ca/

Student award deadline approaching

Submissions for the Marion Drysdale “One strong woman” Award are due to the District office by November 15.  we have received several excellent entries already but would gladly accept more.

District 14 Strike Vote Results

After receiving clarification and confirmation today, Erin Leonard (OTBU President and Chief Negotiator) and Kevin McFadden (District Officer and TBU Chief Negotiator) are able to release the following LOCAL Strike Vote results:

OTBU
Votes Cast:   156
In Favour:     90.82%
TBU
Votes Cast:   536
In Favour:     93.54%
CENTRAL Strike Vote results have been submitted to Provincial Office and will be released, as a Province – Wide Strike Mandate, on November 18, 2019. Individual District Central Strike Vote results will not be released publicly. That said, District 14’s OTBU and TBU combined Central Strike Vote result was quite high.
On behalf of the various Negotiation Teams, thank you for your strong mandates and continued support.

In Federation,
Kevin McFadden (on behalf of both OTBU and TBU)

OSSTF/FEESO in Legal strike position centrally
by Nov 18

With the issuance of the “no board” report earlier today, the count down has begun moving us closer to being in a legal strike position centrally.  The imperative is to obtain a strong mandate to strengthen our negotiation stance.  ETFO turned in an impressive 98% yes to striking based on the challenges they are facing and OSSTF is hoping for a similar number.  Rationale and bargaining details will be presented at our General meeting this monday.  There will be a formal Q and A time at the meeting and Dave Warda will be joining us for a solidarity social time afterwards at Arthur’s Pub. 

More information to inform your vote is available on Bargainingforeducation.ca  

The main portion of the most recent Bargaining Bulletin is as follows:
We are frustrated that, once again, the management team has come to the bargaining table entirely unprepared to address substantive issues that impact our students’ learning environments. The absence of any sense of urgency on the part of the management team is particularly aggravating in light of the Minister of Education’s recent public pronouncement that he wants an agreement to be reached quickly, and that the government’s current class size proposal is not final.  
In its sole effort to address a substantive issue, the management team made an entirely regressive proposal regarding Teacher/Occasional Teacher and Support Staff (Education Worker) benefit plans.  
OSSTF has responded to the Minister of Education’s requests to engage in discussions at the table looking for alternative opportunities for financial savings.  We proposed the following topics for discussion: 
1. Ministry of Education Initiatives and Staffing Levels
2. Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) Costs
3. Opportunities to find efficiencies in the grievance arbitration process
4. Financial savings through short term voluntary unpaid leaves
5. Sick Leave efficiency pilot and associated savings 
As well, OSSTF requested the government provide data on class size averages by school board and the cost of the EQAO in order to inform our future discussions.
Despite OSSTF having made reasonable proposals, the government has refused to engage on the following significant issues: 
 Local priorities funding  Hiring practices  E-learning 
Future potential bargaining dates are scheduled for November 14, 15, 18, 19, 20 and 21.

Voting will be available at the General meeting as well as in work sites on November 7th.

Speak truth to power and send the message to this government that cuts hurt kids and you are standing up for a quality education.  

In solidarity,
aileen~

General Meeting and Social details

It is important members attend to listen to Provincial Executive (the big cheeses) and our local Chief negotiators (Kevin McFadden TBU and Erin Leonard OTBU) at our general meeting Nov 4th. (see poster at the bottom)  There will be an opportunity to ask questions about actions to date and possible next steps.  Please REGISTER to attend at http://bit.ly/meetingosstf

Members may gather after at Arthur’s Pub (9 minutes away) located in the Best Western Plus Cobourg  https://goo.gl/maps/jcBTM7KC1psFjMiE8
Some appetizers will be provided by OSSTF, or may be purchased at half price; you bring the entertainment and lively conversation 🙂

Retirement workshop in Ajax
District 13 will be hosting a FREE OTIP Retirement workshop in Ajax on November 13th.  A light dinner will be provided. Details and registration information is available at  http://bit.ly/D13otip   It is never too soon to start planning.

Litigation Clarification
Last Friday members at four work sites (Bowmanville HS, Clarington Central SS, Kenner CVI and TASSS) were informed of a court order from the federal courts pertaining to Litigation that KPR is a party too.  If you currently work at one of those sites and were not able to attend the meeting and have questions please contact me directly for assistance in understanding your responsibilities.   Members who have worked preciously at these schools or who are on leave from these schools are not required to participate in this action.   Everyone else may disregard and consider themselves very fortunate.  You may want to buy a beverage for a colleague friend working at one of those sites!

In solidarity,
Aileen~

Please check your new osstfd14 email

Good evening,
A detailed email high-lighting today’s bargaining media occurrences was sent out tonight to current and redundent members of the Teacher Bargaining Unit. If you are receiving this email as a retired member or Occasional teacher member our list has been updated to only reflect those actively part of the Teacher Bargaining unit of D14. We have also updated all email addresses to exclude those who registered using their kprdsb addy as the employer prohibits this. We would welcome you re-registering using a personal email address.

Additionally, anyone registered on our new website www.osstfd14.ca, we have converted to your new D14 addy from the one previously provided. Please check the message did not go to junk.

This is the last email blast that will be sent to this full audience. If you received the previous, more detailed email you will remain on our subscriber list unless you opt out. New subscribers are always welcome. 🙂

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me. Thank you for indulging my communications to date and my apologies to those I communicated with unintentionally.

In solidarity,
aileen~

We will NOT be travelling back in time to Oct 7th for Branch votes but instead it will be Nov 7th. My apologies.

Thank you to Jessie Woolacott, Branch President at Adam Scott, for catching the error. She is the winner of a Starbucks Gift card 🙂


In the news, Strike Meeting Details and the Federal election
IN THE NEWS

Last night on Peterborough Global CHEX news a video story aired which included your TBU President, Aileen Fletcher. You may watch it here: http://bit.ly/2nWKPxH

At the time of speaking with the local reporter no date had been set so you are hearing it first here. 🙂

SAVE THE DATE

November 4th @ 5 p.m all members of OSSTF D14 TBU and OTBU are invited to a closed meeting to hear details from the Central Bargaining table from our Provincial Executive Liason, Dave Warda.

The meeting will will take place at the Baltimore Rec Centre Banquet Hall 23 Community Centre Rd, Baltimore, ON K0K 1C0. Google map directions available through the link

Refreshments will be served at 4:30 p.m. with the closed meeting starting promptly @ 5 p.m.

Voting will occur at the meeting with a second opportunity to vote in work sites on October 7th via local Branch Presidents. Details regarding this process will be provided at a later date.

FEDERAL ELECTION

All members are encourage to get out and vote this Monday October 21st in the Federal Election also. A big thank you to District and OTBU President Erin Leonard for creating the recent Special Edition Newsletter which was sent out electronically and hard copies delivered yesterday and today to work sites.
We find ourselves as a union, preparing to work with an open mind with whatever party rises to power. The Canadian Teachers Federation has compiled an excellent party neutral website ( http://vox.ctf-fce.ca/ ) that speaks to the issues such as Labour rights, Equity, Ending Poverty, Mental Health and Sustainable Climates that articulates many of the common values of the education community of all party alignments.

Your voice and choice matters! Just vote!

In solidarity,
aileen~

Pending Central Strike Votes

Just prior to the long weekend we met with Branch Presidents. We shared the Bargaining updates being released by provincial office as they happened. The updates indicated Management was at the bargaining table unprepared, uninterested and unwilling to discuss the key issues we have brought forth centrally. Both our bargaining brief and Managements are available on line. You can follow along by signing in to myOSSTF or checking out the negotiation website established at https://bargainingforeducation.ca

Yesterday our President, Harvey Bischof announced we will be proceeding with Central Strike votes as a result. Votes will occur in each of our work sites, after a General meeting and prior to November 15th. Your District leadership team, Erin Leonard and I, are working to identify a date and location that coordinates with the availability of Provincial Executive. Membership will be informed as soon as possible so that arrangements to attend can be made.

The General meeting is expected to last 60-90 minutes and with an agenda that includes: Provincial Executive opening remarks – 5-10 minutes, Provincial Secretariat presentation –10 minutes and then Local Leaders’ comments and voting logistics – 10 minutes followed by Q & A – 45 minutes. I hope to see all of you there. It is important to remember that Strike votes are a natural part of the bargaining process. Strike votes are a demonstration of our members’ resolve to get a fair deal. In researching the vote counts of our past two rounds locally we achieved an 88% and 90% commitment to a fair deal. Strong votes have proven to be an effective means of deterring an actual full Strike as we witnessed in the recent CUPE round and in our own history. That doesn’t mean it is easy. Strike votes are stressful. Any sanctions may be divisive and strain relationships. We have seen however, the impact of the destructive path this government is on with regards to education. Long term our future will only get worse unless we as individual members make our voice heard. I believe in the strength and solidarity of this District. Your local Executives are here to support you and listen to your concerns and answer questions.

Please contact the office to speak to any one of us. We are Together/ Nous Sommes Ensemble

In solidarity,
Aileen~

Our Regular Program

Bereavement Fund– just a reminder that the dead line for joining the 2019-2020 Fund is quickly approaching. Branch Presidents have been asked to bring the lists to our next meeting. If you wish to be able to be a member of this for the potential benefit of those you love, please sign up today. After tomorrow you will need to contact our office directly before October 31st.

Benevolent Council – At our last AGM we established a fund to assist members experiencing extraordinary circumstances that result in temporary financial difficulties. We need members to sit on this council to review any confidential applications at the local level. Meetings may be virtual or in person on an as needs basis. Please consider giving your time in this way. Contact me if this compassion work interests you.

Share your answers and ideas and questions – We have three groups interested in hearing from more people, especially those in our small to medium schools. Your voice is so critical to creating a full picture of where we are and where we need to go as a union. Please consider volunteering your time with our Education Services (all about our learning), our Member Engagement (all about helping people see why the union matters or doesn’t) or our Communication Political Action group (raising a voice in writing or deed and thinking of how we make real impact politically to support negotiations) We have new approaches to this work but we need you….yes you….I see you trying not to look at me. Please!

Not if but when we need to vote on a contract – This may be occurring centrally through Myosstf. Be prepared. If you don’t know how to access the members only area of the provincial website now is the time to do that. Ask you Branch President for assistance.

Please continue to wear Red on Fridays

UPDATE from your OTIP
What’s on your bucket list? Enter OTIP’s newest contest for a chance to win $10,000 and check something off your list! Enter today: https://bit.ly/2Mlvq4o Restrictions apply. #OTIPupdate

In solidarity,
aileen~

Planning for Stressful Times.

Good evening,
There is only one thing we are certain of and that is the uncertainty of the days and months ahead. If you are like me you have been anxiously checking social media for any news. OSSTF members need to be prepared for whatever outcome may arise from CUPE negotiations that continue.

We hope for a fair settlement which will create a positive framework for our own negotiations that are still looming. More importantly, a deal would provide much needed relief to the education workers who want more than anything, to be at work alongside us rather than walking a picket line. All classroom teacher members should be preparing to teach, just in case this occurs.

Locally we have been informed by CUPE President, Ron Maguire, that without a settlement though, strikes may begin early at the identified locations listed at the bottom. When arriving to these work sites expect delays and plan so as not to be late. Administration has indicated all members must be at work during the regular scheduled day including Prep time but are free during their 40 minute lunch period.

Our office continues working to keep you informed of the directions and expectations of our employer and busy relaying questions on your behalf to get you the answers you need. Senior admin clarified that should schools close to students, new learning in regular face-to-face classes is not expected. However support and responding to parent and student inquiries would be required. Co-curriculars have always been voluntary activities. In the event of a CUPE strike you should seek clarification from your schools admin team about what is still advisable and permissible in this regard. We are in uncharted waters with the decision of our school board to close it’s doors to students and I am confident direction will continue to come, and adjustments made if it becomes prolonged. We will continue to press for information and answers.

Please be cognizant that we ourselves may be facing similar sanctions in our future. No one wants that and it is not currently part of our negotiation strategy but anything is possible. Keep striving to be kind and patient with each other and our CUPE colleagues. We are indeed in this together!

POTENTIAL STRIKE SITES (in no particular order)
Kenner
Campbellford DHS
ENSS
Norwood
Brighton, P.S.
Clarington Central S.S.
Courtice S.S
Bowmanville H.S.
Campbellford D.H.S
Cobourg CI
Port Hope H.S.
C.I.S. Cobourg
PACE
Thomas A Stewart
Board Office
Lakeshore Facilities
Adam Scott Collegiate Vocational Institute
Kawartha Heights Public School
​*****Possible strike location
Dr. G. J. MacGillivray Public School

In solidarity,
Aileen~

CUPE Withdrawal of Services – From Provincial Office

OSSTF/FEESO members are not on strike, and must continue to perform their normal duties. However, there are a number of things that members should know.
1. You are legally required to report to work. You must make a good faith attempt to report to work. This includes crossing picket lines where necessary. It is not considered scabbing or strikebreaking for members of other unions to cross picket lines to report to work in order to perform their legitimate duties.
2. You should respect CUPE’s picket line protocols. Picket lines are not designed to prevent people from entering the workplace. They are designed to slow down the passage of people onto the employer’s property, and to provide information about the issues in dispute. Members should arrive at work at the customary time. Upon arrival at a picket line, wait patiently for the required amount of time, and do not proceed until you are allowed through. If the delay causes you to be late, call your supervisor to inform them of your anticipated lateness. If you have legitimate concerns for your safety when passing through the line, ask your supervisor to come out and escort you across.
3. OSSTF/FEESO Policy states members should not perform the work of other bargaining units who are on strike. OSSTF/FEESO members must continue to perform their own work. OSSTF/FEESO members should not take on the work of striking CUPE members, even if this prevents them from being able to engage in activities they wish to take part in. If your supervisor asks you to perform work normally done by CUPE members, inform them that your union’s policy states that you should not be doing the work. If they persist, inform them that you will only do it if specifically directed to do so. If you are directed to do CUPE work, inform the supervisor that you are doing it under protest, and inform your OSSTF/FEESO representative at your earliest opportunity. Do not refuse to comply with the specific direction of your supervisor.
4. OSSTF/FEESO members may show solidarity with CUPE members. Solidarity with CUPE members can be shown in many ways. You are entitled to participate in lawful supportive activities, including wearing buttons in your workplace. If asked about the issues, members should refer students to CUPE members. Members should limit their discussion of CUPE issues to those that have a direct link to curriculum. Other activities that OSSTF/FEESO members can engage in on their own time, such as before/after work or at lunch, include:
• Bringing refreshments to pickets;
• Joining picket lines (ask the picket captain first);
• Joining rallies and other events.
5. Potential School Closures. If school boards have concerns about the health and safety of the school environment, they may close schools. In the event that OSSTF/FEESO members are sent home by employers, it is OSSTF/FEESO’s position that they should continue to receive all compensation and entitlements associated with their employment, and that no member should be adversely affected by the employer’s action. If members are re-assigned, their assigned duties should be consistent with those normally performed by their bargaining unit.
Please contact your Bargaining Unit representative Aileen.fletcher@osstfd14.ca for TBU, Erin.leonard@osstfd14.ca for OTBU if you have further questions.

Toggle Content

Update on Teacher/Occasional Teacher Central Table Bargaining.

Announced by Provincial OSSTF
OSSTF/FEESO met today with representatives from the government and the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA). This was the first meeting since the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) ruled on the scope of central bargaining, as reported in Bargaining Bulletin Issue 9, and therefore the first meeting at which the parties exchanged negotiation briefs.

OSSTF/FEESO’s bargaining proposals, which have been available to members and to the public since September 24, are focused on creating and sustaining the best possible student learning environment through, among other measures, protections for reasonable class sizes and access to course options, and a collaborative, evidence-based approach to the question of mandatory elearning.

While OSSTF/FEESO is seeking only inflationary protections for compensation and benefits in order to keep talks focused on the quality of the learning environment, the management team’s brief is focused on removing funding from publicly-funded education at the expense of students and our members.

Nothing in the Crown/OPSBA brief suggests any consideration whatsoever for the quality of the learning environment, or any commitment to student achievement. OPSBA and the Crown have chosen to politicize their brief, which is rife with misinformation. We will be posting the management team’s brief on the Bargaining For Education website within the next 48 hours. You will be able to find it at bargainingforeducation.ca.

Teacher/Occasional Teacher central bargaining will resume on October 9 and 10, and OSSTF/FEESO will continue to advance proposals that are good for our members, for our students and their learning environment, and for the future economy into which those students will graduate.

Please frequently check the myOSSTF section of the OSSTF/FEESO website for updated information.

CONFIDENTIAL TO OSSTF MEMBERS ONLY

What follows is the extensive list of rules that apply to CUPE 5555 workers in our work sites.  Please do not do any of their struck work.  Should Administration direct you to do any of it, indicate you are doing it under protest then please comply as directed.  Report any such requests to your Branch President or District office.   The days ahead will be difficult for all involved.  Be patient with each other. Their fight is our fight for proper Educational funding. Should more information become available another mailing will occur.

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Supporting CUPE
CUPE workers are in a legal strike position on Monday, Sept 30th. Currently negotiations are on-going in a media black-out so if things do not progress then job action will start in the form of a work to rule. I have reached out to CUPE President, Ron Maguire and indicated our desire to best support their pending Action and demonstrate our solidarity.
What does this mean for our students/classrooms/schools? 
Student safety will not be compromised. Sanctions will not jeopardize the immediate safety of students or staff. The voluntary work our education workers perform in our schools will be cut (like running groups or coaching).  Secretarial staff will not be doing anything administrative in nature, and hallways will not be regularly cleaned as this is not government funded or part of a collective agreement. If conditions become dangerous, they will be addressed. Many things will continue such as supporting students during the instructional day and cleaning hazardous spills, even in the halls. Each CUPE member will be working their contractually obligated jobs, taking their proper breaks, lunches, and arriving and leaving work at their paid time. Any extras that they do in their work every day will be noted and missed; things that are often take for granted. We know this will not be easy for them.  They take pride in their work and that is what motivates all of us to go above and beyond our jobs as defined in our contracts.
So, how can we show support?
OSSTF/FEESO policy 10.4.1 states:
10.4.1. no Member of OSSTF/FEESO should undertake, or cause to be undertaken, any function that, according to the current practice of the place of employment, is regularly undertaken by a member of the striking group.  
Teacher and Occasional Teacher members have a contractual obligation to be at work as employees of the board and to not interfere with the regular activities of the school as we are not in a strike position.  Should actions escalate to a full walk-out by CUPE you will be crossing a picket line so plan to arrive at work early and expect delays entering the parking lot. No one enjoys being involved in protest action.  Be patient , polite and kind.  Our CUPE colleagues understand we must cross and continue to perform our jobs. You can show your support and solidarity by joining them on any picket/information lines before work, during breaks and after work and reaching out with supportive thoughts and words.
In addition, should a Principal/supervisor assign OSSTF members work normally done by CUPE they should state they are doing it under protest but comply and then report this action to their local President.  Any situation that is deemed detrimental to the health, safety, or the learning environment of pupils or staff should be reported jointly to the principal as site manager responsible for everyone’s health and safety and their local president.
A list of struck work will be forth coming. This information will be shared ASAP so you will be fully aware of what our CUPE colleagues have been directed to do by their leadership.
Please contact our office if you have any questions, concerns or are unsure of what to do in a given circumstance. We are pleased to offer advice and support in these stressful times.

In solidarity,
Aileen~

From Provincial

Bargaining Bulletin update

Update on Central Table Bargaining 
Yesterday, OSSTF/FEESO released both the Support Staff and Teacher/Occasional Teacher central table bargaining briefs to the public. 
In doing so, OSSTF/FEESO has taken the first step in an unprecedented approach to bargaining in the school board sector in Ontario. At a media conference held at Queen’s Park this afternoon, President Harvey Bischof announced that OSSTF/FEESO will make every step of the bargaining process transparent to the public.  
Since the beginning of that process, the Ford government and the Minister of Education have made a number of public pronouncements that simply do not align with their actions. We believe that our best hope of countering any future misinformation from the government is to do what we can to ensure that the process is as transparent as possible.   
Our bargaining proposals are reasonable, forward-looking and focused on creating the best possible learning environments in our schools. We welcome the public to look closely at our proposed way forward, to see if it aligns with their vision for publicly-funded education.    
The full Support Staff and Teacher/Occasional Teacher bargaining briefs, along with comprehensive summaries, are available to members and to the public at BargainingForEducation.ca.  
A video message from President Bischof to OSSTF/FEESO to members and a copy of yesterday’s Media Release is available on the Federation website at www.osstf.on.ca.  

Orange shirt day
All members are encouraged to wear orange somewhere on themselves on Monday September 30th to mark Orange shirt day..  More information about this day can be found at http://www.orangeshirtday.org/about-us.html    OSSTF D14 TBU sponsored some shirts to be distributed at each work site and will be sending Orange rubber wrist bands for all teaching staff.  

Student Achievement Awards
This years awards have the theme “One Strong Woman”.  We all know one strong woman who has inspired, guided or encouraged us to move forward in life.  There are nine categories including poems, songs, digital productions, short stories, essays and visual art.  Winners recieve $1000.  The Student Achievement awards celebrate the work of OSSTF/FEESO members and their students.  Check out the details at https://www.osstf.on.ca/studentachievementawards  or speak to your Branch representative/President

OSSTF Retirement Workshop
New date will be April 15th 4:00 pm at TAS.  Registration will begin in Semester 2.  We apologize for the inconvenience.  

In solidarity,
aileen~

OSSTF/FEESO President Harvey Bischof will be holding a press conference on Tuesday at 2:00pm.  The press conference will be an important announcement about provincial bargaining.

A media advisory sent out yesterday to media outlets.  If you are able, you are encouraged to watch the press conference live on the OSSTF/FEESO Facebook account.  Other media outlets, such as CP24, may stream the press conference live.

A Bargaining Bulletin will be issued tomorrow afternoon after the press conference.  You are encouraged to LOGIN to your myOSSTF / maFEESO account to view the latest Bargaining Bulletins to stay informed about negotiations. 

Never too early to start planning!

OSSTF will be hosting a Retirement workshop on October 1st , 4:30 pm at Thomas A Stewart.   Members may bring a guest and are encouraged to Register ASAP by contacting the District office at info@osstfd14.ca.   There will also be an OTIP Retirement workshop being offered in Ajax on Nov 13 by our friends in District 13-Durham.  Details to register will be posted to our new website.
 
No time like the Present!
That’s right…you heard me…another new website 🙂    We are in the process of a complete redesign and moving information to that location.   https://www.osstfd14.ca  Don’t expect much yet but soon we should be up and running fully.  In preparation for that members should go and register for the member only section.  Branch Presidents will be meeting with us next week and getting more details.
Can’t wait to see you!  (unless we did already)
Our team at Federation house has been out visiting already.  Thank you to Adam Scott, Campbellford and East Northumberland for already graciously hosting us.  We are looking forward to meeting the rest of you at our Meet and Greet.  We have a few information items to share but we are also very interested in listening to any of your concerns and to better understand the needs of each work site.  Please take a moment to drop in and say hi when we make it to your school.   We hope everyone had a chance to enjoy a solidarity celebration hosted by your Branch President.  If not there should be something soon!
Kindness counts
In solidarity,
Aileen~

The following was received today from Provincial Office:

More information will be made clear in the weeks ahead and implications better understood.  Our local TBU executive release officers will be visiting work sites/schools over the next few weeks to speak with members personally.  Central Bargaining will proceed and local bargaining will start shortly after.  We remain committed to protecting  your working conditions.   We hope all members had an opportunity to celebrate solidarity today with colleagues and remind members to continue to wear red for ed each Friday and keep the conversation around education cuts in the forefront with family, friends and community members and elected officials. No time to rest. Keep doing the good work you do supporting students!  #hereforstudents.

In solidarity,
Aileen~  

Happy New Year!!

Just sharing some key start up information.  I recognize everyone will soon be excitedly sharing summer adventure stories with colleagues, scrambling around to get needed resources and trying to think of innovative ways to get students engaged that first day!   We are in this year together!  Lots of challenges ahead.

Firstly, I want to remind each of you to be kind to yourself and others.  Your well-being matters and your new executive team is here to support you.  We are in the process of launching a new website which we hope will be reasonably functional including all up to date information by end of the first school week.  In the mean time, if you are looking for forms or information simply contact us here at the office.  1-877-OSSTF14.  Additionally, with the new web page, members will be getting a new union specific email.  I heard that groan but don’t worry!  The intention is to help protect member information and you will be able to auto-forward whatever we send there to your own personal email.  No more need for us to be collecting your emails!  

We have posted on our Facebook and Twitter information about solidarity actions for the first week back.  As a start though it would be incredible if everyone could wear red on Tuesday, September 3rd. 

Information was sent out previously regarding Labour day activities in local communities, I hope many of you will take advantage of the opportunity to celebrate the importance of unions in our workplaces. 

The new workload tracker has been created and is on our old google site for those wanting it for day one.

Lastly, we are actively monitoring just how big classes are going to be this fall but we need your help.   Please inform your Branch president if you are being asked to instruct a class larger than 36  (ie/37, 38, 39 +)  We will be asking for this data in the week ahead.

Contact any of us directly if you need anything;
TBU President Aileen Fletcher  aileen.fletcher@osstfd14.ca
TBU Vice-President Ellen Hinan   ellen.hinan@osstfd14.ca
TBU Chief Negotiator  Kevin McFadden  kevin.mcfadden@osstfd14.ca

In solidarity,
Aileen~

A formal welcome back message with more local information and political actions will arrive next week.  Please read the announcements below.  Take time during this final week of summer to do something restorative for yourself and those you love.     
In solidarity,  Aileen Fletcher~  TBU President

Provincial has asked we place priority on the following updates:

Central Table Bargaining
Today (Thursday) the Ontario Labour Relations Board convened a hearing in Toronto to determine which issues will be dealt with at central bargaining tables and which would be dealt with at local tables for both Support Staff and Teacher/Occasional Teacher negotiations. As was reported in previous Bargaining Bulletins, the government and the trustees’ associations have proposed a more extensive list of items to be bargained centrally than OSSTF/FEESO is willing to agree to. It is unclear when the Labour Board will issue a decision. As soon as that decision is received, a Bargaining Bulletin will be issued to inform members.
Please frequently check the myOSSTF section of the OSSTF/FEESO website for updated information.

Labour Day events
The 2019 Labour Day theme is A Fair Canada for Everyone. The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) is encouraging unions and labour councils to mark Labour Day 2019 by focusing on actions and messages aimed at the upcoming Federal Election. The theme is a call to action to make this election a battle for the things we care about most as Canadians. The messaging is about creating the Canada we want; it is about standing up for all Canadians. The CLC is urging Canadians to vote for pharmacare, retirement security, climate action, good jobs, and equity and inclusion.
Local events:
Peterborough                                             Oshawa
     

Good Morning,
The following announcement was posted July 15th.  Members interested in viewing direct updates from Provincial OSSTF/FEESO should log in regularly to the MYOSSTF section of the provincial website.  We will continue to inform members directly as information comes available following August 22nd. 

Update on Central Table Bargaining Today, the Ontario Labour Relations Board set August 22 as the hearing date to determine which issues would be dealt with at central tables and which at local tables for both OSSTF/FEESO Support Staff and Teacher/Occasional Teacher negotiations. Although arguments for both tables will be presented together, the Labour Relations Board will issue a separate decision for each. No negotiations can occur until the central/local split is determined. Please frequently check the myOSSTF section of the OSSTF/FEESO website for updated information.

Mise à jour sur la négociation à la table centrale Aujourd’hui, la Commission des relations de travail de l’Ontario a fixé au 22 août la date d’audience afin de fixer les enjeux qui seraient abordés aux tables centrales et ceux des tables locales de négociation autant pour le personnel de soutien que le personnel enseignant/ enseignant suppléant. Même si les arguments pour les deux tables seront présentés ensemble, la Commission des relations de travail rendra une décision distincte pour chacune. Aucune négociation ne peut avoir lieu tant que la répartition centrale/locale n’est pas déterminée.

If you require assistance accessing MYOSSTF please contact me directly and i will be pleased to assist.

In Solidarity,
Aileen Fletcher~